About the School of Health Sciences

We’re a diverse and multidisciplinary group of healthcare professionals and scientists from a wide range of disciplines. These include: nursing, midwifery, allied health professions, physiologists, psychologists, social scientists, bioengineers and biological scientists. We partner with patients and clinical practice and we collaborate both nationally and internationally. This means we can create innovative education and research programmes that are designed to have the best patient outcomes.

We are leaders in research across a wide range of areas including:

  • cancer survivorship
  • active living
  • healthcare work and workforce
  • long-term conditions
  • ageing and dementia
  • continence and skin health

Through our education we develop the healthcare workforce in the areas of nursing, midwifery, and the allied health professions. Our courses are strengthened through our long-standing partnerships with local, national and international healthcare providers. They support us in offering excellent work placements.

We cover both undergraduate and postgraduate level and focus on developing future leaders. We prepare our students to deliver care that is patient focused and compassionate. Our graduates leave with the skills to lead innovation and make a difference to the lives of others.

As a School we seek to create the conditions in which everyone can feel welcomed, respected, and valued, and to enable equitable access to the resources and support that people need to do their best. We recognise that achieving these conditions is complex given the systemic barriers in the broader environment, so we work closely with both the University and the School’s EDI groups with the aim of turning our commitment into a reality for our staff and students, and, through our research, seek to reduce health inequalities in society.

Research environment

Our research is interdisciplinary and world-leading. We have been in the global top 10 of QS rankings for 7 years running. Our research is informing national and international guidance and providing evidence based solutions to pressing healthcare problems. By informing standards, policy and changing healthcare practice our research is having a significant impact in society.

We have 4 interdisciplinary research themes hosting research groups:

Active living for health

Health needs

Fundamental care

Health work

  • Safety, Systems and Outcomes Research Group 
  • Work Lives and Wellbeing Research Group

The leadership, resources and expertise within each theme enable high quality applied research to thrive. They nurture an active research community. We have named champions providing support to early career researchers, postgraduates and fellowship holders. We also have champions with dedicated roles for equality, diversity and inclusion, research ethics, open sciences, research outputs and impact.

Research groups provide interdisciplinary collaboration and support researchers at all levels. They offer mentoring, organise meetings and seminars, and host postgraduate research showcases. Additionally, they invite international academics to foster an intellectually stimulating environment. 

Research, funded by our National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration (ARC) Wessex, is integrated across the research themes. This extends our reach into the region through partnerships with NHS Trusts.

Knowledge exchange and enterprise

As a multidisciplinary group of academics and clinicians, we engage widely with business, public and voluntary organisations to create social, cultural, and economic impact for health.

We develop innovative, evidence-based insights that inform health policy, health interventions, and health products. To do this, we use our world-class expertise in:

  • healthcare policy, systems, and workforces 
  • physical and psychosocial determinants of human health and disease across the life course
  • medical and commercial device innovation
  • cutting-edge methods and testing facilities in Thermosenselab and Pressure lab.

Our knowledge exchange is multi-scale, far reaching, and it spans sectors. Examples of our partnerships and enterprise work include:

Connect with our research groups to explore how we can support you.

Two students, one wearing a sports bra, stand in front of a screen analysing data Analysing data from a project about sport garments
Analysing data from enterprise project on sport garments.

Continuing professional development

We have a long tradition of providing continuing professional development for healthcare professionals. We provide bespoke training through CPD modules and short courses.

Our courses meet the development needs of professionals working in: 

  • nursing
  • midwifery
  • allied health professions
  • advanced clinical practice
  • leadership roles

We support healthcare professionals in different stages of their careers. Our courses allow them to engage with education at the time that is right for them.

Our courses are varied and include options that are:

  • skills based
  • teaching based
  • research based
  • work based learning

For more information, search our CPD modules.

Fellowships and postgraduate research

We have an excellent track record of developing the future health and social care research workforce through fellowships and doctoral routes.


We welcome personal fellowships at all levels, from pre-doctoral to professor.

Eligible schemes

Our support package helps researchers develop competitive fellowship applications to a wide range of schemes, including the following. Contact us for advice about schemes not listed here:

  • BBSRC Discovery Fellowships
  • ERC Starting, Consolidator or Advanced Grants
  • MRC Career Development Awards
  • NERC Independent Research Fellowships
  • NIHR Advanced Fellowships
  • The Royal Society University Research Fellowships
  • The Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship
  • UKRI Future Leader Fellowships
  • Wellcome Trust Early Career Awards or Career Development Awards
Support for applicants

We match applicants with a departmental host, who will provide:

  • help with applications, including support letters and costings
  • introductions to potential collaborators
  • introductions to existing fellows
  • a tour of our department and facilities

Our Fellowship Working Group meets regularly to consider support for applicants.

Support for research fellows

Successful applicants enter our formal fellowship scheme, which offers:

  • training
  • access to the latest equipment
  • protected time away from teaching and administrative duties
  • opportunities to enter PhD studentship and research grant competitions
  • opportunities to move into a permanent academic role
Moving into a permanent role when a fellowship ends (proleptic appointments)

Sometimes a research fellow will wish to move into a permanent academic role with us when their fellowship ends. This is called a proleptic appointment.

How research fellows move to a permanent role
  1. During the fellowship, we'll set the objectives the research fellow must meet to move to a permanent role.
  2. After 18 months, the school will review progress against objectives.
  3. If the research fellow meets their objectives, they can apply for a permanent role.
  4. As part of the application process, we'll ask them to give a research talk to colleagues, complete a teaching exercise, and undergo a panel interview.
Get in touch to discuss a fellowship application

Whatever stage you're at with your application, we'd love to hear from you.

Email our Fellowship Working Group: Hsapp@soton.ac.uk

Postgraduate research

We encourage doctoral applicants from a range of healthcare, psychology and social science backgrounds, including:

  • nurses
  • midwives
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • podiatrists
  • health scientists

In addition to advertised doctoral projects, we welcome enquiries from potential applicants wishing to develop their own project that are aligned to our research themes.

You’ll need to:

  • develop an outline research proposal of 3 to 4 pages, aligned to our research themes
  • identify a potential supervisor within the School’s research groups
  • consider how you will fund your studies

Learn more about Health Sciences postgraduate research options

Our courses

Research and enterprise

Explore our research and how we have a significant impact on patient outcomes, through our community of centres and groups. Learn how we bring that research to market through our partnership with public and private enterprise.

Our research community

Find out about the work of our vibrant research centres and groups. They bring together specialists to share expertise through projects and publications.


I am incredibly proud of the leading role that the School of Health Sciences plays in empowering healthcare professionals to improve healthcare outcomes.
Head of School
I am so inspired by my colleagues in Health Sciences whose research is improving lives through greater understanding and innovative solutions to pressing healthcare problems.
Professor of Psychosocial Oncology
I passionately believe that inter-professional education across health sciences develops the next generation of leaders to challenge and shape the future of health care.
Principal Teaching Fellow

Work with us

Contact us

Talk to us, we’re happy to help

You can contact us by:
School of Health Sciences, Building 67, University Road, SO17 1BJ
We’re open Monday to Friday 09:00 to 17:00 GMT

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