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The University of Southampton
Health SciencesPostgraduate study

PhD Research Doctorate

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) is designed for all healthcare professionals who wish to undertake research at the highest level.

This PhD programme is especially suitable for nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, podiatrists, health scientists and social scientists.

It takes three to four years to complete full time, and between four and seven years to complete part time.

The PhD research groups are: Active Living and Rehabilitation, Complex Healthcare Processes, Fundamental Care and Safety, and Health Work and Systems.

The primary aim of this PhD is to enhance your skills as a researcher to the optimum level.

As a Health Sciences PhD graduate you will be a suitable candidate for a wide range of research posts in both academia and industry.

Introducing your degree

If you are looking for a research degree at a world-class institution with an excellent track record for securing funding, our PhD could be the opportunity for you. This degree is designed to appeal to a range of people who are looking to undertake research related to health or social care. Your PhD will give you the chance to make an original contribution to knowledge and health care through an extended doctoral-level research study. Supported by two expert supervisors with experience and expertise in your area of study, you will develop the skills for high level health care research. Throughout your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in doctoral-level research training and complete structured activities related to your research. You will also be invited to attend a series of research forums, facilitating the development of your knowledge and enabling you to be part of the wider research community.

Level: 8

Duration: Three to four years full time; four to seven years part time

At Health Sciences we have a proud tradition for undertaking ground breaking research that regularly attracts international recognition.

This PhD programme gives you the opportunity to make your own original contribution to the world's body of scientific knowledge.

You will undertake an in-depth piece of clinical research, as well as develop your research skills and knowledge.

We look forward to welcoming you into our community as a PhD student, where you will follow in our established tradition for research excellence.

In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework we were rated as number one in the UK for the overall quality of our health sciences research.

View the doctoral programme profile for this course

To Apply

Prior to applying for the PhD Research Doctorate it is expected that you follow the steps below:

1.     Identify the following;

  • Your research area based on the School’s research groups
  • A potential Supervisor within the School’s research groups
  • How you will fund your studies.

2.      Contact Professor Bashir Lwaleed, Director of Post Graduate Research at to discuss the suitability of your project and the fit to our current research themes.

Key facts

This programme also enables your development of key transferable skills, including public speaking, presentation writing, writing proposals, specialist knowledge and maturity.

Clinical Doctoral Fellowship Scheme

The Clinical Academic Doctoral Fellowship Scheme is open to postgraduates on our PhD programmes who are aspiring to become clinical academic leaders of the future. To find out more download our flyer below.

Or find out more on our clinical academic pathway webpages

Useful Downloads

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Photo of Abdullah Sani Kamis
Choosing to study here has not only given me the opportunity to work with renowned researchers from the University but also collaborate with other advisors from Oxford.
Abdullah Sani KamisMphil/PhD in Health Sciences

Typical entry requirements

Candidates for this health sciences doctorate whose first language is not English are also required to reach a satisfactory standard in an approved test in English. In the Faculty of Health Sciences, the minimum requirements for English Language IELTS scores for international students applying for a Postgraduate Research programme are:

Direct entry-6.5 IELTS overall and a minimum of 6.0 in each discipline (reading, writing, listening and speaking), commencing on 1st October. In addition, applicants will be encouraged to complete a 6 week Pre-sessional English Language Programme.

6.0 IELTS overall and a minimum of 5.5 in each discipline - Applicants must successfully complete the 6 week Pre-sessional English Language Programme, before starting their postgraduate research programme on 1st October.

5.5 IELTS overall and a minimum of 5.0 in each discipline - Applicants must successfully complete the 10 week Pre-sessional English Language Programme, before starting their postgraduate research programme on 1st October.

Please note that students who do not pass the Pre-sessional programme will have failed their conditions of offer for the health sciences doctorate and will not be permitted to start the Postgraduate research programme.

Selection process

Upper second class honours degree or higher or a higher degree in a health-related subject (or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University).

An outline research proposal which fits the research interests of the Faculty.

Satisfactory academic references

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

All health sciences doctorate students enrol on the PhD. Students wishing to study for a PhD will undergo a process to confirm at an appropriate point.

Throughout your PhD studies you will have the opportunity to participate in doctoral level research training and complete structured activities relating to your research.

You will be a valued member of our research community, and in turn will benefit from the knowledge yielded from the work we perform.

As a student studying to be a doctor of health sciences, you will also be entitled to attend a series of research forums; facilitating the development of your wider research knowledge.

Furthermore, you will have access to key resources that will support your learning, including the professional development programme for Postgraduates.


Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
Health SciencesPhD2021Full-timetbc March 2021£24,084
Health SciencesPhD2021Part-timetbc March 2021not offered
Health SciencesPhD2022Full-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£24,600
Health SciencesPhD2022Part-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022Not offered
View the full list of course fees

Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

University of Southampton

University of Southampton Highfield Campus

Based on the University's main Highfield campus, Health Sciences is si...Find out more

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