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Health - PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is recognised worldwide and is often an essential requirement for those wishing to follow an academic or research career in health or social care.

Studying with us in 2021/22 and 2022/23

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses.  Information about the arrangements for the 2021/22 academic year can be found here.  

 

Should the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continue in the 2022/23 academic year or subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Postgraduate Research
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time/Distance Learning
  • Location City South
  • Award PhD
  • Start date September 2022, February 2023
  • School School of Health Sciences
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Overview

The Doctor of Philosophy or PhD is recognised worldwide and is often an essential requirement for those wishing to follow an academic or research career in health or social care.

  • A PhD programme includes allocation to a bespoke supervisory team to advise and guide each student through all aspects of their study. In addition, each student has access to a wide range of learning opportunities within the Graduate School and the University as a whole.
  • Our research degrees are not taught courses. Each student's research degree programme is personalised to match their interests to the research priorities, staff expertise and research facilities available.
  • You will have access to dedicated research facilities and will be encouraged to publish in collaboration with your supervisors and to take part in research conferences.
This course is open to International students.

How is this course taught?

Our research degrees are not taught courses. Each student's research degree programme is personalised to match their interests to the research priorities, staff expertise and research facilities available.

Enquiries 

Please contact HELS Doctoral Research College team:

 

Research interests

Current interests

Four participatory networks to address current and future health and social care challenges, they include:

Quality of Care

Creating a network within the university to harness the expertise of colleagues to contribute to solving complex health and social care problems.

Science for Health

Applied science, that translates to health practice. Impactful research that is meaningful to health professionals/treatment and prevention.

Family Health

Understanding needs of families and role of family in illness prevention and health promotion.

Promoting health and wellbeing

Using the best available evidence to enhance care for people with common and long-term conditions.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: PhD

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: PhD

Starting: Feb 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: PhD

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

Award: PhD

Starting: Feb 2023

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees

The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.

Please complete your Research Proposal and upload this as part of your application. 

Entry Requirements

Applications for research degrees are assessed on the following criteria:

  • that the proposed research seems likely to satisfy the academic requirements of a research degree;
  • that the proposed research is feasible in practical terms;
  • that you seem likely to be able to cope with the academic demands of a research degree;
  • that the Faculty is able to provide the appropriate supervisory expertise and resources
  • PhD applicants will normally be expected to hold a Master's degree in a relevant area

Once assessed, you will be either invited to a formal enrolment interview or asked to revise your application and resubmit it.

Course in Depth

Year One

Studying for a PhD will mean undertaking a programme of research that makes a contribution to knowledge. The course normally takes three years full-time/five years part-time study.

Supervision and guidance from the supervisory team to help the student refine the initial research proposal, research training, completion of the Post-graduate Certificate in Research Practice, participation in research seminars, journal review groups and in-house conference events, pilot studies and completion of research governance procedures.

Year Two

Supervision and guidance in field work, data collection, data analysis, refining arguments and beginning to draft the structure of the thesis, further research training, presentation of aspects of the research at research seminar and conference events, development of potential papers for publication, participation in teaching activities as appropriate.

Year Three

Supervision and guidance in completing the thesis of 80,000 words, clarifying the contribution to knowledge, preparation for examination, further research training presentation of aspects of the research at research seminar and conference events, development of potential papers for publication, participation in teaching activities as appropriate.

A day in the life of a PhD student

If you're considering doing a PhD there's probably a lot of questions going through your mind: how am I going to pay for it? Should I quit my job? Will I cope with the workload? But most importantly, what is it really like? Karen Patel, a full time PhD student, shares her experiences of juggling life, a part time job and her studies. 

Interested in finding out more? Alan Taman, a PhD student within HELS, has shared his feelings of starting a PhD

The PhD Journey

The nature of a research degree is such that it is not possible to state an exact timescale for the programme. A part-time PhD (for entrants with a relevant Master's qualification) could be expected to take 4-5 years.

In the case of full-time study, a PhD may require 30-36 months. Nevertheless, it should be noted that there is wide variation from these averages for individual students.

Modes of Study

Our PhD programmes are offered full-time or part-time. These modes of study ensure that we can create a PhD research plan around your lifestyle needs, even if you are in full-time employment or overseas.

Full-time PhD Research: three to four years

As a full-time PhD research student you will undertake much of your research on campus using the facilities at Birmingham City Business School.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 36-43 months.

Part-time PhD Research: four to seven years

You would chose part-time PhD research if you opt to study whilst in employment or if full-time study is impractical.

You will be encouraged to use the campus facilities when you can and may often work from home.

You will be expected to complete your research and submit your work for examination within 48-72 months.

How is this course taught?

Our research degrees are not taught courses. Each student's research degree programme is personalised to match their interests to the research priorities, staff expertise and research facilities available.

Who will teach me?

Our experienced academics, many of whom are engaged in internationally recognised research, will provide you with supervision as you pursue the award of a PhD degree.

Employability

Employment Opportunities

The majority of students who enrol for a research degree complete their studies on a part-time basis while they are employed. The PhD award from Birmingham City University is a well established and valued professional qualification within the education sector. Typical careers include school management, working in further education or higher education or educational consultancy.

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities and Staff

The creation of our new suite of courses in Sport and Life Sciences is yet another exciting development at Birmingham City University. The 10,500sq metre building at City South Campus will enable us to offer a wide range of new health, nutrition, biomedical science and sports courses, as well as providing a new home for our education programmes.

Not only are we investing £41 million in a new building to house the laboratories and teaching spaces needed, but we also plan to open up these facilities to benefit all students and the wider community. This will complement our existing sports facilities, which already provide a base for students to compete in activities ranging from rugby to jiu jitsu.

The courses will reflect the latest developments in our teaching and our focus on practice-led learning with work placements and live industry case studies incorporated into the curriculum. All courses have been co-designed with employers and are endorsed or accredited by professional bodies where appropriate.

By expanding our provision to these new areas, we will be helping to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as obesity and unhealthy lifestyles, by encouraging and supporting healthy eating and greater physical activity.

In addition, we will be producing graduates who can support elite performers in meeting the UK’s ambitions for sporting success at events such as the Olympics and other world sporting tournaments. We are constantly looking to enhance the range of courses we offer - please check all our courses for the latest additions to our portfolio.

Simulation Mannequins

We have several Simulation men (SIM men) and Simulation babies (SIM babies) which are leading edge, anatomically correct mannequins used for teaching specific techniques such as advanced adult and paediatric life support skills, acute and high dependency clinical skills, first aid and communication skills.

Simulation Mannequins

SPACE skills practice model

S.P.A.C.E.

SPACE is an innovative practice area all students can access to use equipment and resources to practise a wide range of skills in a safe, welcoming and supportive environment. It provides students with a creative learning environment to get the best educational experience before becoming a health care professional.

S.P.A.C.E.

Learning Facilities

We offer up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across. These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice.

Learning Facilities

Nursing - Facilities - Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour

Explore our facilities in 360 panoramas, including welcome videos from key members of staff and Health and Wellbeing student profiles.

Virtual Tour

Doug Ellis Sports Centre

Our £8.5 million Doug Ellis Sports Centre boasts an 80-station fitness suite, an eight-court sports hall, and workout and spinning studios. The centre offers state-of-the-art fitness training equipment and plenty of room for team sports including five-a-side football and cricket. An all-weather pitch adds the finishing touches to the centre.

Visitors to the gym can choose a personalised fitness programme, instructed by qualified fitness trainers, and take advantage of a selection of classes, such as yoga, salsa or body combat.

Doug Ellis Sports Centre website

Our staff

Dr Kate Thomson

Associate Professor

Dr Kate Thomson is Director of Postgraduate Research Degrees for Health and leads on all aspects of recruitment, oversight and student experience for PhD (Health). She is also a member of the Public Health & Therapies department. 

Kate completed her postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham with a PhD on learning disability services and welfare development in Russia. She has more than 15 years’ experience of teaching health policy, sociological aspects of health and research skills at undergraduate, postgraduate and post-qualifying levels. Her main interests lie in health and welfare systems, global health and sociological public health. 

More about Kate