Health Sciences and Social Work postgraduate research degrees
Our School of Health and Care Professions (SHCP) delivers research at the highest ethical standard to improve knowledge for services and the health of the community. 93% of our research in the area of public health, health services and primary care was rated as internationally excellent or internationally recognised by the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Your research could deal with the most urgent health and wellbeing issues facing society – from the need to care for an ageing population, to delivering effective health and social care to under-represented, vulnerable or isolated groups within society. Your research can also be linked to Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, Psychology, and Geography.
As a postgraduate research student, you'll access seminars and tutorials in epidemiology and statistical methods, database management, qualitative research, and development and assessment of quality of life measures.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, MD, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Health Sciences and Social Work below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Health Sciences & Social Work PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Health Sciences and Social Work, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
MD (Doctor of Medicine)
An MD is for qualified medical professionals who want to gain a research degree. From lab-based to qualitative research methods, you'll draw on your clinical expertise. You can apply to start an MD in October or February.
If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Psychology, find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Health Science (DHealthSci) and our Professional Doctorate in Social Work (DSW).
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
- MD: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
PhD, MPhil and MD
- Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,327 p/a*
- Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,164 p/a*
- International full-time students: £14,300 p/a*
- International part-time students: £7,150 p/a*
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,327 p/a
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil, MD or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You'll have access to extensive resources including a Clinical Skills Laboratory, Digital X-Ray Suite, Virtual Environment Radiotherapy Training (VERT) System, and Ultrasound Room. Our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care offers you the opportunity to develop practical skills for working in health-related sciences in a safe learning environment. The Centre has simulation facilities that mirror current clinical equipment and healthcare environments.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
After researching with us, our successful postgraduate research candidates have gone on to impressive positions in a variety of fields.
Explore the research we're doing in this area, across the 3 areas of expertise below.
We're exploring how new technology – including the use of robots in surgery – can improve patient care in acute (hospital-based) and emergency contexts.
Our research is informing how difficult decisions are made about health and social care in a climate of limited resources for support and treatment of patients.