Economics (10) Medicine (26) Nursing & Health (27) Psychology (31)

  Lancaster University Faculty of Health & Medicine, Division of Health Research

  Division of Health Research

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 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Programme

100% of our research environment is judged to be world-leading (4*) in REF2021.

The Division of Health Research (DHR) has an active research community comprising over 100 staff from a range of academic and applied backgrounds: sociology, social policy, geography, public health, psychology, health economics and nursing. We share an interest in the perspectives that the social sciences bring to an understanding of health and health inequalities, disability, illness, the delivery of health and social care and interventions and actions to promote population health and health equity. 

Members of the Division of Health Research come from a wide range of academic disciplines and professional backgrounds. We have a well-established reputation for conducting excellent academic research that is both interdisciplinary and translational. Academics are organised into a number of research and teaching groups which map onto innovative blended learning programmes (see below for more details), mostly at PhD level. Research groups in the Division work closely with our colleagues in the rest of the Faculty of Health and Medicine on the Faculty’s core interdisciplinary research themes: Ageing; Mental Health; Health Information, Computation and Statistics; Infectious Disease Transmission and Biology and Social and Economic Inequality in Public Health. 

The Division has good relationships with NHS and social care partners, and the voluntary sector. We also host the regional and local centres for the NIHR Research Design Service for the North West and are part of the NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North West Coast. 

The educational programmes delivered by the Division range from postgraduate research degrees (PhDs), a professional doctorate in Clinical Psychology, and a suite of PhDs in palliative care, public health, health economics and policy, organisational health and well-being, dementia studies, ageing, and mental health. The Division has over 270 students registered on its full time and part time postgraduate programmes. We collaborate with Lancaster University Management School to deliver several courses. We also contribute to undergraduate teaching in Biomedical and Life Science, Medicine and Psychology. 

We offer seven PhD programme streams in the Division of Health Research:

  • PhD in Ageing
  • PhD in Dementia Studies
  • PhD in Health Economics and Policy
  • PhD in Mental Health
  • PhD in Organisational Health & Wellbeing
  • PhD in Palliative Care
  • PhD in Public Health 

Our PhD programmes are offered part-time via blended learning (a mixture of online teaching and annual residential academies) over a minimum of four and a maximum of seven years. Years 1 and 2 consist of taught modules delivered online that develop and consolidate students' research skills. The modules address theory, policy and practice relevant to the field of study as well as philosophical issues, research design, data analysis, systematic literature reviewing and research ethics. From Year 3 onwards, students undertake an independent research study, which will conclude with the submission of a thesis that makes an original contribution to knowledge.

These PhD programmes provide an opportunity for future leaders in a range of health contexts to gain research skills as well as deep and critical insights into theory and research and how they impact policy and practice. The programmes are suitable for people working in health and related fields such as clinical work, education, research, pharmacological industry, health and safety, human resources, management, policy and advocacy.

Who should apply?

Our PhD programmes will be of interest to people who are working, or aspire to work, in the fields of ageing and dementia, health economics, mental health, public health, organisational health and palliative care, and who wish to pursue advanced studies and gain research skills. The PhD programmes are international in focus and not restricted to any one professional group or discipline.

How to apply

The standard minimum entry requirements are normally an upper second class honours degree, or a good Masters in an appropriate subject, and relevant work experience. Applicants are required to produce a brief outline of their intended research study and to write a personal statement detailing their motivation for undertaking a PhD. These documents need to be submitted together with an online application form. Information on the application process can be found here. 

Further Information

Alex Macpherson

Postgraduate Programme Co-ordinator, Faculty of Health and Medicine, Lancaster University



Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.

How good is research at Lancaster University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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