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Evaluating the safety of medications used for the treatment of benign prostate enlargement

Project Description

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate) is one of the most common diseases in older men, affecting about 40% of those aged 50. 5-alpha reductase inhibitors are drugs used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia that inhibit the last step in androgen synthesis, the reduction of testosterone to the more potent androgen dihydrotestosterone. While these medications are effective at treating benign prostatic hyperplasia, recently concerns have been raised about potentially serious side effects, such as type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis. Contrastingly, studies suggest that these medications may also have unintended protective effects on melanoma and gastrointestinal cancer risk. Yet evidence on these remains limited.

During this project, the student will join an experienced team of researchers and will have the opportunity to gain skills in conducting systematic reviews and analysing large datasets of electronic medical records from UK general practitioners.

Overall, this project will aim to investigate whether the use of these medications influences these safety outcomes in men diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, providing important information for patients, physicians and medicine regulatory agencies. This project would be suitable for applicants with a degree in a health related subject (e.g. pharmacy, biomedical science etc.) or a quantitative subject (e.g. maths or statistics).


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant public health, psychology, economics or social sciences subject

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

The English Language Unit (ELU) offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained from the ELU

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE)*

Eligibility for both fees (£4260 for 2018/19) and maintenance (£14,777 for 2018/19) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, Centre for Public Health, website for further details about the Centre:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

Related Subjects

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