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PhD (Faculty of Health Studies)

Duration: 3-5 years (full or half-time)
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: Doctorate
Suitable for international students
Start date: October, February
Faculty of Health Studies
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We invite applications from enthusiastic research students wishing to explore an aspect of practice related to our research clusters.

Explore the areas above to find details of available projects, potential supervisors, and current students.

You are welcome to contact staff within the Faculty who work within your area of interest to discuss your research ideas before before submitting your application and research proposal.

We welcome applications for postgraduate research degrees all year round, and will consider alternative starting dates when the timing doesn't fit with our two enrolment intake dates: October and February.

Why Bradford?

We have purpose built, excellent facilities for researchers and a vibrant community of enthusiastic staff and doctoral students.

92% of our research was classified as 4*(World Leading) or 3* (Internationally Excellent). In terms of the Impact of our research and the environment in which research is undertaken 100% was classified as world leading or international excellent.

We also have excellent links with service providers in health and social care, voluntary sector organisations and community groups with collaborative work being undertaken at local, regional, national and international levels including The Alzheimers SocietyBradford Institute for Health Research and the Born in Bradford project.

These links are highly beneficial for doctoral students in the school, helping their studies to progress.

We have a thriving service user and carer research group who are enthusiastic about our work and keen to be involved with our research, offering the public patient perspective.



You will receive excellent guidance, advice and support from experienced, knowledgeable and approachable supervisors on a regular basis.


Peer support

We have a community of PhD students who share a dedicated office space.

You will meet as a group on a monthly basis with the Director of Postgraduate Research to discuss issues, progress and concerns.

You will have the opportunity to join our forums to share our learning including action learning sets and journal clubs which involve regular meetings in small groups.

We also arrange annual poster presentations to provide you the opportunity to share your research and learn from other students.


Training and development

As a new student you can expect a comprehensive induction programme to welcome you to the Faculty of Health Studies and wider university.

You will also be offered the opportunity to sign up for Vitae, a website dedicated to creating a UK development framework for postgraduate researchers and research staff in higher education institutions. This will help you to identify your learning needs in relation to knowledge, behaviour and attributes of successful researchers.

As a university, we currently offer nearly 100 short courses and modules from which you will be able to select those which meet your learning needs. These are designed for distant and part time as well as full time students based in Bradford.

Within the Faculty of Health you will be able to choose from a selection of lunchtime seminars aimed specifically at students undertaking health related research. You will also be encouraged to identify appropriate external development opportunities that will support your learning.

We will carefully monitor your progress to ensure as a university, we are meeting your learning needs.

Entry requirements

The minimum requirements to apply for a PhD are:

  • First or upper-second class Bachelor’s degree at an approved university or institution
  • A higher degree at an approved university or institution or in the case of Professional Doctorates as specified in individual course regulations
  • Exceptionally, candidates with lower than above but with experience and training as suitable preparation

The minimum requirements to apply for an MPhil are:

  • Bachelor’s degree at an approved university or institution
  • Professional qualification approved by Research Degrees Committee and suitable general education and training
  • Exceptionally, candidates with less than above but able to give satisfactory evidence of having obtained adequate standard of knowledge may be accepted by the Research Degrees Committee

Places are subject to a robust research proposal followed by a successful interview process.

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language, we ask for a minimum standard entry requirement of 6.5 IELTS (with sub tests not lower than 5.5).

The certificate must have been gained within two years of the proposed start date.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Learning activities and assessment

PhD students undertake a viva to assess that they are progressing sufficiently in their studies.

The student is usually required to produce a report and a detailed timetable for further work.

This takes place:

  • For full-time students: 12-18 months after initial registration
  • For part-time students: 24–36 months after initial registration

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a PhD take?

  • Full time: 3-4 years
  • Part time: 4-7 years

I am an overseas student. How do I apply for a student visa?

All information about applying for student visas can be found on the international website.

What wider university support can I expect as a student?

In order to make life easier for our students the University has brought together a number of its support departments in an area known as The Hub.

The Hub is located in the Richmond Building adjacent to the Atrium. This Student Support Centre provides a central reception where students can receive information and guidance.  

The Research Administration Team based in the PGR Lounge (Carlton Building) provides regular drop in support sessions.

For further information about undertaking a PhD at the University of Bradford, please see the Research website.

Do your PhD students get a chance to teach?

Yes, there are opportunities for PhD students to undertake some teaching after attending 2 short training sessions.

In the Faculty of Health Studies, students have the opportunity to join the 'PGR students who teach' project where you will be allocated a teaching partner who is an academic working in your area of expertise. You will work together planning, undertaking and evaluating your teaching.

Do supervisors regularly publish with PhD students?

Yes. The new knowledge generated from a PhD is co-created by the student and their supervisory team through the exchange of ideas and the discussion of findings.

Like many Universities our policy is that publications are normally co-authored by student and some or all of the supervisory team.


In summer 2011, the Faculty of Health Studies relocated to the University's City Campus, marking a £6 million investment in health at Bradford. Our new building forms a gateway to the campus and is equipped with state-of-the-art practice simulation suites and study areas.

You will be offered a work station, storage facilities and access to printing, in our large, purpose built area dedicated to PhD students. You will also have the use of a meeting ‘pod’ room including a webcam which is ideal for students to arrange face to face and skype meetings.

The wider University has a new PGR lounge where you will be able to join in activities related to the wider PGR community.

Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees

2017/18 entry:

  • Home/EU: £4,195
  • International: £17,600 (There may be an additional bench fee of £5,000 or £10,000 dependant on the research project.  This will be determined by the Faculty at the point of application)

*Fees are per year and increase with inflation.

See the Fees and Financial Support website for more information:

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

From time to time we have funded postgraduate study opportunities available for particular projects.

In general, you would organise your own funding. Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found on our University Scholarships and Support website.

PhD studentship available for Home/EU full-time students: How can hearing and vision loss be detected and treated in care home residents?

The Centre for Applied Dementia Studies is pleased to invite applicants for a PhD studentship on improving quality of care for care home residents with hearing and/or vision loss. The studentship is funded by The Abbeyfield Research Foundation, who have a demonstrated commitment to leading the field in improving the quality of social and health care. 

Find out more and apply by 20 October 2017.

How do I find out more?

Contact the Faculty

Contact Dr Melanie Cooper, Faculty of Health Studies Director of Postgraduate Research:

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

Supporting Documents

Along with an electronic application form the following supporting documents are required to be attached:

  • Your research proposal (see below)
  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Two references
  • A copy of your passport (including VISA stamps for international applicants)
  • A copy of your CV
  • Evidence of English language if required. For students whose first language is not English the Faculty of Health Studies sets a minimum standard entry requirement of 6.5 IELTS (please note; that sub tests cannot be lower than 5.5). The certificate must have been gained no longer than 2 years before the proposed start date.
  • Statement of purpose (Approx 500 words in length) This should ideally cover why you feel you are qualified to undertake the above programme and how you expect to benefit from it, and must include why you have chosen Bradford to undertake your studies.

Research Proposal – a guide

Your research proposal should outline the nature of your proposed PhD study and give some idea of how you intend to conduct your research. It should be approximately 1500 words and should contain the following elements:

1)   A clear working title

2)   Introduction and background

  • How your research will fit with the Faculty research themes
  • Provide a brief, selective and critical review of current literature and key research findings to date.
  • Identify the research problem you want to address and why are you interested in this
  • Demonstrate you understand the main debates and issues in this area
  • State your research questions/ hypothesis and how this will fill the ‘gaps’ in the literature that you have identified.
  • The research questions or hypothesis should be sufficiently narrow and specific so to be achievable within the time frame of your PhD.
  • Explain why your research is novel and what will be the ‘added value’ to your subject

3)   Planned methodology

  • Explain your intended research design and methodology
  • How you will use existing theories/ approaches to inform your methodology
  • This can include philosophical influences as well as considering whether a qualitative/ quantitative or mixed methods approach are appropriate
  • How you might design your project and why, in order to get the best results/ findings
  • Why is this design appropriate for addressing your research questions/ hypothesis?
  • What are your intended methods for collecting data?
  • What will be your sampling strategy?
  • Methods of data analysis
  • Any ethical issues that may be relevant
  • What would be the main stages of your project and how would this relate to each year of your PhD?
  • What problems may you encounter and how will you overcome these?
  • What could be the potential benefits of your research in terms of changes to policy/ education/ health care practice?

4)   A list of key references using Harvard referencing style

Once we have received your application, this will be reviewed by the Director of Postgraduate Research and potential supervisors. At this stage we may contact you to interview.

Tips for success

  • Your proposal should be a short story about what you want to do, why and how.
  • Your proposal will be assessed on its quality but also its fit with the Faculty research themes and availability of appropriate supervisors
  • Your proposal needs to make a positive and powerful 1st impression about your potential to become a good researcher and leave the reader feeling interested and wanting to know more
  • You need to demonstrate independent critical thinking and communicate your ideas clearly.
  • Your ideas need to be focused, interesting, realistic and novel
  • You are not expected to be an expert in the field but demonstrate that you have a general good level of knowledge of your subject and where you may make a valuable contribution to research
  • Ask a peer to critically proof read your work and provide feedback on his/ her understanding: What is the research about? Why you want to do it? Why you believe you will be able to do it? Why it is significant? What you aim to achieve by completing it?
  • Avoid jargon; use clear simple English understandable by non-experts. Ensure you check spelling and grammar
  • Present the information in short sentences and paragraphs

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.