Why choose this course

The University of Surrey has been leading health-related research for over 30 years and the School of Health Sciences has been central to this. Positioned within the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences alongside the Schools of Biosciences and Medicine, Veterinary Science and Psychology, we are all united under a 'One Health' theme.

With innovation, research and passion at its heart, the School aims to deliver the UK’s most dynamic, effective and caring healthcare professionals. We also work with professionals in fields allied to healthcare and medicine who wish to pursue doctoral-level study.

We have a strong track record in interdisciplinary research and our submission alongside biosciences in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) saw 93 per cent of our research rated world-leading or internationally excellent. 

We collaborate closely with healthcare providers, government, corporate businesses and the third sector to improve the delivery of healthcare nationally and internationally. We have over 800 active partnerships, including our partnership within Surrey Health Partners (SHP) which is a clinical academic partnership between the University of Surrey and four NHS Foundation Trusts.

Our academics are engaged in leading healthcare research that drives and reflects change in clinical practice and medicine, and embraces evidence-based practice, policy and education.

We are changing the future of healthcare by developing eHealth applications, including those developed at the University’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC), which is now testing the future generation of innovative health technologies.

You will be joining a thriving doctoral community of postgraduate research students who meet weekly and offer peer-support in informal student-led support groups with guest speakers and facilitators both from within the University and externally.

What you will study

Our PhD programme is aimed at all healthcare professionals who wish to undertake research at the highest level. It is particularly suitable for nurses, midwives, pharmacists, health psychologists, physiotherapists, and social scientists. The programme is offered full-time or part-time. Duration is generally three to four years full-time; or four to seven years part-time.

Our research students follow an intense research training programme which aims to provide you with substantial subject expertise and an in-depth understanding of research methodology and design. The programme will also enable you to develop transferable skills in writing proposals, public speaking and writing for publication.

The School has its own training programme to equip you with contemporary healthcare knowledge and skills. There is a flourishing seminar programme open to staff and research students, PGR writing groups, and research students can access relevant research methods modules with School or within related University Departments. The quality of your academic work and research project is continually assessed by the supervisors through literature reviews, reports, presentations and discussions.

The first year lays the foundation for your research. You will work closely with your supervisors to review the literature and develop the research proposal. You may attend training courses offered by the University Research Development Programme and start negotiating access for sites and settings for data collection. You may progress to submit your University ethical application and/or NHS research ethics and Governance approval.

During the second year, you will spend the majority of the year conducting fieldwork and collecting your data. You will probably also start to analyse this data. 

During the final year you will continue to analyse your data and write up the chapters finalising it for submission.

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PHD Full-time 48 months January 2020
PHD Part-time 96 months January 2020
PHD Full-time 48 months October 2019
PHD Part-time 96 months October 2019
PHD Full-time 48 months July 2019
PHD Part-time 96 months July 2019
PHD Full-time 48 months April 2019
PHD Part-time 96 months April 2019

Research support

The professional development of postgraduate researchers is supported by the Doctoral College, which provides training in essential skills through its Researcher Development Programme of workshops, mentoring and coaching. A dedicated postgraduate Careers and Employability team will help you prepare for a successful career after the completion of your PhD.

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees. The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Terms and conditions

When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.


This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.

Research themes

  • Acute and emergency care
  • Ethics in care
  • Cancer care
  • Long-term conditions and ageing
  • Maternal and child health
  • eHealth
  • Healthcare workforce.

Our academic staff

See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Health Sciences.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree (upper second) in an appropriate discipline, but prior experience in research or health and social care may be acceptable.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.

View the other English language qualifications that we accept.

If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.

Selection process

Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.


Study mode Start date UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time January 2020 £4,327 £18,700
Part-time January 2020 £2,163.50 £9,300
Full-time October 2019 £4,327 £18,700
Part-time October 2019 £2,163.50 £9,300
Full-time July 2019 £4,260 £18,200
Part-time July 2019 £2,130 £9,100
Full-time April 2019 £4,260 £18,200
Part-time April 2019 £2,130 £9,100

For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).

Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.

View a complete list of all fees for our research programmes.

Additional costs

There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.


A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate doctoral course.

Postgraduate open afternoon

Attend an open afternoon to find out about studying here


Join a webinar and engage with our world-class academics

Our students


Course location and contact details

Campus location

Kate Granger Building

The School of Health Sciences has now moved to the Kate Granger Building located on 30 Priestley Road on the Surrey Research Park. This is where our nursing, midwifery, paramedic science and operating department practice courses are taught.

University of Surrey

University of Surrey
Surrey GU2 7XH