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 were also ranked 2nd by the Complete University Guide 2018 and 3rd by the Guardian University Guide 2017 for our undergraduate programmes.
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.
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.
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There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.
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).