Child Health

MPhil / PhD / MD

Women and Children’s Health research in Liverpool has an international reputation for excellence. The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health incorporates obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and medical and surgical paediatrics.

A world leader in children’s health research

The Department of Women’s and Children’s Health is internationally renowned for research covering obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology, and medical and surgical paediatrics.

I've thoroughly enjoyed working in the new Wolfson laboratory alongside PhD students, post-docs and lab technicians. It's been a great environment for me to complete my research.

Jenny Davies - Child Health PhD student
  • 100%

    4* and 3* in research environment in Clinical Medicine REF (2014).

  • 309

    academic members of staff.

  • 359

    registered postgraduate research students.

Research at Liverpool

Based in a vibrant new state-of-the-art Institute in the Park at Alder Hey, Child Health research in Liverpool is predominantly focussed and led by young senior clinical academics with established teams and considerable income streams.

Our main research facilities are integrated with two of the largest specialist Women’s and Children’s hospitals in Europe, the Centre for Women’s Health research within the Liverpool Women’s Hospital and Institute in the Park within the Alder Hey Hospital.

Paediatric Respiratory and Cystic Fibrosis

NIHR and Wellcome funding supports longstanding programmes on RSV bronchiolitis and cystic fibrosis, and newer programmes on asthma and aspiration lung disease. Much of this research utilises cells and tissues from the lungs of children to create disease relevant models of infection and inflammation.

Paediatric Rheumatology

The Clinical Academic Department of Paediatric Rheumatology has become one of UK’s leading Paediatric Rheumatology Research Centres and is part of Liverpool’s EULAR Centre of Excellence for Rheumatology. Liverpool is the UK's only Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus. It leads national collaborative research networks in many rheumatological conditions and is a major contributor to all national paediatric rheumatology research initiatives and many international collaborations.

Paediatric Pharmacology

Liverpool is one of the few national centres supporting the development of paediatric clinical pharmacology. There are very close links with the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicines and the Centre for Drug Safety Sciences, also in Liverpool.

Neonatal Medicine

Strong links with both obstetric and child health underpin a perinatal approach to neonatal research activity. Neonatal research is focused on translational medicine and clinical therapeutics for newborn babies, with Liverpool leading a recently appointed European-wide network for neonatal and paediatric clinical trials.

Paediatric Neurodisability and International Child Health

Strong links with the Sanyu Research Unit has enabled knowledge transfer between rich and poor settings and the development technologies and techniques to improve child health globally.

Paediatric Surgery

Paediatric surgical research in Liverpool centres on strong collaboration between academic surgeons and basic science researchers. This has led to world class research into the aetiology, pathology and treatment of major congenital malformations including congenital diaphragmatic hernia and Hirschsprung’s disease.

Paediatric Nephrology

With strong links to the Rheumatology group, Paediatric Nephrology research is focussed on developing an inter-disciplinary, collaborative ‘Renal inflammation and injury’ translational programme.

Research themes

Our research themes in Child Health are:

  • Research synthesis and clinical trials
  • Biology of the developing lung
  • Paediatric Rheumatology
  • Developing better medicines for children
  • Paediatric infections
  • Paediatric renal inflammation and injury
  • Improving child health globally
  • Stem cell therapy for Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Cell biology of childhood malignancies.

 

Research interests

The Department of Children’s Health is internationally renowned for its research and has specialist groups covering obstetrics, gynaecology, neonatology and medical and surgical paediatrics.

Facilities

The Child Health Research Team is based at the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, a new £280M facility opened in 2015 with a catchment area of 7.5 million and more than 275,000 episodes of care per annum including 65,000 children seen in the A&E department.

A new, state-of-the-art bespoke ‘Alder Hey Institute in the Park’ brings together the strengths of the University and NHS in Research, Innovation and Education (Phase I, £12.5M opened 2015, with the £13M Phase II extension opening in 2018) with outstanding laboratory facilities.

The recently renewed £2M funding to support the NIHR Alder Hey Clinical Research Facility (CRF) for Experimental Medicine serves as a hub for conducting experimental medicine/ early phase/ late phase clinical trials/ studies in neonates and children to ensure that Liverpool is a key UK and European player for drug development in paediatrics.

Research groups

  • Paediatric Respiratory and Cystic Fibrosis led by Professors Southern and McNamara, along with Drs Semple and Flanagan, includes a longstanding Cystic Fibrosis and RSV bronchiolitis, lung aspiration, asthma and effects of tobacco smoke research programme
  • Paediatric Rheumatology including the UK’s only ‘Centre of Excellence for Childhood Lupus’ and ‘Experimental Arthritis Treatment Centre for Children’ (>£1.4M) led by Professor Beresford, recently joined by Professor Hedrich
  • Paediatric Orthopedics, led by Mr Daniel Perry, NIHR Clinician Scientist leading major national and international clinical studies in paediatric orthopaedics
  • One of the few national centres supporting the development of Paediatric Clinical Pharmacology, led by Dr Hawcutt, is a close collaboration with the Wolfson Centre for Personalised Medicines and the MRC Centre for Drug Safety Sciences
  • Neonatal Medicine, led by Dr Turner, including translational medicine and clinical therapeutics for newborn babies
  • Neurodisability and International Child Health led by Dr Gladstone leading many studies and initiatives nationally and internationally;
  • Paediatric Surgery led by Professor Losty and Mr Kenny delivering world class research in major congenital malformations including congenital diaphragmatic hernia and Hirschsprung’s disease
  • Paediatric Nephrology, led by Dr Louise Oni, developing an inter-disciplinary, collaborative ‘Renal Inflammation and Injury’ translational research programme.

Study options and fees

MPhil

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) can be thought of as a shorter version of the PhD. It requires the same research skills, training, planning, and project management. It can be a way to assess whether you wish to undertake doctoral research - or it can be taken for its own sake.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
PhD

A doctoral degree is awarded to students that have demonstrated the ability to conceptualise, design, and implement a substantial research project that results in new knowledge, applications, or understanding in their field of study. During your research, you can expect to draw on direct clinical and observational experience to produce an original thesis of 80,000-100,000 words. You'll be part of a research group which matches your research interests. Research groups offer opportunities for cross-disciplinary research collaboration, as well as support and expertise for your research.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 4-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)
MD

The Doctor of Medicine (MD) is a doctoral degree open to medical practitioners (technically, anyone holding a medical qualification registrable with the General Medical Council). It is equivalent in requirements and format to the PhD.

Duration Fees: Home and EU Students Fees: International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,260 £19,850 (Lab based programmes) £16,150 (Non Lab based programmes)
Part time 2-6 years £2,130 £9,925 (Lab based programmes) £8,075 (Non Lab based programmes)

Entry requirements

Eligibility and entry qualifications

Applicants for postgraduate research study at Liverpool are normally expected to hold a UK first degree with a First Class or Upper Second Class degree classification, or a Second Class degree plus a Master’s degree. Equivalent international qualifications are also accepted, and their equivalence will be evaluated on the basis of the information provided by the National Academic Recognition and Information Centre (NARIC) as well as internal guidance based on our experience of a qualification’s suitability as a preparation for our programmes.

English language requirements

To apply for this research degree, you must have reached a minimum standard of English. You need to be able to provide evidence of this.  See our English language requirements for international students for guidance on the different English language qualifications and evidence that you can provide. 

International qualifications

We welcome applications from within the EU and from around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those which are required to study for this research degree.  See our guidance on international qualifications.

Additional requirements

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

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LDC module

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