Public Health

PhD

Research across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences spans ‘from Cell to Society’, with the work of the Department of Public Health and Policy firmly at the Societal end of the spectrum. We provide a service to the public health profession and local practitioners by supporting specialist training in the NHS and acting as academic supervisors and tutors for trainees, and engaging with local communities.

Our unifying theme is the social model of health to address health and health inequalities

Teaching and service work is the social model of health and how that can be applied to address inequalities in health and in health care.

My research is enthusiastically stimulated and supported by my supervisors. There are great opportunities to present your research to an engaged department, committed to tackling health inequalities.

Callum Rutherford - Public Health PhD student
  • 150

    years the University of Liverpool has been at the forefront of public health.

  • 3rd

    in UK for 4* impact on policy and practice REF (2014).

  • 1%

    Departmental publications are in the top 1% of highly cited papers worldwide.

Research at Liverpool

Public health in Liverpool has a long and influential history, including the appointment of England’s first Medical Officer of Health, Dr. William Henry Duncan, in 1847. Dr. Duncan was followed by a number of eminent medical officers who, reflecting their strong links with the University, were also professors here. The Department of Public Health and Policy has grown steadily from these roots, and is now home to a multidisciplinary team drawn from a range of subjects including medical and health sciences, epidemiology, statistics, sociology, psychology, anthropology, community development, policy analysis, history and civic design. They are actively involved in research, education, and health service work related to promoting the health of the public. 

Research across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences spans ‘from Cell to Society’, with the work of the Department of Public Health and Policy firmly at the Societal end of the spectrum

We provide a service to the public health profession and local practitioners by supporting specialist training in the NHS and acting as academic supervisors and tutors for trainees, and engaging with local communities and stakeholders is a core activity in the department. 

Research across the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences spans ‘from Cell to Society’: with the work of the Department of Public Health and Policy firmly at the Societal end of the spectrum.

The department's research focuses on services and systems for health and well-being operating at the community and population levels. It covers healthy members of the public as well as patients, seeking to understand how to improve the systems that society needs to put in place to promote, sustain and protect health, prevent disease and care for the sick.

More information.

Research themes

The Department's research aims are:

  • To increase understanding of the pathways leading from society to good/ill-health and from ill-health to social and economic consequences, especially concerning the generation of inequalities in health and in access to health services
  • To assess the impact of interventions at the community and population levels to reduce the burden of disease and identified inequalities in health and in health services in order to promote health and wellbeing.

 Research strengths include: a focus on intervention research to tackle social determinants of health and health inequalities; engagement with the policy and practice communities to ensure policy-relevance; and incorporation of the experiences of people in their day-to-day lives.

Research interests

We particularly welcome research proposals that match those of our researchers.

Our three major research areas are Policy Research on Social Determinants and Health, Child Health, Energy, Air Pollution and Health , Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Food Policy , Public Health Simulation Modelling.

Facilities

The student will have access to a range of methodological expertise, including qualitative analysis, advanced statistical analysis, innovative population simulation techniques and field epidemiology. Furthermore, the student will benefit from the strong link with local, national and international stakeholders, policymakers and academics through the Departmental collaborations in the UK and abroad. (See individual staff pages for details).

Research groups

Policy Research on Social Determinants and Health

Energy, Air Pollution and Health

Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Food Policy

 

 

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

You'll need a 2:1 or first class or equivalent first degree in a relevant discipline, such as anthropology, medicine, psychology or sociology, but we are open to consider cases on an individual basis for outstanding prospective students. This breadth reflects our commitment to multidisciplinary approaches when investigating complex public health questions.

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

Your research can be in any area that matches our research interests and expertise, outlined above. CRB and other checks may be necessary for some project types and every proposal will need to receive ethical approval.

You'll also need coherent writing skills, along with the stamina, self-motivation and organization to complete a demanding research project.

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.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

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Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships

Funding

LDC module

Your training and development

Join us and you'll also join the Liverpool Doctoral College, our home for doctoral support, training and development. You'll join a vibrant and collaborative community of researchers, get tailored support for your development and have the opportunity to undertake a work placement.

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