Postgraduate research 

Public Health PhD/iPhD/MD

crowded city street

Our aim is to be the world-leading centre for public research and education, working to improve health and wellbeing through understanding how disease occurs across populations and evaluating the effectiveness of population health interventions.

  • PhD: 3-4 years full-time; 5 years part-time;
  • MD (Doctor of Medicine): 2 years full-time; 4 years part-time;
  • IPhD: 5 years full-time;

Overview

Public Health research plays a vital role in understanding the impact of biological, social, behavioural, economic, cultural and environmental factors on our health. Our interests span medical, environmental and social sciences and offer students an opportunity to train in a unique interdisciplinary culture and environment.

The advent of large scale data sets from health services, the environment, public services and the private sector is heralding something of a revolution in approaches to public health. For the first time, we are potentially able to see both how people’s health is created, maintained or damaged over time, but also the impact of interventions and policies aimed at improving and protecting health.

PGR students in public health can access the researcher training programmes in the Colleges of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences (MVLS) and the College of Social Science (CoSS).  This ensures that PGR students graduate with robust, transferable skills that are relevant to future employment in academia and public, private and third sector organisations. 

Our research objectives are to:

  • understand the natural course and impact of cardiovascular and other chronic diseases
  • contribute to service developments to improve cancer survival
  • contribute to a healthier population and environment through policy-related research
  • reduce health inequalities of the working age population through cutting-edge, policy informing research

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators within public health and the Institute of Health and Wellbeing. Our supervisors use a variety of approaches to understand complex problems including complex statistical analysis, data linkage, longitudinal epidemiological and advanced meta-analysis, but also in depth qualitative techniques and the analysis of new media and policy documentation. We have excellent engagement with the government, the NHS and local authorities, other statutory public organisations and third sector organisations.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • the potential for different aspects of environment to positively influence population health and reduce health inequalities
  • the differences between chronological and biological ageing and its influence on coronary arterial disease
  • evaluating the effects of legislation on population health, such as smoke free legislation
  • understanding the interaction of genetic and non-genetic risk factors on population health
  • the evaluation of complex public health interventions
  • the impact on health of supporting disadvantaged groups into employment

Studying for a PhD in a vibrant, interdisciplinary environment will equip you with transferable research skills that are relevant to a range of career options in the public, private and charitable sectors. Many students find employment in the University sector after completing their studies or choose to pursue careers in health services, government or NGOs with a focus on global health improvement.

Many of our project supervisors have strong academic connections with international collaborators in universities and research institutes across the world. Funds are available through the college of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences to allow international visits to teams and data centres where part of your project can be carried out, if you and your supervisor decide this would enhance your research and training. This provides an excellent opportunity for networking and increasing your scientific knowledge and skill set.

Study options

PhD

  • Duration: 3/4 years full-time; 5 years part-time

Individual research projects are tailored around the expertise of principal investigators.

Integrated PhD programmes (5 years)

Our Integrated PhD allows you to combine masters level teaching with your chosen research direction in a 1+3+1 format. 

International students with MSc and PhD scholarships/funding do not have to apply for 2 visas or exit and re-enter the country between programmes. International and UK/EU students may apply.

Year 1

Taught masters level modules are taken alongside students on our masters programmes. Our research-led teaching supports you to fine tune your research ideas and discuss these with potential PhD supervisors. You will gain a valuable introduction to academic topics, research methods, laboratory skills and the critical evaluation of research data. Your grades must meet our requirements in order to gain entry on to your pre-selected PhD research project. If not, you will have the options to pay outstanding MSc fees and complete with masters degree only.

Years 2, 3 and 4

PhD programme with research/lab work, completing an examinable piece of independent research in year 4.

Year 5

Thesis write up.

MD (Doctor of Medicine)

  • Duration: 2 years full-time; 4 years part-time (for medically-qualified graduates only)

Entry requirements

A 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • 6.5 with no subtests under 6.0
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Common equivalent English language qualifications accepted for entry to this programme:

TOEFL (ibt, my best or athome)

  • 79; with Reading 13; Listening 12; Speaking 18;Writing 21
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements , this includes TOEFL mybest.

Pearsons PTE Academic

  • 59 with minimum 59 in all subtests
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Cambridge Proficiency in English (CPE) and Cambridge Advanced English (CAE)

  • 176 overall, no subtest less than 169
  • Tests must have been taken within 2 years 5 months of start date. Applicants must meet the overall and subtest requirements using a single test.

Oxford English Test

  • Oxford ELLT 7
  • R&L: OIDI level no less than 6 with Reading: 21-24 Listening: 15-17
  • W&S: OIDI level no less than 6

Trinity College Tests

Integrated Skills in English II & III & IV: ISEII Distinction with Distinction in all sub-tests.

University of Glasgow Pre-sessional courses

Tests are accepted for 2 years following date of successful completion.

Alternatives to English Language qualification

  • Degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have studied for a minimum of 2 years at Undergraduate level, or 9 months at Master's level, and must have complete their degree in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years
  • Undergraduate 2+2 degree from majority-English speaking country (as defined by the UKVI including Canada if taught in English)
    • students must have completed their final two years study in that majority-English speaking country and within the last 6 years

For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use these tests to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level programmes. The University is also able to accept UKVI approved Secure English Language Tests (SELT) but we do not require a specific UKVI SELT for degree level programmes. We therefore still accept any of the English tests listed for admission to this programme.

Pre-sessional courses

The University of Glasgow accepts evidence of the required language level from the English for Academic Study Unit Pre-sessional courses. We also consider other BALEAP accredited pre-sessional courses:

Fees and funding

Fees

2024/25

  • UK: To be confirmed by UKRI [23/24 fee was £4,712]
  • International & EU: £30,240

Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.

Irish nationals who are living in the Common Travel Area of the UK, EU nationals with settled or pre-settled status, and Internationals with Indefinite Leave to remain status can also qualify for home fee status.

Alumni discount

We offer a 20% discount to our alumni on all Postgraduate Research and full Postgraduate Taught Masters programmes. This includes University of Glasgow graduates and those who have completed Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School with us. The discount is applied at registration for students who are not in receipt of another discount or scholarship funded by the University. No additional application is required.

Possible additional fees

  • Re-submission by a research student £540
  • Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,355
  • Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £350
  • Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £790

Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee (also known as research support costs) to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.

Funding

The iPhD  is not supported by University of Glasgow Scholarship/Funding

Support

The College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Graduate School provides a vibrant, supportive and stimulating environment for all our postgraduate students. We aim to provide excellent support for our postgraduates through dedicated postgraduate convenors, highly trained supervisors and pastoral support for each student.
 
Our overarching aim is to provide a research training environment that includes:

  • provision of excellent facilities and cutting edge techniques
  • training in essential research and generic skills
  • excellence in supervision and mentoring
  • interactive discussion groups and seminars
  • an atmosphere that fosters critical cultural policy and research analysis
  • synergy between research groups and areas
  • extensive multidisciplinary and collaborative research
  • extensive external collaborations both within and beyond the UK 
  • a robust generic skills programme including opportunities in social and commercial training

Resources

Public health at our School of Health and Wellbeing cuts across the College of Medicine, Veterinary and Life Sciences and the College of Social Science. This offers students an opportunity to train in a unique interdisciplinary culture and environment and to access the researcher training programmes in both colleges.

PhD students working with our supervisors are exposed to cutting edge methodologies relevant to public health research. There is a culture of supporting innovative research ideas and our track record of interdisciplinary working supports students interested in reducing the global burden of disease.

We work with data from world renowned datasets and longitudinal cohorts including MIDSPANUK BiobankScottish Coronary Revascularisation register, Heartstart

 There is an opportunity to work with colleagues from our internationally recognised research centres:

We strive to achieve a global impact in terms of both health improvement and reductions in social inequalities of health. In order to realise this goal, we share knowledge through collaborations with academics and other partners in 73 countries across the world.

How to apply

Identify potential supervisors

All Postgraduate Research Students are allocated a supervisor who will act as the main source of academic support and research mentoring. You may want to identify a potential supervisor and contact them to discuss your research proposal before you apply. Please note, even if you have spoken to an academic staff member about your proposal you still need to submit an online application form.

You can find relevant academic staff members with our staff research interests search.

IPhD applicants do not need to contact a supervisor, as you will choose from a list of IPhD projects. Each project has named supervisors.

Gather your documents

Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:

  1. Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document.
  2. Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
  3. Two references on headed paper and signed by the referee. One must be academic, the other can be academic or professional [except iPhD applicants, where only one academic or professional reference is required]. References may be uploaded as part of the application form or you may enter your referees contact details on the application form. We will then email your referee and notify you when we receive the reference.  We can also accept confidential references direct to rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk, from the referee’s university or business email account.
  4. Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area. iPhD applicants do not need to submit any of these as you will start your programme by choosing a masters.
  5. Completed College of MVLS Postgraduate Research Cover Letter

Notes for iPhD applicants

  • add 'I wish to study the MSc in (select MSc from IPhD project choices) as the masters taught component of the IPhD' in the research proposal box
  • For supervisor name, please ensure you write the named supervisors from your chosen IPhD project.
Apply now

Contact us

Before you apply

PhD/MSc/MD: email mvls-gradschool@glasgow.ac.uk

iPhD: email mvls-iphd@glasgow.ac.uk

After you have submitted your application

PhD/MSc/MD/iPhD: contact our Admissions team

Any references may be submitted by email to: rio-researchadmissions@glasgow.ac.uk