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.
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 Programs 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.
PhD programmes in Public Health last 3-4 years, with individual research projects 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.
Integrated PhD programmes (4 years)
- Year 1: completion of taught Masters level modules
- Years 2- 4: research degree
Completion of taught Masters level modules before entering a research PhD will provide you with a valuable introduction to academic topics and research methods, whilst providing key training in laboratory skills and the critical evaluation of research data.
Our ethos of research-led teaching will allow you to hone your research ideas and discuss these with potential PhD supervisors during year 1. Upon successful completion of the taught component, alongside students on our Masters programmes, you will progress to your research degree in year 2 and complete an examinable piece of independent research by the end of the programme.
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.
Awarded or expected 1st class or high upper 2nd class BSc degree.
Integrated PhD programmes
Upper 2nd class honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject area.
English Language requirements for applicants whose first language is not English.
Fees and funding
- £4,260 UK/EU
- £20,150 outside EU
Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.
Additional fees for all students:
- Submission by a research student £480
- Submission for a higher degree by published work £1,200
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed £300
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship £680
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period) £270
Depending on the nature of the research project, some students will be expected to pay a bench fee to cover additional costs. The exact amount will be provided in the offer letter.
A 10% discount is available to University of Glasgow alumni. This includes graduates and those who have completed a Junior Year Abroad, Exchange programme or International Summer School at the University of Glasgow. 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.
- £4,195 UK/EU
- £19,500 outside EU
Prices are based on the annual fee for full-time study. Fees for part-time study are half the full-time fee.
Additional fees for all students:
- Fee for re-submission by a research student: £460
- Submission for a higher degree by published work: £1,050
- Submission of thesis after deadline lapsed: £250
- Submission by staff in receipt of staff scholarship: £730
- Research students registered as non-supervised Thesis Pending students (50% refund will be granted if the student completes thesis within the first six months of the period): £300
- Registration/exam only fee: £150
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 over-arching 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
Public Health at our Institute 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 Programs 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 MIDSPAN, UK Biobank, Scottish Coronary Revascularisation register, Heartstart
There is an opportunity to work with colleagues from our internationally recognised research centres:
- Centre for Research on the Environment, Society and Health
- West of Scotland Cancer Surveillance Unit
- MRC Social and Public Health Science Unit
- Healthy Working Lives.
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
Step 1: identify potential supervisors
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.
Step 2: check the entry requirements
Entry requirements for postgraduate research vary.
All Postgraduate Research applicants should normally possess one or more of the following:
- First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent qualification (2:1 in the case of UK Research Council supported students).
- In some cases a Masters qualification or equivalent is required
Candidates whose first language is not English must show evidence of appropriate competence in English. You can find the specific requirements on our international students pages.
Please check the relevant entry in the A-Z list of subject pages to find out any specific entry requirements and application documents.
Step 3: search for funding and scholarships
Search for funding and scholarships
As a commitment to supporting students and rewarding excellence, the University of Glasgow offers a wide range of scholarships
- Scholarships and funding database
- Find A PhD advertised Projects, Programs & Scholarships
- College of Arts Graduate School funding opportunities
- College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Science Graduate School funding opportunities
- College of Science and Engineering Graduate School funded opportunities
- College of Social Sciences funding opportunities
Step 4: gather your documents
Before applying please make sure you gather the following supporting documentation:
- Final or current degree transcripts including grades (and an official translation, if needed) – scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Degree certificates (and an official translation, if needed): scanned copy in colour of the original document
- Two references on headed paper (academic and/or professional).
- Research proposal, CV, samples of written work as per requirements for each subject area. Please check the relevant entry in our A-Z of subjects for specific details.
To complete your application we will need two references (one must be academic the other can be academic or professional). Your references should be on official headed paper. These should also be signed by the referee. You can then upload these via the Applicant-Self-Service system with the rest your documents to complete the application process.
Please be aware that documents must not exceed 5MB in size and therefore you may have to upload your documents separately. The online system allow you to upload supporting documents only in PDF format. For a free PDF writer go to www.pdfforge.org.
If your referees would prefer to provide confidential references direct to the University then we can also accept the reference by email, from the referee’s official university or business email account to email@example.com. We will then add these to your application.
Step 5: apply online
Once you have all your supporting documentation you can apply online through our Online Application System
I've applied. What next?
Once a decision has been made regarding your application the Research Admissions Office will contact you by email.
If you are made an unconditional offer
You can accept your offer through the Applicant-Self-Service by clicking on the ‘Accept/Decline link’ for your chosen programme under the ‘Admissions Section’ at the bottom of the Applicant Self Service screen.
Please make sure you accept your unconditional offer within 4 weeks of receiving your offer. If you are an international student your CAS will not be issued until you have accepted an unconditional offer.
If you are made a conditional offer
If you accept a conditional offer then the offer status on Applicant-Self-Service will change to ‘incomplete’ to indicate that the application is incomplete until such time as all the conditions are met.
Your offer letter will list all the conditions that apply to your offer and you can upload the required document(s) through Applicant Self Service. If you have met the conditions satisfactorily, you will automatically be sent an unconditional offer.
If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is unsuccessful then we will send you an email to inform you of this which will outline the reason why we have been unable to offer you a place on this particular programme. Please note that your application status will be updated to 'Cancelled' on Applicant Self Service if the offer is rejected.
Deferring your offer
If you want to defer your start date, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We need authorisation from your supervisor before we confirm your request to defer. Once we have this we will contact you by email to confirm.
How to register
After you have accepted an unconditional offer you will receive an email nearer to the start of your studies to tell you how to register online using the University's MyCampus website, the University’s student information system. That email will provide you with your personal login details and the website URL. Please ensure that your email address is kept up to date as all correspondence is sent via email.
For more information and a step by step guide can be found on our Registry site.
- If you have any questions about your application before you apply: contact our College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences Graduate School
- If you have any questions after you have submitted your application: contact our Admissions team
- Any references may be submitted by email to: email@example.com
- Advice on visa, immigrations and the Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) can be found on our International student pages