PhD - Faculty of Health & Social Sciences

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  • Delivery:
    Part-Time, Full time according to Funding Council definitions

In the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences, we conduct research in areas such as healthcare, midwifery, nursing, leadership or dementia, as well as radiography and medical imaging, nutrition, exercise, the social sciences, humanisation and social work. 

We collaborate with colleagues from other faculties to draw on their expertise when needed and we work closely with BU's research institutes and centres, such as the Ageing & Dementia Research Centre, the Centre for Midwifery, Maternal and Perinatal Health, the National Centre for Post Qualifying Social Work, the Nursing for Long Term Health Research Centre and the Institute of Medical Imaging & Visualisation, among others. We strongly encourage collaboration across specialisms, and a PhD provides an opportunity to work with supervisors from various backgrounds to deliver truly impactful research.

You will also be part of BU’s research community and have access to the suite of research, professional and personal training offered through the Doctoral College and your academic faculty.

Optional units to support learning: During your PhD you can make use of opportunities to undertake some of our MSc Health Research course units. These units have been designed to provide support developing the skills required to carry-out a research project. Content will be tailored to your research and activities can help towards developing your PhD project. Find out more in the 'Course details' section below. 

Book onto a Postgraduate Open Day to meet us and find out more. 

"If anyone had told me 10 years ago that I would develop and run a clinical randomised controlled trial I would never have believed it. Bournemouth University gave me the opportunity, the resources and three wise, resourceful and patient doctorate supervisors to achieve it. My doctorate has taught me to look at the world through a new research lens."

- Dominque Mylod, PhD student

See more course details.

Key information

Next start date:

April 2023, September 2023, January 2024


Bournemouth University, Talbot & Lansdowne Campus


3-5 years full-time, or 4-7 years part-time

Entry requirements:

An Honours degree at 2:1 or higher and a relevant Master's degree.

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 6.5 (Academic) with 5.5 in each component or equivalent. For more information check out our international entry requirements.

Course details

To be awarded a PhD, you will need to complete a complex and advanced project. You will be expected to critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic, which results in an original and independent contribution to knowledge, as well as to demonstrate an understanding of research methods appropriate to your chosen field.

You will have to present and defend your thesis and/or practical element by viva voce (oral examination), to the satisfaction of the examiners.

The subject areas you can apply to study for your PhD with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences are listed in the section below. 

Research study areas

We are involved in world-leading research projects and work to ensure that our research involves patients, practitioners and research users, so that we are responding to issues at the forefront of health and social care practice, as well as current topics in social science. Our research transforms lives and influences policy and professional practice at a local, national and international level.

Key subject areas you can apply to study for your PhD with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences are listed in this section. Our research themes run across all areas and some, such as leadership and humanisation are cross-faculty across the University. 

If you are interested in a subject which falls into an area of health and social care or social sciences, but is not listed, then please enquire to the Doctoral College

The Faculty of Health & Social Sciences world of research

Entry requirements

How to apply

You can apply for a PhD with the Faculty of Health & Social Sciences by clicking on the green 'apply now' button at the top of this page and completing the application form. You will need to create an account and complete the application form in full - including a personal statement and research proposal. You do not need to write a thesis as part of your application. 

You can save the form as you go, enabling you to return to it at as many times as you want before submitting. The form is split into tabbed sections. As you complete each of the tabbed sections they will turn green; only click submit once all of your tabs are highlighted green. 

Please be aware that CVs and academic profiles will not be considered unless they are accompanied by a completed application form.

Find out more about how to apply

Fees and funding

As part of your application, you will need to specify how you plan to fund your studies.

The Doctoral College can provide advice on different opportunities to access funding. BU also offers a number of fee discounts


Statistics shown throughout this page are taken from Unistats and BU institutional data unless otherwise stated.