Biomedical Ethics PhD/MSc by Research

Staff working in the field of ehics in HaPS have recently come together to form a new team: Medicine, Ethics, Society and History (MESH). We are open to proposals covering any area of bioethics but are particularly interested in work relating to our core research strengths of: public health ethics, research ethics, ethics and educational research, parenting, children and families, and empirical bioethics. If you are interested in any of these arease please send a brief proposal to Professor Angus Dawson to ask about opportunities to seek funding for your project. For further information on our current research priorities, please visit our website.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time, part time

Duration: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time; MSc by Research:1 year full-time, 2 years part-time

Start date: Research degrees may start at any time of the year, though for most this will be September each year


Research interests in MESH are broad. Current funded research projects (including PhD studentships) are underway in the following areas: transition to fatherhood; directed and conditional organ donation; post-separation family life and shared residence; research ethics; telecare; the allocation of human eggs for reproductive purposes; the best interests of children; ethical issues relating to polio vaccination; research ethics during emergencies; the ethics of trials using genetically modified mosquitoes; the ethics of libertarian paternalism; global health security; ethics of population blood research etc.

We have the relevant expertise and are keen to supervise projects using a variety of approaches including philosophical methods (focused on discussion of arguments and the analysis of concepts and issues in policy and practice) as well as the use of empirical bioethics methodologies, in particular those that include qualitative methods. We are also interested in mixed methods research beyond traditional bioethics and would be willing to co-supervise the ethical dimensions of more clinical or epidemiological projects, as well as projects that combine ethics and the history of medicine.

Related links

For further information on our publications, past and present research projects please visit our website.

Fees and funding

Standard fees  apply, although in some projects a bench fee is also payable 
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships 
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or email

Entry requirements

Learn more about entry requirements

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

Standard English language requirements apply

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

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Research interests of staff

Before submitting an application to the University, you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research in order that you can indicate this in your application. There will be a delay in processing your application if this information is not provided. To do this, you can browse the “research interests” tab on the course finder pages which identifies research leads by subject area.

Alternatively you can:

  • Search for an advertised postgraduate research opportunity via our Doctoral Researchers search engine
  • Browse the school websites. Most schools provide a list of research active staff and their research interests on their website


Following graduation, Postgraduate Researchers in the College MDS gain employment in a variety of areas though with a majority continuing in research, mostly in Academia but also in the Health,  Pharmaceutical, and Biotechnology sectors.  Others pursue careers in Education, Publishing, Intellectual Property Protection, Technology Innovation, Business, and more besides.

Find out more about where our postgraduate students go