Health Services Management PhD/MPhil

We offer two types of research degree: a Health Services Management MPhil and PhD. Prospective applicants for research degrees in any aspect of health service management and health care policy are invited to apply, outlining their special interests. As part of their application, candidates will need to submit an outline proposal of their research topic. All research degree programmes may be undertaken either by full-time study or, for home and EU students only, by part-time study.

Download our brochure 'Postgraduate Research at the School of Social Policy' (PDF)

We offer two types of research degree: MPhil and PhD. Both may be taken either by full- or part-time study. Prospective applicants for research degrees in any aspect of health service management and health care policy are invited to apply, outlining their special interests. As part of their application, candidates will need to submit an outline proposal of their research topic.

Research areas

HSMC offers the opportunity to study for research degrees in a wide variety of topics relating to health services policy and management, including:

  • Leadership and organisational development
  • Patient experience and public involvement
  • Partnerships, collaboration and integration
  • Clinical and strategic commissioning
  • Quality and innovation in service provision

HSMC staff bring their wide knowledge of UK and international health systems (gained through research and consultancy activities, as well as their own professional experience) to their teaching and tutorial support for students. This emphasis on combining theory and practice is maintained throughout all of our programmes.


Fees and funding

Standard fees apply

Learn more about fees and funding 

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. For more information contact the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system at

Details of any departmental scholarships are indicated on our website

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More information on international scholarships

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The new postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. As part of the UK’s Chancellor’s 2014 Autumn Statement, the government has reconfirmed its commitment to loans for postgraduate Masters degrees as part of the 2015 Spending Review.

The government-backed student loans will provide up to £10,000 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.  Detailed criteria and information regarding the application process is expected in early 2016. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page

Entry requirements

Direct entry to a PhD programme requires a Masters degree or a relevant good Honours degree. The entry requirements for an MPhil are a good Honours degree or equivalent. Post-qualification experience will also be taken into account when considering applicants. Possibilities exist for transfer to a PhD programme from an MPhil programme.

Learn more about entry requirements

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

Apply now

  • Inter-agency health and social care; direct payments and individual budgets; community care.
    Contact: Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care & Co-Director of HSMC
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7068
  • Health policy, especially New Labour; choice and consumerism; decentralisation; partnerships; health reform; workforce issues including Talent Management and diversity; history of health care before the NHS. Social policy, especially historical and geographical dimensions, citizenship, equity, theories of welfare state development.
    Contact: Martin Powell, Professor of Health and Social Policy
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 4462
  • Priority setting in health care; theories of policy decision making; health care in an international context.
    Contact: Iestyn Williams, Lecturer
    Tel: +44 (0)121 414 7063

If you have a particular research interest in pursuing an MPhil or PhD in Health Services Management please feel free to contact our HSMC Co-Directors for further information: Dr Nicola Gale ( and Dr Ross Millar (

If I gain a postgraduate research degree in this area, what are my career prospects?

The University of Birmingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK, and 55th in the world, for post-qualification employability in a global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune.

Over the last five years 98.6% of postgraduates from the School of Social Policy have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.

The skills you’ll gain from studying in the School are highly sought after in most jobs or professions, as you will develop analytical skills and the ability to gather, assess and interpret data, all of which require clear and logical thinking.

 Birmingham’s School of Social Policy postgraduates enter a wide range of occupational sectors: the majority in the public sector in areas such as youth work but others including events, sales, administration and education. Graduates also opt to continue in academia.

What type of career assistance is available to doctoral researchers in this department?

The College of Social Sciences, to which the School of Social Policy belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for doctoral researchers on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice, 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service also runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.

The University also has dedicated careers advisors for International students who run workshops and networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with International postgraduate researchers.