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. Unfortunately, we do not currently offer distance learning courses for postgraduate research, although we are exploring the possibility of offering this in the future.

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

Theories and concepts of the social sciences underpin the approaches of HSMC research staff. HSMC offers the opportunity to study for research degrees in a wide variety of topics relating to health services policy and management, including:

  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Decision making and strategic planning
  • Service and quality improvement
  • Public, patients and communities
  • Leadership and management
  • Workforce and professions

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 www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.

Details of any departmental scholarships are indicated on our website www.birmingham.ac.uk/hsmc.

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

  • Social care; Older people; Preventative services; Health sociology; Experiences of illness; Long-term conditions
    Contact: Kerry Allen, Lecturer.
  • Health policy; Medical professionalism; Health inequality; Policy implementation
    Contact: Mark Exworthy, Professor of Health Policy and Management
  • Health sociology; Complementary and alternative medicine; Community-based health care workforce (e.g. pharmacy, outreach workers, health trainers, health visitors, community nursing, midwifery); Health risks and public health; Primary care workforce (GPs, nursing, receptionists, practice managers)
    Contact: Nicola Gale, Senior Lecturer
  • Inter-agency health and social care; Direct payments and individual budgets; Community Care
    Contact: Jon Glasby, Professor of Health and Social Care and Head of School of Social Policy
  • Qualitative health research; Mental health; Health inequalities; Experiences of illness
    Contact: Laura Griffith, Lecturer
  • Organisational aspects of quality and safety, including cultures, incentives and policies
    Contact: Russell Mannion, Professor of Health Systems
  • Health system and service reform; Board governance; Social enterprise
    Contact: Ross Millar, Lecturer
  • Integration; Working across third and statutory sectors; Change management
    Contact: Robin Miller, Senior Fellow
  • Social care; Co-production; Personalisation; Public sector workforce; Interpretive policy analysis
    Contact: Catherine Needham, Reader in Public Policy and Public Management
  • Health and social care policy; Mental health transformation; Equalities; Patient and public involvement; Advocacy and service user involvement; Commissioning for mental health and wellbeing
    Contact: Karen Newbigging, Senior Lecturer in Healthcare Policy and Management
  • Welfare regimes; History of health policy; Geography of public service provision; Theoretical Developments in the Welfare State; Public Sector Partnerships; Equality in the Welfare State; Decentralisation of public provision; Consumerism and Citizenship; Health care workforce issues
    Contact: Martin Powell, Professor of Health and Social Policy
  • Health purchasing and commissioning; Primary care policy and management; Integrated care/older people's care; International comparisons in health policy and organisation; Evaluations of policy and practice interventions in health care
    Contact: Judith Smith, Professor of Health Policy and Management and Director of Health Services Management Centre
  • Resource allaocation in health care; Priority setting; Decommissioning in health care; Population decision making in health care
    Contact: Iestyn Williams, Reader in Health Policy and Management

If you have a particular research interest in pursuing an MPhil or PhD in Health Services Management please contact our HSMC Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Kerry Allen for further information, k.allen@bham.ac.uk

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

The University of Birmingham was recently named 'University of the Year for Graduate Employment' by 'The Times' and 'The Sunday Times'. Outstanding performance across the league tables and Birmingham's bold and sector-leading initiatives were recognised by this prestigious accolade. The skills you will 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. Many graduates also opt to continue in academia.