Nursing - PhD/MSc by Research

Start date
September and January are preferred although research degrees may start at any time of the year
Duration
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time, MSc by Research: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research
Fees

Annual tuition fee for 2021/22:
UK: £4,500
International: £18,450
More details.

Our Nursing PhD/MSc by Research will provide you with the skills necessary to conduct research that advances nursing science and contributes to the advancement of high quality evidence-based care.

You will have the opportunity to work with leading researchers to produce original globally significant research. The experience will prepare the nurse leaders of tomorrow with the skills and expertise necessary to advance the science and practice of nursing with the aim of improving patient-centred care in a constantly changing healthcare environment.

Our PhD/MSc by Research program will provide you with high quality research training to enable you to conduct independent investigative research. You will work closely with your supervisory team who will help you clarify your project and support your development. Your thesis will represent an original contribution to knowledge and demonstrate independent judgement.

Why study this course?

When you join your programme you will become part of the Graduate School within the College of Medical and Dental Sciences giving you access to:

  • Supervision from leading academics to support you through your research programme including research techniques and training.
  • Training and development courses to enable you to gain research and generic (transferable) training skills
  • Opportunities to attend and take part in Research Poster festivals and other postgraduate activities to boost your academic and networking skills
  • An allocated academic mentor so you can access pastoral support
  • State-of-the art facilities to support a range of teaching, learning and research activity with access to dedicated write up rooms, libraries, and computer facilities.

You will also become part of the wider University of Birmingham postgraduate research community located at Westmere House where you have access to training and skills development, careers and employability advice, wellbeing and counselling services as well as welcome activities and events.

Ask a student mentor

The best people to ask about postgraduate study are the students that have done it. Our mentor scheme enables you to directly contact student mentors with any questions that you have about studying here and will offer help and advice from a student perspective. Please feel free to contact the mentors directly using the question box on their profile page.

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Fees

2021/22

UK: £4,500, full-time; £2,250, part-time
International: £18,450, full-time; £9,225, part-time

The above fee is for one year only, if you are studying over two or more years tuition fees will also be payable in subsequent years.

Funding

Find out about our latest vacancies and scholarship opportunities by searching our Doctoral Researcher Database.

We welcome enquiries from students who have obtained funding and self-funded students looking to conduct research in other areas and encourage prospective doctoral students to contact our staff to discuss their intended area of study. 

To search for postgraduate research funding opportunities to support your studies at the University of Birmingham use our funding database.

How To Apply

Before you make your application

When submitting an application for any postgraduate programme, you are also required to submit supporting documentation to accompany your application form. To give your application the best chance of success follow our step-by-step guide.

Making your application

If you have got everything ready to apply then please go to the Apply Now button at the top of this page. We look forward to receiving your application.

International applicants

We encourage you to apply early, so that you have plenty of time to prepare the necessary travel, study and immigration documents. In some cases, it may be a time-consuming process. You will find further information and guidance for prospective students regarding visas and immigration on our Student Help pages.

After you have submitted your application

Once you've completed your online application and submitted it electronically, it will be checked by staff in the Postgraduate Admissions team before being sent to the College of Medical and Dental Sciences for consideration. Selection processes differ depending on the type of application you have made.

If you need any help with you application or have any further queries please contact us:

Email: mds-gradschool@contacts.bham.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0)121 414 5005

You may wish to register your interest with us to receive regular news and updates on postgraduate life within this Department and the wider University.

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

Our Standard Requirements

Applicants should have a strong background in a relevant subject. They should hold or expect to obtain at least an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in a health related area. If you are applying for a PhD then you will usually also need to hold a Masters qualification at Merit level.

International Requirements



International Students

Learn more about international entry requirements 

We accept a range of qualifications from different countries; our country pages show you what qualifications we accept from your country.

English Language Requirements

You can satisfy our English language requirements in two ways:

Please note IELTS requirements for Postgraduate Research programmes in the College ofMedical and Dental Sciences are 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any band.

If you need help with your English language skills then support is available.

The English for Academic Purposes Presessional course is for international students who have a conditional offer to study at the University, but who do not currently meet the English language requirements. The course is tailored to your level of English and allows you to meet the English language requirements for your programme without retaking IELTS. The EAP programme runs throughout the year and offers different programme lengths ranging from 42 weeks to 6 weeks. The length of course you need depends on your future course, your existing IELTS score and the English level you need for your university degree.

Find out more about the English for Academic Purposes Presessional course.

You can choose from a wide range of research topics that must align with one of the main research areas in the School of Nursing.  These are:

End of Life Care Research

End of life care research in the School of Nursing encompasses work to investigate service design in end of care; decision making at the end of life; quality measures for end of life care; and service improvement activity. Much of this research is conducted in collaboration with a range of active research partners including the Marie Curie Hospice Solihull, Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, City and Sandwell NHS Trust, Virginia Commonwealth University in the US and the University of Ottawa in Canada.

Organisation and Delivery of Services Research

This research focuses on the investigation and analysis of how services are designed and organised in order to better understand what is most effective in delivering high quality patient care. This involves a broad portfolio of activity including work to examine what constitutes compassionate organisations, how a research culture can be established in health care organisations, and evaluating the impact of new service developments on service delivery and outcomes. Research partnerships with the Health Services Management Centre and a number of local, national and international organisations are crucial to the conduct of this work.

Risk, Abuse and Violence (RAV) Research

Abuse and violence occurs in many forms and is an issue that affects many individuals across the life-course. These negative impacts are serious and long-term. In this research programme we undertake numerous projects that address violence and abuse, many of them focus explicitly on child protection. The issue of domestic violence is also a strong theme in this programme.

Risk is conceived of as a broader issue than violence and abuse and includes any factors that may make an individual vulnerable or marginalised within society through for example, their gender, age, sexuality, ethnicity and disability. The research undertaken in Risk Abuse and Violence straddles multiple disciplines and organisations and we have collaborators in Michigan (USA), Finland and New Zealand.

Find out more about the Risk, Abuse and Violence Research Programme

Search our Doctoral Researcher Database to find out about our latest vacancies and scholarship opportunities or if you are looking to conduct research in other areas nursingpgr@contacts.bham.ac.uk to discuss your intended area of study.

We have a global reputation for producing sought after graduates and are:

  • Ranked 1st as being the most targeted University by top graduate recruiters in the 2021 UK High Fliers Research report.  
  • 11th for employability in the Guardian University Guide 2021.
  • Ranked as 85th in the world for employer reputation by QS World University rankings.
  • Listed as 10th in the UK in The Global Employability University Ranking 2020 in the Times Higher Education, which lists the top 250 universities most frequently selected by global employers.

In the College of Medical and Dental Sciences our Times Graduate Prospects score (based on the 2017/18 Graduate Outcomes survey) is 95.1% for UK First Degree graduates, rising to 96.4% in graduate-level work or study for Postgraduate Researchers 15 months after leaving. Across all respondents to the Graduate Outcomes survey from MDS, over 95% agreed that their activity post-graduation was ‘meaningful’, with 93% stating that their ambitions were ‘on track’.

A high proportion of our postgraduate research students go onto roles such as Research fellow/ postdoctoral researcher, medical writer, scientist/ research scientist in the pharmaceutical industry, and clinical trial coordinator.

Employers include the NHS Trusts, Cancer Research UK, pharma and biotech companies (including Astrazeneca, Covance, Binding Site, Immunocore, Johnson and Johnson), Medical Communications agencies (e.g. Fishawack, Insight Medical Writing), the Armed Forces and the University of Birmingham.

Career support through Career Network

A PhD is the highest level of academic achievement available and vital for the continued professional development of scientists. Completing a PhD at Birmingham will extend your knowledge base in your chosen subject, as well as enhancing your problem solving and analytical; communication and teaching; and leadership and management skills – all of which are valued across the academic and private sectors. It will also enable you to provide you with the opportunity to develop your network of peers, collaborators and colleagues to support your onward career.

Whatever path you choose to take as a postgraduate researcher, the University offers guidance and support in all aspects of planning your next step. Our resources include:

  • Alumni biographies and talks to learn more about their career journey and reflect on the journey you may follow after completing your PhD;
  • Resources for writing industry or academic specific applications, CVs and cover letters;
  • Up to date information about the PhD labour market;
  • Career planning guide;
  • Job searching resources both for roles within academia and non-academia;
  • Training and skills development workshops for postgraduate researchers;
  • Access to the Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School
  • Virtual Consultancy Challenge
  • 1-1 Business start-up advice

Find out more on our Careers Network for Postgraduate Researchers web pages.

Our Careers Network offers free online resources, face to face consultation and also runs the Global Careers blog, with posts about having a career abroad and international graduates building a career in the UK. International students are also supported via the Global Careers event series, designed for international students, focusing on country or industry specific job applications and interview skills.

Events in the past have included:

  • Hays Asia recruitment event - for offices across China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia
  • Global opportunities at Amazon
  • Global University Career Development Conference (GUCDC)
  • LinkedIn group for international students and alumni from the University of Birmingham to connect

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