School of Social Policy Doctoral Scholarships

The School of Social Policy is internationally known and regarded for its first class research. Our lecturing and research staff are recognised as authorities in their fields, and our research contributes to academic debates and has worldwide impact. 

Information about our scholarship opportunities may be found below. Each scholarship includes details on how to apply and the deadline for applications.

The Anderson Programme PhD Scholarship (application deadline extended)

The Anderson Programme PhD Scholarship: Exploring leadership development through the Anderson Programme in the English NHS.

The Health Services Management Centre (HSMC), at the University of Birmingham is committed to recruiting the highest calibre PhD students from across the globe. With an excellent international reputation, we strive to produce graduates and researchers of distinction who attain the highest standards of academic excellence, contribute to their disciplines and typify Original Thinking Applied.

The Anderson Programme PhD Scholarship is focused on supporting students of leadership development improvement in healthcare.  This PhD offers three years’ funding, including doctoral programme tuition fees and a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year for candidates wishing to commence their studies in January 2021.  The successful candidate will also receive a generous research support and conference allowance.  You will also have access to a robust doctoral research training programme, dedicated research resources, training in transferable skills, visiting speaker seminar programme, and associate with existing research centres and groups. In addition, all students are encouraged to undertake training and development in teaching and deliver teaching and/or research assistantship duties on a paid basis to further enhance their experience in preparation for their future careers.

The Project

Patient safety, finances and quality challenges persist in healthcare. In response to public concern, there has been increased focus on leadership development.

One leadership development response is the establishment of the NHS Leadership Academy ‘Anderson’ Programme; an MSc in Healthcare Leadership targeted at senior leaders within the English NHS. Over 1,651 NHS leaders have now graduated from the programme.  The aim of this PhD is to explore one or more of the three strategic themes (the ‘golden threads’) of the Anderson programme: the patient experience; equality, diversity and inclusion; and sustaining improvement. The study will in particular focus on the underlying mechanisms that influence leadership development and leadership practices.

The Anderson programme is delivered by a consortium of institutions including the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham on behalf of the NHS Leadership Academy.  Two scholarships are being funded by the Anderson Programme, one at each University.  Prospective PhD candidates are asked to consider their location preferences before applying for the PhD Scholarship and are asked to only apply to one Institution for the Anderson PhD Scholarship.  Location and institution cannot be changed after application.

Entry Requirements

Applications for this project are sought from exceptional UK students with an outstanding academic background. 

Applicants must have a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) and hold or expect to obtain a Masters level qualification with Distinction. English Language requirements (where required) are IELTS 7.0, TOEFL 623 (100 ibt), PTE 66. 

How to apply

Candidates should submit a PhD application for the PhD Health Services Management and indicate that they wish to be considered for this project.

Your application must contain a 3000-word research proposal related to the topic of healthcare leadership development and aligned with one or more of the three stated golden threads of the Anderson programme.

Candidates who do not submit the required supporting documents by the specific deadline will not be considered.

Application deadline: Date extended to: 30 September 2020


For further details about the project, please contact Dr Kerry Allen ( or Dr Iestyn Williams (

For questions related to making your application, please contact Abbie Price in the Doctoral Programme’s Office:

Apply for the Health Services Management course

The Department of Social Work and Social Care Studentship

Project Description

The Department of Social Work and Social Care is recruiting to one fully funded, full-time, three year PhD studentship, starting in October 2020.

The studentship aims to support a promising researcher in the field of community-based health and social care for older people.
Located within the Department of Social Work and Social Care, College of Social Sciences, the studentship is shared with the Institute of Applied Health Research, College of Medical and Dental Sciences. The studentship is funded through the National Institute of Health Research Applied Research Collaboration West Midlands (ARC WM). ARC WM is a £9 million, five-year initiative which started in October 2019 with a mission to create lasting and effective collaborations across health and social care organisations, universities and local authorities by using research to improve the services delivered across the West Midlands and further afield.

This studentship falls within the Acute Care research theme. The focus is a new community-based service in Birmingham that provides acute care to older people in care homes or their own homes, avoiding the need for hospital admission. There is scope to develop a proposal in line with the student’s specific interests but examples of relevant areas of enquiry include (but are not restricted to):

  • How does this model compare with other ‘hospital at home’ initiatives both in the UK and internationally?
  • How effectively do health and social care organisations collaborate in the design and delivery of the service?
  • What are the implications for social care of the community-based acute service and how are these addressed by the service?
  • What are the experiences of older people and carers (both unpaid and paid) of the model and what can we learn from these?

The scholarship is available to a candidate of high academic calibre who has experience in health and social care with older people and wishes to conduct doctoral level study within this field. A successful applicant will be expected to have a very good undergraduate degree: a minimum of a 2:1, preferably a first class honours. They should also hold, or expect to achieve, a very good Masters degree (at a distinction level) in a relevant subject.

Applications will be assessed on (a) the quality of the student’s academic achievements and preparedness for doctoral level study; (b) the student’s knowledge and experience of health and social care practice with older people (c) the quality of the research proposal; (d) the potential to contribute to cutting edge research.

We encourage applications from women and those of diverse backgrounds, including Black, Asian and minority ethnic candidates, as these groups are underrepresented across the University of Birmingham.

For further information, please contact the supervisors:

Dr. Denise Tanner, Senior Lecturer in Social Work, Department of Social Work and Social Care at or
Professor Daniel Lasserson, Professor of Ambulatory Care, Institute of Applied Health Research at

How to apply

Potential candidates should apply to undertake a PhD within the Department of Social Work and Social Care at the University of Birmingham, and indicate when applying that they want to be considered for this studentship. Visit the following page for guidance on the application process:

Funding Notes

A full scholarship covers Home/EU fees plus a living allowance (stipend) of £20,707 per annum for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.