School of Social and Political Science

PhD Global Health Policy

Find out more

Introduction

Applications are now closed for September 2021 entry. Applications for the next intake usually open in October.

Debating the impact of current policies on public health and social inequalities

This programme aims to provide rigorous postgraduate training to those interested in pursuing interdisciplinary research across public health and the social sciences. It offers a structured training towards research either for a PhD or as a stand-alone degree, the basis for a research career.

The Global Health Policy Unit (GHPU) was established to carry out and disseminate research in health policy and provide exceptional postgraduate teaching.

Focusing on the principles of equity, access and universality, we have gained an international reputation for the quality and social relevance of our research.

Our research is organised around the following four intersecting themes, each of which is central to contemporary policy debates:

  • Commercial sector and public health
  • Health systems and global governance
  • Social determinants of health and public policy
  • Science, advocacy and health policy

More on these research themes is available on the website of the Global Health Policy Unit, which is based in Social Policy.

GHPU staff have a history of conducting outstanding research and of playing a leading role in debates around the impact of current policies on public health and social inequalities. We contribute to the world’s leading peer-reviewed journals and to professional journals, as well as the wider media.

Programme overview

The PhD in Global Health Policy is a three-year research programme (six years for part-time students). The degree of PhD is awarded for a thesis which must draw on the student's own research and which makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the chosen field of study and contains material worthy of publication. The thesis must demonstrate adequate knowledge of the field of study and relevant literature, and the ability to look critically at both the candidate's own work and that of other scholars in the field.

The normal progression for a PhD is that the first year is partly spent on preparing to undertake a PhD thesis by reading and reflecting on relevant literature and taking courses of importance to the researcher's work. A fully elaborated research proposal should be developed by the end of the first year. Provided the proposal receives approval from a panel of members of staff, with expertise relevant to the research project, the student will be registered as PhD student in beginning of year two. The second year is typically spent on fieldwork and data collection, with the remaining time devoted to data analysis and write-up of the thesis.

Research Topics

The Global Health Policy Unit welcomes proposals in following broad research areas:

  • Commercial sector and public health
  • Health systems and global governance
  • Social determinants of health and public policy
  • Science, advocacy and health policy

More on these research themes is available on the website of the Global Health Policy Unit, which is based in Social Policy.

Research Training

Students enrolled in a PhD programme at the School of Social and Political Science undertake  a set of training courses in the first year of studies, which meet the generic requirements of the ESRC Postgraduate Research Training Guidelines.

The choice of courses will be tailored around your training needs in order to prepare you for later stages of your research. We may also encourage you to attend courses in other schools across the University or at other institutions, if this benefits your project or professional development.

Throughout the degree we expect our PhD students to attend and actively contribute to the doctoral seminar programme, which is structured around three key areas of academic study – theory, method and academic practice.

We further encourage students to take on a limited amount of teaching in health policy-related areas, for which you must attend the relevant training courses. In addition, you are invited to make use of the wide range of courses for professional development provided by the Institute for Academic Development.

Supervisors and topics

PhD students joining the Global Health Policy Unit are allocated two experienced supervisors, chosen on the basis of their knowledge of your field of study. Supervisors offer regular guidance, consultation and support at all stages of your research. This may include routine advice about the courses you are taking or advice on problems that have an impact on your studies.

You should identify and contact potential supervisors on the basis of their fit and expertise with your proposed research to advise you wish to study with them and that you are applying for scholarships. Securing agreement in principle of their supervision strengthens your application.

 

Applying for this PhD

  1. Identify potential supervisors suited to your research interests
  2. Write a draft research proposal
  3. Contact the Postgraduate Advisor with your research proposal and list of potential supervisors
  4. Once discussed with the Postgraduate Advisor, formally submit your application on EUCLID

Postgraduate Advisor

Programme advisor: Prof Lindsay Paterson