Health Science PhD/MPhil

Overview

Course facts

  • Name: Health Science
  • Qualification: PhD/MPhil
  • Duration: PhD: 3 years full-time or 4 to 5 years part-time; MPhil: 2 years full-time or 3 years part-time

Innovative education and research to meet the requirements of today’s health services.

Renowned for delivering excellent courses and conducting high quality research, the School of Healthcare Sciences offers a range of postgraduate opportunities for national and international students.

Working together within BIHMR and research centres across the College of Health and Behavioural Sciences and other universities in the UK and internationally, we have built a reputation for our research in evidence-based practice, cultural sensitivity and language awareness, and complex conditions across the lifespan. Using this evidence base, our experienced programme leaders and supervisors deliver up-to-date, clinically relevant courses and supervisory experiences for students from a variety of settings and professions.

Our partnerships with world leading research centres, practice, and policy units provide opportunities for joint teaching, supervision and collaborative projects. We are also committed to the personal and professional development of all students across our programmes.

Research Areas

Healthcare Sciences with specialisations in:

  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Radiography
  • Allied Health Professions

Course content is for guidance purposes only and may be subject to change.

Research project opportunities

Please note the research project opportunities detailed here are NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

If you are a European or International student this research programme is one of those which allows you to develop a research project proposal as an initial and integral part of a Combined English / Study Skills and Research Course at the University before starting the PhD/MPhil degree.

European and International candidates who have already reached the required level of English can apply for entry onto the project of their choice by presenting a relevant research proposal when applying for admission.

Alternatively you may also consider developing your own research proposal based on the research specialisms within the school.

The opportunities which are currently available are outlined below.

Ageing and Dementia Care

Supervisor: Prof. Bob Woods

T: +44 (0) 1248 383719 / b.woods@bangor.ac.uk

Dementia Services Development Unit (DSDU)

A range of projects are possible within the remit of Bangor’s Dementia Services Development Centre, which is active across a wide range of ageing and dementia research activities. These can be broadly categorised:

  • dementia care (including Alzheimer's disease, family care-giving and psychosocial interventions). Interventions that have been studied here with people with dementia include cognitive stimulation, life story books and creative arts interventions, with a view to understanding and enhancing quality of life.
  • maintaining function and well-being in later life. Theory-driven analyses of the longitudinal cohort data from the CFAS Wales study, involving 3500 people aged 65 and over are of particular interest. What are the risk factors for lower well-being?

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Cancer in primary care

Supervisor: Prof. Clare Wilkinson

T: +44 (0) 1978 726653 / E: c.wilkinson@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

 

People survive cancer for longer after treatment; but often suffer a raft of physical, psychological and social morbidity to the extent that this has become a new chronic disease area. PhD questions would involve designing and testing complex interventions for use in primary care settings to improve morbidity for cancer patients. Methods might include systematic reviews, qualitative interviews and pilot trials leading to pragmatic randomised trials in health service settings. The research could concentrate on various cancer.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Cancer in primary care

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Neal

T: +44 (0) 1978 726651 / E: r.neal@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

Timely diagnosis of cancer is important as it may lead to earlier stage disease and more effective treatment. However it remains a challenge in many cancers. There remain many unanswered questions regarding

  • The most effective ways to raise awareness of potential cancer symptoms, and empower patients to present these to their doctor
  • The most effective ways of educating doctors and developing tools to facilitate diagnosis
  • The most effective routes of referral and investigation

 Methods may include systematic reviews, secondary analysis of datasets, qualitative interviews and pilot trials leading to pragmatic randomised trials in health service settings. The research may be specific to one cancer, a group of cancers, or cancer more generically.

 

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Clinical trials

Supervisor: Professor Paul Brocklehurst

T: +44 (0) 1248 383218 / E: p.brocklehurst@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health (NWORTH)

My work is divided into two broad areas: trial methodology and dental public health. For the former, I am interested in ways of improving the implementation of research evidence generated from trials and how implementation research can improve the external validity and efficiency of trial design. In dental public health, most of my work to date has examined the potential for role-substitution in dentistry, looking at ways the dental work-force can be better designed to meet the public health challenges of the future. I am also involved in an evaluation of how different remuneration methods influence the behaviour of primary care clinicians in Northern Ireland. My final area of interest relates to how we manage the challenges of ageing on oral health and how we best design service provision for older people as they loose their independence.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Clinical trials

Supervisor: Dr. Zoë Hoare

T: +44 (0) 1248 388840/ E: z.hoare@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Organisation for Randomised Trials in Health (NWORTH)

My work and themes are based around the application of statistical methodology to pragmatic trials of complex interventions. This includes work around randomisation methodology, consideration of constructing composite outcome measures to reduce the issues of multiplicity within trials and methods to improves the efficiency of trials.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Dementia and family carers

Supervisor: Prof. Rhiannon Tudor Edwards & Dr Carys Jones

T: +44 (0) 1248 382483 / E: c.l.jones@bangor.ac.uk

Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME)

Dementia is now one of the leading causes of morbidity in older age. Family carers provide informal care allowing people with dementia to stay in their own home as long as is feasible. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence is realizing that when undertaking economic evaluations of interventions for people with dementia, it is important to factor in the impact on those caring for them too.   There is growing interest in how best to support informal carers of people with dementia, how to measure their health related quality of life, and where resources might best be placed in order to support them.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Exercise rehabilitation for chronic disease

Supervisor: Dr Nefyn H Williams

T: +44 (0) 1978 726074 / E: nefyn.williams@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

A large part of the disease burden managed in primary care is for chronic disease. Most patients with these conditions are physically deconditioned and addressing physical inactivity is an important part of their clinical management. However physical inactivity is neither assessed routinely nor addressed in a systematic fashion. Methods would fall into the MRC framework for evaluating complex interventions and would involve a variety of research methods. Reviews of the literature which could be systematic or realist and involve mixed methods, meta-analysis or novel methods such as network meta-analysis. Developing the intervention could involve surveys, qualitative research such as semi-structured interviews or focus groups, or secondary analysis of existing datasets. Testing the intervention in pilot randomised controlled trials prior to a definitive RCT and concurrent economic evaluation.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Health and well-being in later life

Supervisor: Dr Gill Windle

T: +44 (0) 1248 383968 / g.windle@bangor.ac.uk

Dementia Services Development Unit (DSDU)

In addition to the above, I have a special interest in resilience in later life, understanding how people can maintain well-being despite significant challenges, such as chronic illness, acquired disability and cognitive impairment. Questions to address include ‘Can resilience be promoted through an intervention, and if so, how? What strategies do people adopt to minimise the risk of serious health threats in later life? The second topic relates to creative/arts based interventions for people living with dementia. There are some significant challenges in how researchers design studies and measure outcomes associated with the potential positive impact these activities might have. There is a need for further theoretically informed research, to develop, adapt and test new approaches that can best capture any benefits.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Health economics of Mindfulness

Supervisor: Prof. Rhiannon Tudor Edwards

T: +44 (0) 1248 383712 / E: r.t.edwards@bangor.ac.uk

Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME)

Mindfulness Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (MBCT) has been found to be effective and cost-effective in reducing the frequency of relapse of depression, used in conjunction with anti-depressant medication. As a way of promoting resilience, Mindfulness is being offered now in workplaces, schools and for certain patient groups within the NHS, e.g. cancer patients. Through our links with the Bangor Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice, we can offer PhD research projects on the cost-effectiveness of Mindfulness in different settings and with different groups of people.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Implementation Science

Implementation Science

Supervisor: Jo Rycroft-Malone,

Implement@BU

T: +44 (0) 1248 383119 / E: j.rycroft-malone@bangor.ac.uk

My research programme centres on investigating and developing the area of ‘Implementation and Improvement Science’. This field is of increasing importance across a range of disciplines and seeks to research the practice and methods for closing the gap between evidence and what occurs in practice. My research involves a substantive programme of work that explores the theory, practice and utility of implementation science and its potential to transform the implementation of complex evidence in a range of practice environments. I have expertise and projects that focus on advancing the field of implementation science, utilising mixed methods and qualitative research, including case study, ethnography and realist enquiry.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Informal involvement in health among friends or family

Supervisor: Dr. Julia Hiscock

T: +44 (0) 1978 726649 / j.hiscock@bangor.ac.uk

Supervisor: Prof. Richard Neal

T: +44 (0) 1978 726651 / E: r.neal@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

Within medical sociology it is well known that on an everyday basis people interact informally about health with each other, totally outside of the formal health services. This informal role played by family and friends may be in providing support for the management or maintenance of others’ health. PhD questions could relate to social support, caring, the role of social networks in health, or other sociological questions about informal (lay) involvement in health among friends or family. Methods are likely to include qualitative methods. Data gathering could be through interviews or focus groups.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Interventions for musculoskeletal problems

Supervisor: Dr Nefyn H Williams

T: +44 (0) 1978 726074/ E: nefyn.williams@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

Musculoskeletal problems are common, debilitating and often under treated particularly in primary care. Methods would fall into the MRC framework for evaluating complex interventions and would involve a variety of research methods. Reviews of the literature which could be systematic or realist and involve mixed methods, meta-analysis or novel methods such as network meta-analysis. Developing the intervention could involve surveys, qualitative research such as semi-structured interviews or focus groups, or secondary analysis of existing datasets. Testing the intervention in pilot randomised controlled trials prior to a definitive RCT and concurrent economic evaluation.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Parental experiences of caregiving, mindfulness, first-hand accounts and other representations of long-term conditions and disability

Supervisor: Dr Jaci Huws

T: +44 (0) 1248 383155 / E: j.huws@bangor.ac.uk

My research interests include parental experiences of caring for a child with complex needs, mindfulness and, first-hand accounts and other representations of long-term conditions or disability. In particular my research centres on aspects of Health Psychology, Child Health (Health Sciences), Autism Spectrum Disorders, Autism Spectrum Treatment, Clinical and Research Applications of Complexity Sciences in Healthcare, and Psychology. Most of my research involves the use of qualitative methods and methodologies (Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), Discourse Analysis, Grounded Theory), and I am an IPA methodology (UK) Regional/International Contact.

 

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Peer support and coaching

Supervisor: Dr Sion Williams,

T: +44 (0) 1248 388451 / E: sion.williams@bangor.ac.uk

Supervisor: Dr Chris Burton

T: +44 (0) 1248 382556 / E: c.burton@bangor.ac.uk

Implement@BU

Models of peer support and coaching are increasingly being developed within health and social care as led-led intervention. Our work focus on the development of peer support models in community and hospital contexts, with a particular interest in people living with the effects of stroke. Drawing on insights from transformational leadership theory and the principles of coaching we examine ways of developing theoretically-grounded and effective models of peer support and coaching intervention.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Positive approaches towards mental health

Supervisor: Dr Marjorie Lloyd

T: +44 (0) 1248 383139 / E: m.lloyd@bangor.ac.uk

My research interest is in mental health and nursing and improving and developing services towards more recovery focused health promoting interventions. Mental health research often falls into the realm of narrative enquiry listening to the stories of people who use services and analysing them to improve nursing practice. Developing strong links between service users, their carers and education and practice is therefore an important part of any research project or service development in mental health service provision. My research methodology therefore follows an interpretive ontological approach using case based narrative methods.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Statistical Methods and Health Economics alongside pragmatic trials

Supervisor: Prof. Dyfrig Hughes

T: +44 (0) 1248 382950 / E: d.a.hughes@bangor.ac.uk

Supervisor: Dr Catrin Plumpton

T: +44 (0) 1248 382857 / E: c.o.plumpton@bangor.ac.uk

Centre for Health Economics and Medicines Evaluation (CHEME)

Research opportunities include the development and application of methods concerning trial-based economic evaluations, including measures of health outcome, resource use data collection instruments, analysis and mechanism-based economic modelling.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Stroke Rehabilitation and implementation of evidence

Supervisor: Dr Chris Burton

T: +44 (0) 1248 382556 / E: c.burton@bangor.ac.uk

Implement@BU

My work concentrates on the generation and use of evidence in health care, mostly in the field of stroke. I have a significant programme of research into stroke rehabilitation and life after stroke. Current funding for evidence generation supports a programme of research into the effectiveness of a range of therapeutic clinical interventions; the first discrete choice experiment of patient preferences for community; and the first empirical investigation of clinical decision-making at the interface of end of life care in acute stroke. Research into the use of evidence in clinical practice is pursued at organisational level, including the role of organisational partnerships as catalysts for implementation. I also have a particular interest in how individual clinicians can be enabled to support evidence use through novel interventions, including patient involvement and the use of aesthetics in education and training.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Using routinely collected health service data for research

Supervisor: Dr Nefyn H Williams

T: +44 (0) 1978 726074 / E: nefyn.williams@bangor.ac.uk

North Wales Centre for Primary Care Research (NWCPCR)

Large amounts of data are routinely collected by health service staff on patients who are participating in trials. Such data gives added value to that collected from patient completed questionnaires. Methods of collecting this data are being developed but

there is a need to review the use of these methods in trials and to develop them further to improve the quality of information obtained and to reduce the burden on trial participants. One example of this is the collection of routinely collected health service use data for use in economic evaluations alongside RCTs. Another example is in the collection of routine data to explore novel ways of delivering primary care in general medical practices run directly from the health board and using a mix of medical, nursing, pharmacy and therapy staff to provide general medical services.

Please note this research project opportunity is NOT funded by the University. Candidates must secure their own funding to meet the costs of PhD study.

Entry Requirements

A first or upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject is required. Alternatively appropriate lengthy experience in health-related research or in a research-oriented post may be relevant.

International Students

For information and further detailed guidance on entry requirements for International Students, including the minimum English Language entry requirement, please visit the Entry Requirements by Country pages on the International Education Centre section of our website.

Ask the IEC for assistance...

If you want advice or a general chat about what’s available contact the International Education Centre on +44 (0) 1248 382028 or email international@bangor.ac.uk

Apply

Application advice

Applications for research degrees differ substantially from applications for taught courses such as Masters degrees. Although the application form is the same, the way in which you approach your application can make all the difference.

Applying for a self-funded or externally-funded Research Degree

As with all of our courses, you can apply to fund yourself through a PhD/Mphil at Bangor, or you may already have sourced external funding (e.g. from your employer or government), and we warmly welcome all expressions of interest in so doing. However, rather than simply filling in an application form, there are a few steps that you can take in order that your application stands a greater chance of being successful.

All PhD/Mphil students require supervision from at least one academic member of staff at the University, and if you are considering a PhD/Mphil, you will already have a good idea of the specific area or theme that you want to research. In order to ascertain that we hold sufficient expertise in your chosen topic to provide supervision, you should first look at our staff pages. This will provide you with a breakdown of each staff member’s area of academic focus.

Once you have found a member of staff whose research interests broadly accord with your own, you should contact them directly with a concise research ‘brief’ that outlines your proposal and ask whether s/he would consider supervising your project. If the academic expresses his/her interest, you may then further discuss your ideas and develop a full PhD/Mphil research proposal.

At this stage, you should formally apply online for the PhD/Mphil programme. You should fill the form out thoroughly, including academic references, your research proposal and the name of the academic member of staff under whose supervision you intend the research to be conducted.

Your research proposal

A good research proposal is essential if you are applying for a PhD or MPhil. The proposal should include:

  1. Overview – give a brief abstract of the subject area you wish to research and include information on the key theoretical, policy or empirical debates that will be addressed.
  2. Planning – you need to demonstrate that you are aware of the research timescales and have a plan in place to conduct your work. You need to demonstrate that the research is manageable in the given time period.
  3. Literature references – you need to show that your planned area of research has not been studied before. Provide references to key articles and texts relevant to your area of study.
  4. Methodology – you need to show that you are aware of the methodological tools available and have identified which ones would be suitable for your research.

More advice about preparing a research proposal

Applying for funded PhD studentships advertised by Bangor University

Funded PhD studentship opportunities arise frequently throughout the year, and are advertised as specific opportunities for which you must formally apply. The application process for funded PhD studentships may differ according to the academic School in which the studentship opportunity is held, so please check the relevant School’s homepage and follow the application advice therein. If you are unsure of any part of the application process, please contact the individual School for advice, or e-mail postgraduatestudy@bangor.ac.uk.

Online applications can now be made by prospective applicants for all postgraduate taught programmes and postgraduate research programmes at the University (with the exception of the PGCE, Diploma in Occupational Therapy and DClinPsy).

Home/EU students

Apply Online here...

Apply online

  • Please read through the Guidance Notes before you begin the online application form
  • Apply online yourself through our online application system.

Home/EU students with admissions queries please contact...

Postgraduate Admissions: postgraduate@bangor.ac.uk, telephone: +44 (0)1248 383717 or write to:

Postgraduate Admissions Office.
Academic Registry
Bangor University
Gwynedd UK
LL57 2DG

International students

  • Agents: if you are an agent applying on behalf of the student, then you can Apply here.  For further guidance click here

International students with admissions queries please contact...

International Education Office: international@bangor.ac.uk or write to

International Education Centre
Bangor University
Gwynedd
LL57 2DG

Telephone: +44 (0) 1248 382028

When do I Apply?

The University will accept applications throughout the year. We would generally advise that you submit your application in enough time for you to make any funding and/or accommodation arrangements, and for documents such as transcripts and references to be obtained if not submitted with the application.This will also give you more time to meet any conditions we may potentially attach to an offer (e.g. in the case of overseas students, taking an IELTS or TOEFL test to meet the English Language requirement).

Further information

Contact us

Funding

Financial assistance may be available and advice on alternative funding sources is offered on application.

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