Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Services Research MPhil; PhD; MD

MPhil: minimum 12 months full time; minimum 24 months part time
PhD: minimum 36 months full time; minimum 72 months part time
MD: normally 24 months full time; normally 48 months part time


Fees per academic year 2014-15

UK and EU: full time £4,320 - £10,950 (MPhil; PhD; MD) part time £2,160- £5,475 (MPhil; PhD; MD)
International: full time £14,890 - £21,455 (MPhil; PhD; MD) part time fees

Fees vary according to the exact nature of the research project.

More information is available about tuition fees and discounts.

Research Areas

MPhil, PhD and MD supervision is available in the following areas:

Ageing, health and society

This area focuses on understanding ageing from cultural, environmental and social gerontological perspectives. Our current research is on the epidemiology of ageing, person-centred care, primary care, cognitive ageing and dementia, ethics and public engagement, inter-generational relations, tackling inequalities in later life, assistive technologies and anti-ageing science.

Chronic disease epidemiology and the health of populations in transition

Our interests are in the epidemiology and prevention of chronic diseases. We have a particular interest in these conditions in low and middle income countries and also in determining the most important risk factors for chronic disease.

Economics of safety, health, environment and risk

Major strengths are in economic evaluation; economics within clinical guidelines; priority setting; eliciting patient and community values; and econometric aspects of health determinants. See also Economics.

Paediatric and life-course epidemiology

Epidemiological methods and GIS are used to investigate childhood and adult disease within a life-course framework. Major strengths are: childhood cancer; adverse pregnancy outcomes, diseases of childhood, radiation effects on health and lifecourse influences on health in later life. Resources include two established birth cohorts (The Newcastle Thousand Families Study and the Gateshead Millennium Study).

Environmental epidemiology

Studies of the health effects of climate, particulate matter in the air and soil contamination, and environmental risk perception and communication.

Public health research

We conduct research on health inequalities and health determinants; risk perception and public/patient preferences; priority setting; and evaluation of public health interventions.

Public health nutrition research

The research conducted within the Public Health Nutrition Research Programme of the Human Nutrition Research Centre includes nutritional epidemiology, particularly cohort studies and intervention studies as well as a strong methodological theme. Much of this programme focuses on measurement and understanding of dietary behaviour (and physical activity) in children, young people and their families to contribute towards combating the obesity epidemic in children and young people.

Health technology and human relations

We focus on understanding professional knowledge and practice, and health technologies and their users. Employing a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, our work is informed by a wide variety of theoretical positions in social and behavioural sciences.

Social gerontology and brain ageing

We have particular expertise in the psychological and social impact of cognitive impairment on the quality of life of older people and their carers, and the broader societal consequences of dementia. See also Ageing.

Effective practice and organisation of care

Our work encompasses ways in which research evidence is implemented in clinical practice by carrying out theory-driven methodological studies of how to implement evidence, and empirical studies of implementation in practice.

Clinical trials

We conduct clinical trials in a range of behavioural and clinical applications, and conduct methodological work on patient outcome measures and patient involvement.

Development and disability

We undertake research which aims to define causes and mechanisms, from genes to environment; evaluate effective and acceptable interventions using a broad range of methods; and define the impact of disability on individuals, families and society. The programme of research in neurodevelopmental disability encompasses basic research through to the organisation and delivery of health services. We have a particular focus on children with cerebral palsy and with autism spectrum disorders.

Risk communication and decision making

Our programme includes innovative work in developing and evaluating shared decision making between patients and health care professionals, and risk communication (covering stroke prevention, atrial fibrillation, pain relief and labour, caesarean section, falls prevention in older people, vaccination). Work is also being done on the population and public health implications of shared decision making.

Oral health services research

We are developing improved modelling techniques that will enable us to monitor the social, health and economic impact regular dental care can have on both patients and society. Specifically, we are interested in how oral health relates to general health and how that can be measured; the health economics of payment in the mixed economy of dentistry; and the management of scarce public resources for maximum oral health benefit.

For more information about staff specialisms please see the Institute's website.

Research Degree Training and Skills Development

Students work as members of active research groups and are provided with opportunities to attend conferences and postgraduate research seminars and other events. There are some opportunities for you to supplement your income by undertaking part-time research work and providing teaching support.

Our Medical Sciences Graduate School also has a thriving postgraduate research culture, with additional support for international students. We have an excellent record for timely PhD submission, provide training in professional/key skills and research techniques and support personal development.

+Entrance Requirements

An upper-second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, in a science or medicine related subject.

An upper-second-class Honours degree, or international equivalent, plus further research experience and/or a further qualification such as an MRes.

A MBBS, or an equivalent medical degree.

Applicants whose first language is not English require IELTS 6.5, TOEFL 90 (Internet-based), Pearson's PTE Academic Test 62 or equivalent.

Our INTO Newcastle University Centre can provide extra tuition to help you meet the University's English language requirements.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has rules for international students regarding minimum English language requirements.

+Scholarships and Other Sources of Funding

Funded PhD positions are usually advertised on the funding database and the Newcastle Biomedicine website.

International Students, consult your own government for funding. The University offers International Scholarships, and there are funding opportunities by external organisations available.

Students also consult their employers, the NHS, or medical charities for sponsorship opportunities.

More information on scholarships, studentships, bursaries and other funding is available from our database.

+How to Apply

Visit our postgraduate application site.

Applications are considered throughout the year although specific deadlines for funding may apply. Further application advice is available from the Faculty of Medical Sciences.

There are three possible start dates for your research degree:

  • 6 January 2014
  • 28 April 2014
  • 22 September 2014

However, these dates are not mandatory and in some circumstances permission can be granted for alternative start dates. 

Please note: As a formal condition of the offer to study at Newcastle University, students from outside the UK/EU are required to pay a deposit of £1,500 or submit an official letter of sponsorship for their chosen programme. The deposit payment is non refundable, but will be deducted from tuition fees upon registration.

+Further Information

For further information please contact:
Medical Sciences Graduate School
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7002

Subject Overview

This programme is within the subject area of Public Health, Epidemiology and Health Services Research.

Student profiles:

Student Profile Photo

My course is a great experience - it has given me a different perspective of my own life and of where I fit in the grand scheme of things.

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