Research overview

Our research has a truly international outlook and wide-ranging impacts on society, the economy, health and welfare, culture, public policy and the environment.

The School of Health Sciences commands a reputation for world-leading research and education, 96% of the School’s research was ranked as internationally excellent or world leading (REF 2021), with Times Higher Education ranking us joint 4th for research quality. The QS World University Rankings (2022) ranked the SoHS 25th in the world for nursing and 4th in the UK.

A PhD in Health Sciences allows you to extend your body of knowledge in the field of health sciences as you become a successful independent researcher within this field of study.

Our research is carried out in collaboration with clinical partners, global research centres and healthcare organisations. We have a dedicated Centre for Evidence Based Healthcare that works with our research groups and healthcare partners to provide methodological input, evidence synthesis and training.

We welcome all applications that strengthen the work of our research groups. Prior to submitting an application, please identify and contact a relevant supervisor.

Applications are welcomed from enthusiastic, talented and highly motivated individuals with a passion for research and for using research to make a difference. We are happy to support applications for competitive peer reviewed PhD fellowships e.g. NIHR, Wellcome Trust, Charitably funded etc

Subject variations:

  • A PhD in Physiotherapy allows you to extend your body of knowledge about an area of physiotherapy and rehabilitation sciences as you become a successful independent researcher within this field of study.
  • A PhD in Midwifery allows you to extend your body of knowledge about the subject as you become a successful independent researcher within this field of study.
  • A PhD in Nursing Studies allows you to extend your body of knowledge about an area of healthcare as you become a successful independent researcher within this field of study.

For informal enquiries please contact please contact Dr Claire Diver, Director of Postgraduate Research.

Course content

Our Health Sciences PhD will adopt an individual training needs analysis approach to support access tospecialist training in the theory and practicaltechniques you'll need to develop, conduct and disseminate researchYou will develop and conduct an original and independent research project, with supervision and support from our research experts. Skills you'll learn include:

  • Knowledge and research skills
  • Personal effectiveness skills
  • Research governance skills
  • Knowledge exchange skills

There is no compulsory requirement to undertake modules of study. However, your supervisory team will work with you to identify any that are relevant to you. These included advanced specialist and foundation research methods modules that include but are not restricted to:

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2025 entry.

  • 2:1 (or international equivalent) at undergraduate level


  • A minimum of Merit (or international equivalent) at master's level
  • 2:1 (or international equivalent) at undergraduate level


  • A minimum of Merit (or international equivalent) at master's level
International and EU equivalents

We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.

For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.

IELTS6.5 (no less than 6.0 in any element)
English language requirements

As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.

This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.

Meeting our English language requirements

If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.

If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.

For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.

Visa restrictions

International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.

We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.

We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.

If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.


We only accept applications for PhD that are aligned with our research groups. We strongly recommend consulting with a supervisory academic from the appropriate research group to ensure your proposal is relevant for their programme of work, and that they have supervisory capacity.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Claire Diver, Director of Postgraduate Research.

Our step-by-step guide contains everything you need to know about applying for postgraduate research.

How to apply


Home / UK£5,350

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.

As a student on this course, you should factor any additional costs into your personal budget, including any running costs for your project, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies or more specific titles.

The school contributes to some costs relating to conference/course attendance and some research consumables. The full cost of your course will vary depending on the nature of your research project, for example, there may be additional costs for projects which require specific equipment or travel and you’ll need to have sourced funds for this. 


For UK students, there are numerous funding opportunities:

  • NHS
  • NIHR
  • Government research councils, such as:
    • ESRC
    • MRC
  • Healthcare charities and/or foundations.

There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding


The School of Health Sciences offers an extensive research seminar programme open to staff and students. In addition, we run regular doctoral events that are accessible to part-time students or those studying or working off campus.

The University and school also provide a wide range of funding opportunities for research networking activities, conference attendance and internships.

Researcher training and development

The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.

Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.

Graduate centres

Our graduate centres are dedicated community spaces on campus for postgraduates.

Each space has areas for:

  • studying
  • socialising
  • computer work
  • seminars
  • kitchen facilities

Student support

You will have access to a range of support services, including:

  • academic and disability support
  • childcare services
  • counselling service
  • faith support
  • financial support
  • mental health and wellbeing support
  • visa and immigration advice
  • welfare support

Students' Union

Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.

There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:

  • international students
  • black and minority ethnic students
  • students who identify as women
  • students with disabilities
  • LGBT+ students

SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.

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Where you will learn

University Park Campus

University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.

Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.

You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.


Whether you are considering a career in academia, industry or haven't yet decided, we’re here to support you every step of the way.

Expert staff will work with you to explore PhD career options and apply for vacancies, develop your interview skills and meet employers. You can book a one-to-one appointment, take an online course or attend a workshop.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Recent graduates have gone on to work for:

  • NHS trusts, such as:
    • Clinical specialists
    • Advanced practitioners
    • Modern matrons
  • Universities, such as:
    • Lecturers and senior academics
    • Lecturer practitioners
    • Clinical academics
    • Researchers
  • Private practices

100% of postgraduates from the School of Health Sciences secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation.*

*HESA Graduate Outcomes 2019/20 data published in 2022. The Graduate Outcomes % is derived using The Guardian University Guide methodology.

PhD student profile image of Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi
I chose to study at the University of Nottingham because I wanted to be a part of a top 100 university that is internationally recognised university for world research, and its ethos to consistently deliver the best quality of learning and teaching experience. I've received unrelenting support from my supervisors, unlimited learning resources such as the library service, short courses and the opportunity to attend and present my research at 21 conferences within and outside the UK.
Josephine NwaAmaka Bardi, Health Sciences PhD student

Related courses

Research Excellence Framework

The University of Nottingham is ranked 7th in the UK for research power, according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.

  • 96% of the School’s research was ranked as internationally excellent or world leading (REF 2021), with Times Higher Education ranking us joint 4th for research quality.
  • 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
  • 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
  • 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**

*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.

This content was last updated on 01 July 2024. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.