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Research Degrees (MPhil/PhD)

(Faculty of Public Health Policy)

Overview
Overview - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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The MPhil and PhD are aimed at students who anticipate a career in which research plays a major role and who want to focus on an independent piece of research.

The British MPhil and PhD research degrees involve the presentation of a thesis on a research topic in a field appropriate to the student's or sponsor's needs and the School's research expertise. All students initially register for an MPhil. Although some students choose to take an MPhil only (2 year programme), most go on to a PhD (3-4 year programme). An option for students without previous academic training in their discipline of interest is to undertake an appropriate MSc as a first step before registering for a PhD.

Each student is assigned to a supervisor, under whose guidance they develop the intellectual and technical skills required for a research career. Although the earlier stages of the degree may include some coursework or formal training in research methodology, such work is normally regarded as establishing the necessary grounding for research study, rather than as an integral part of an MPhil/PhD degree. In this respect the British system differs from that at most North American and other European universities, where coursework is regarded as part of the degree and is included in the formal examination process. In particular, in the UK the degree is awarded only on the basis of the work described in the thesis.

The Faculty of Public Health and Policy 

The Faculty of Public Health and Policy (PHP) is focussed on the improvement of health throughout the UK and worldwide. Research focuses on international, national and local policy in relation to social and environmental factors in health; health impact assessment and analysis; the evaluation of activities aimed at health promotion and the prevention of disease; the organisation and financing of health systems; the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health care and quality improvement in health care; the study of health policy processes.

The main research areas are:

  • Global Health and Development
  • Health Services Research and Policy
  • Social and Environmental Health Research
  • Health Economics
  • Health Systems
  • Social Science

The Faculty promotes multidisciplinary collaboration, and staff include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, epidemiologists, statisticians, geographers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, economists, psychologists and anthropologists. Our research involves studies in Europe and North America, as well as middle- and lower-income countries all over the world. Our students are correspondingly international.

Research students become members of one of the three research departments, participating in the full range of the department's academic and social activities. Meetings and social events are organised at intervals throughout the year to encourage students to get to know each other and to develop a supportive environment.

The work of the faculty and therefore the opportunities for training, is detailed under each department.

Research
Current research - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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The Faculty of Public Health and Policy 

The Faculty of Public Health and Policy (PHP) is focussed on the improvement of health throughout the UK and worldwide. Research focuses on international, national and local policy in relation to social and environmental factors in health; health impact assessment and analysis; the evaluation of activities aimed at health promotion and the prevention of disease; the organisation and financing of health systems; the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of health care and quality improvement in health care; the study of health policy processes.

The main research areas are:

  • Global Health and Development
  • Health Services Research and Policy
  • Social and Environmental Health Research
  • Health Economics
  • Health Systems
  • Social Science

The Faculty promotes multidisciplinary collaboration, and staff include doctors, nurses, pharmacists, epidemiologists, statisticians, geographers, sociologists, political scientists, historians, economists, psychologists and anthropologists. Our research involves studies in Europe and North America, as well as middle- and lower-income countries all over the world. Our students are correspondingly international.

 

Supervisors
Supervisors & topics
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List of staff within the Faculty of Public Health & Policy interested in supervising Research Degree students in particular topics and areas.

 

Department of Global Health and Development

Catherine Goodman

  • Areas of work: I conduct health economics and health systems research in low and middle-income countries.
  • Topics of interest: A key focus of my work is on understanding private sector healthcare provision in low and middle-income countries. I’m interested in the development of this sector, the challenges and opportunities this provides for improving quality and accessibility of healthcare, and the evaluation of interventions to improve private provider performance.

Ben Cislaghi

  • Areas of work: Influence of social Norms on Gender-related harmful practices. Ethical and effective people-led intervention strategies.
  • Topics of interest: gender norms, social norms change and measurement, gender-based violence, culture, evolutionary moral and social psychology, behavioural change, field interventions, development ethics, people-led development, global justice, contextualising human hights, human rights education, low and mid-income countries, Sub-Saharan Africa.

Heidi Stöckl

  • Areas of work: Violence against women, violence against children, homicide, migration and human trafficking.
  • Topics of interest: I am interested in supervising students on these topics, especially students interested in working on a longitudinal study on intimate partner violence in Tanzania.

Graham Medley

  • Area of work: Mathematical modelling of infectious disease
  • Topics of interest: HIV, NTD. We need more social processes in the mathematical modelling of infectious disease transmission dynamics. We do not have models that can be used to explore and design structural interventions such as cash transfer or GBV reduction. 

Helen Burchett

  • Area of work: public health/health policy
  • Topics of interest: I am interested in supervising the following topic areas: i) policy makers' views on new interventions, policies or research; ii) intervention evaluation analyses, particularly exploring context and implementation and understanding how/why interventions were (or were not) effective; iii) research use in policy/practice; iv) generalisability/applicability of research.

Ana Buller

  • Area of work: my current research focuses on prevention of gender based violence and the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents (SECA).  I welcome projects incorporating a gender lens and mixed methods or qualitative approaches.
  • Topics of interest: Intimate partner violence, SECA, transactional sex (TS), child labour, mobility and health.  Geographical focus: South America, Sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern Europe.  I would consider other areas if the student is interested in one of the above topics.

Tara Beattie

  • Topics of interest: I am interested in supervising a doctoral student with a background in epidemiology or equivalent and with interests in HIV and ‘upstream’ drivers of risk. This could include research with ‘at-risk’ groups in low and middle income countries, including female sex workers and adolescent girls, research evaluating comprehensive interventions, and research examining structural determinants of risk including violence exposure, mental health, alcohol and drug use, and empowerment.

 

Department of Health Services Research and Policy

 

Bayard Roberts

  • Areas of work: mental health and forced migration using quantitative and/or qualitative methods. These would focus particularly on access to mental health services and exploring health system responsiveness to the mental health needs of forcibly displaced populations such as refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons.
  • Topics: the research can be located in the UK and elsewhere in Europe or in low- and middle-income countries. Key  words include mental health, refugee, conflict, health systems, health services.

Nick Black

  • Topics of interest: assessing quality of health care, improving quality of care, management of quality in the NHS, reducing waste in health care in high-income countries.

 Martin McKee

  • Topics of interest: broad public health and health policy in Europe (but not UK).

Alec Miners

  • Topics of interest: economic evaluation, decision modelling, discrete choice experiments, preferences, quality of life, sexual health, sexually transmitted infections, HIV, hepatitis C, hepatitis B. Particular focus on UK.

David Cromwell

  • Areas of work:  My main area of work are studies that examine the quality of care delivered in the UK.
  • Topic of interest: Health services research, clinical epidemiology, medical statistics.

Joanna Reynolds

  • Areas of work: social science approaches to public health (sociology & anthropology; possibly social policy or social geography). Methods: qualitative (especially ethnography)
  • Topic of interest: alcohol policy; public health & local government (UK); community empowerment; evaluation of complex interventions; methodological developments (qualitative); health inequalities; UK (or similar high income countries); possibly East / West Africa.

Katriina Heikkila

  • Areas of work: evidence synthesis and meta-analysis, particularly of non-randomised studies, and using electronic health records and register-based data in epidemiology and health services research
  • Topic of interest: topics relate to patient pathways and outcomes following surgery (am currently doing work related to vascular surgery), psychosocial exposures and health outcomes, or inflammation-associated diseases such as cancer or respiratory disease, but I would be open to other ideas; high income countries, particularly the UK and the Nordic countries, as well as Western Europe.

Pauline Allen

  • Areas of work: organisational economics and law; as well as political theory – all as applied to the public sector
  • Topic of interest: health related topics: regulation, competition, contracting, governance in high income countries, preferably the UK.

Kerry Brown

  • Areas of work: public health nutrition, research infrastructure, health policy, risk communication. Particular focus in the following regions: Europe, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand.
  • Topic of interest: the role of food labelling (health and nutrient claims), dietary guidelines (food-based dietary guidelines) or nutrient recommendations (especially vitamin D, iodine, folate) in improving public health (and how does one evaluate/measure that)? Assessing, managing and communicating risk (interactions between disciplines, between science, policy and society).

Karen Lock

  • Areas of work: food policy evaluation; local authority policy evaluation.
  • Topic of interest: no specific topics but happy to support work in UK and overseas.

MinHae Park

  • Areas of work: non-communicable diseases; chronic diseases; dementia; obesity; patient-reported outcome measures; health services research; epidemiological research; long-term health outcomes;
  • Topic of interest: UK-based research.

Dorota Osipovic

  • Areas of work: sociological literature and/or perspective, in particular around issues of human behaviour and agency, health seeking behaviour, usage of services from patients’ perspective, cultural differences in access to health care, migration and health, combing work with care responsibilities.
  • Topic of interest: health policy implementation and human agency as it plays out in the organisational settings, delivery of services on the boundary between health and social care and welfare state/social policy in general; mainly UK, EU but open to other locations.

Alec Fraser

  • Areas of work: Public sector management & Public Policy (health focus); Evidence based Policy & Practice (EBPP); Social Investment/Entrepreneurship & Social Impact Bonds (SIBs); Foucault & governmentality influenced approaches.
  • Topic of interest: Strategic change in health care – i.e. regional reconfigurations of services (particularly acute services and current work on STPs in the NHS); Implementation of EBPP; evaluation of SIBs; EU & UK focus – interest in comparative research.

 


 

Department of Social and Environmental Health Research

 

Cicely Marston

  • Topics of interest: Sexual health, (particularly sexual practice and sexual health promotion, and particularly for young people and under-served/marginalised groups) contraception, abortion, plus community participation/human rights/equalities particularly in sexual and reproductive health.
  • Disciplines: including but not limited to: demography, sociology, social psychology, epidemiology, sociolinguistics. ‘Interdisciplinary’ preferred.

Chris Bonell

  • Areas of interest: supervising PhD students working on the following topics: young people’s health and interventions to address this; how the secondary school environment shapes health practices; sexual health; and methods for evaluating complex public health interventions. I am particularly interested in supervising qualitative, evidence synthesis and mixed methods research.

Oliver Bonnington

  • Areas of interest: I welcome applications from doctoral students who are planning qualitative research in the sociology of mental health and illness. Topics might include service user activism in low- and middle-income countries, critical analyses of global mental health research, the social and political production of psychiatric knowledge and practices, the future of mental illness anti-discrimination legislation, and critical examination of art and technology in mental health care.

Steven Cummins

  • Areas of interest: urban built environment and health, especially related to diet, alcohol and physical activity; complex systems thinking and population health (with a particular focus on food and alcohol systems, transport systems, natural/green systems); the evaluation of environmental and system-level interventions on population health; understanding the commercial determinants of health and health inequalities (industry influences on health behaviour and policymaking, evaluation of industry-led interventions). I have an emerging interest in supervising PhD students with advanced training in quantitative methods, spatial statistics, data science, informatics/use of big data and the mathematical modelling of complex systems (ABMs; dynamic modelling etc). Supervision in these areas would be with the support of other LSHTM staff. I can also supervise qualitative PhDs.

Antonio Gasparrini

  • Areas of interest: topic related to environmental epidemiology, climate change or evaluation of public health interventions. I expect the project to have a strong quantitative component and the student to be experienced and/or interested in statistical analysis.

Ford Hickson

  • Areas of interest: health of sex, gender and sexuality minorities (intersex, trans, queer) globally.

Daniel Lewis

  • Areas of interest:  health geography, spatial statistics, data science, or social epidemiology who are interested in research into the spatial pattern and processes underlying health inequalities, disparities in health behaviours, or the delivery of healthcare.

Ai Milojevic

  • Areas of interest: I would welcome prospective students with a foundation in epidemiology, population science, geography and/or related fields with interests in health impacts of environmental change (including but not limited to air quality, weather, flooding or natural disasters, mould and dampness). Particularly, application or development of geospatial methods in environmental epidemiology or health research is of great interest.

Alex Mold

  • Areas of interest: the history of the following areas: public health in post-war Britain; substance use; voluntary organisations and health; patient consumerism.

Brian Rice

  • Areas of interest:  infectious disease surveillance; care cascades; infectious disease indicator sets; HIV or HCV measurement;  generating strategic information / translating data to action.

Camille Stengel

  • Areas of interest: Illegal drug use from a sociological perspective, harm reduction, people who inject drugs. Qualitative sociological research, visual and participatory methods. Health in prisons. Research related to women and health, access to services, gender.

Tara Tancred

  • Areas of interest: improvements in the quality of maternal, newborn, or child healthcare, with an emphasis on patient-centeredness, particularly in low-income country settings. Students wishing to cast a "health systems thinking" lens to their research questions would be welcomed. Methodological approaches I'm happy support largely surround implementation, including process evaluation, realist evaluation, and theory of changebased evaluation, with a focus on the use of qualitative or mixed methods.

 

 

Structure
Structure (MPhil/PhD) - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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Please note that registration for MPhil and PhD programmes takes place at three points in the academic year only, on the first day of each term. The entry points are normally in September, January and April.

Students are normally expected to submit their thesis within 3 years of full-time study or 5 years part-time. The maximum period of registration permitted is 4 years full-time or 6 years part-time. Students are not required to spend the entire period of study in London, but must spend at least 9 months full-time in London. Students usually spend the first 9 to 12 months at the School to prepare for an upgrading process from MPhil to PhD towards the end of the first year. In the second year, students continue laboratory work or carry out data collection/fieldwork either at or away from the School. Students who leave the School to do fieldwork go on Research Study Leave. In the third and/or fourth year, students analyse and write up their research to prepare the thesis for submission.

It is strongly recommended that students commence their programme in the autumn term in order to take advantage of structured induction activities and be able to register for appropriate taught modules.

The Programme Specifications below are a comprehensive summary of the key elements of the degree, including educational aims and intended learning outcomes, plus details on programme structure, assessment requirements, student support and more.

PhD Programme Specifications

MPhil Programme Specifications

Part-time Study

The School requires students who apply for part-time study to be available to study for at least two days per week. A letter from your employer is required to confirm that at least two days per week will be permitted for work on your degree.

Part-time students who are employed at one of the School's specifically approved institutions may be able to carry out their research at their place of employment under the guidance of a supervisor at the School. Students interested in this method of study should contact the Registry for advice.

Those interested in applying for PhD study should identify a research department with interests that match their own and contact the Department Research Degrees Co-ordinator for more details. Please refer to the How to Apply section for information on how to apply for a place at the School.

Fees & funding
Fees and funding - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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Faculty
Home
 
Overseas
 
  Full-time Part-time Full-time Part-time
Epidemiology and Population Health        
DrPH / MPhil / PhD £5,100 £2,550 £15,200 £7,600
Infectious and Tropical Diseases        
MPhil/PhD lab-based £5,100 £2,550 £18,450 £9,225
MPhil/PhD non-lab-based £5,100 £2,550 £15,200 £7,600
DrPH £5,100 £2,550 £15,200 £7,600
Public Health and Policy        
DrPH / MPhil / PhD £5,100 £2,550 £15,200 £7,600


Scholarships and funding opportunities

Entry requirements
Entry requirements - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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Applicants for MPhil, PhD or DrPH study should have at least one of the following:

  • an upper second-class Honours degree of a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a subject appropriate to that of the course of study to be followed; or
  • a registrable qualification appropriate to the course of study to be followed, in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies; or
  • a Masters degree in a subject appropriate to the course of study to be followed; or
  • a professional qualification obtained by written examination and approved by the University of London as an appropriate entrance qualification for the degree in question.

For DrPH candidates, a minimum of two years’ appropriate experience and, normally, a Masters degree are required.

How to apply
How to apply - Research Degrees (MPhil-PhD) Faculty of Public Health and Policy
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Application for London-based Study

Please apply using our online application form.

Paper application forms are available upon request and will normally incur an administration fee of £50. You must send a copy of the personal details and photograph page of your passport with all paper applications. Your application will not be considered until you have provided the above documents. 

MPhil/PhD

Applications for admission to the School should be made to the Registry and not directly to academic faculties. All applicants should include with their application a short research proposal (maximum 1,500 words including footnotes and references). This should indicate the area in which the student wishes to specialise enabling the application to be directed to appropriate potential supervisors. The research proposal is also an important way of indicating the extent to which the student already understands the background to their proposed research, and the range of methods which may be employed. In addition, it will help the School to decide whether coursework may be required in the first year.