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The doctoral experience

The breadth of scientific interests coupled with the geographic diversity of research projects at the School offers a unique opportunity for you to participate with a dynamic and stimulating group of internationally renowned researchers.

Studying a research degree is an intensive but fulfilling academic experience that will equip you to develop an original research in a specific field or subject. The nature of a research degree differs worldwide. In the UK the main emphasis of a PhD is on the thesis – and the process of undertaking the research. PhD students may take some taught courses, but these are not part of the degree’s examination. For DrPH students however, taught courses are a compulsory element of the programme.

Research opportunities

The School’s wide-ranging research programmes examine ways of improving and promoting health and health services and investigate the aetiology, diagnosis and prevention or control of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Basic laboratory research aims to improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions, and more applied work investigates diagnostic methods and therapeutic intervention.

A supportive environment

You will work with a supervisor, under whose guidance you will develop the intellectual and technical skills required for training in your chosen field. You will also have an Advisory Committee, which facilitates access to a wider range of staff expertise. The School offers regular seminars
to enable you to keep abreast of leading research across the School and to present your work.

Research skills training

As a doctoral student, you are encouraged to broaden your training through participation in specialist courses, including those available through the master's programmes; presenting at appropriate national and international meetings; and involvement in topic-specific journal clubs. The international nature of the School’s staff and student body provides an excellent opportunity to mix with people from different backgrounds and experiences.In addition, you will be benefit from training in general, transferable and employment related skills.

Planning your studies

Registration for MPhil and PhD programmes is on the first day of each academic term in September, January and April. All DrPH students begin their degree in September. As a research student, you will have to spend at least 9 months full-time in London although these do not have to be in a single period. Students usually spend the first 9 to 12 months at the School to prepare for an upgrading process from MPhil to PhD. In the second year, students continue laboratory work or carry out data collection/ fieldwork. In the third and/or fourth year, students analyse and write up their research to prepare the thesis for submission.