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The doctoral experience

LSHTM offers an exciting international and multidisciplinary environment in which to undertake your research degree, with the opportunity to interact with a dynamic and stimulating group of internationally renowned researchers.

Studying for a research degree is an intensive but fulfilling academic experience in which you will develop original research in a specific field or subject. The nature of a research degree varies 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 (Doctorate in Public Health) students however, taught courses are a compulsory element of the programme.

Research opportunities

Our wide-ranging research programmes examine ways of improving and promoting health and health services and investigate the fundamental biology of pathogens and pathogenesis, and the aetiology, diagnosis, and prevention and control of both communicable and non-communicable diseases. Research disciplines include laboratory and clinical research, epidemiology, statistics, mathematical modelling, social sciences and anthropology, health economics, health services research and health policy. Research studies may be UK-based or may consider health in any part of the world. To get an idea of the range of ongoing work, see the highlights from the different Faculties.

A supportive environment

You will work with a supervisory team of at least two supervisors, who will advise you at each stage of your research degree. You may also have a third supervisor and/or an advisory committee to bring in extra expertise as required. The School offers regular seminars from a wide range of speakers to enable you to keep abreast of the latest research and to give you opportunities to present and discuss your work. You will belong to an academic Department, and we will encourage you to enrol in one or more inter-disciplinary Centres, participate in discussion groups and our early career researchers network, and interact with other research degree students. The international nature of our School’s staff and student body provides an excellent opportunity to mix with people from different backgrounds and experiences. There are also multiple social events, an active and welcoming student body, and a student support service, including disability support and counselling services.

Research skills training

As a doctoral student, you are encouraged to broaden your training through participation in specialist courses, including the wide range of modules available through our master's programmes; presenting at appropriate national and international meetings; and involvement in LSHTM seminars. In addition, you will benefit from training in transferable and employment related skills through our Doctoral Transferable Skills Training Programme.

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. You can study full-time or part-time. Part-time students are expected to spend at least 2 days a week on their studies (2.5 days a week for Term 1 of the part-time DrPH). As a research student, you will normally have to spend at least 9 months full-time in London although this does not have to be in a single period. Students typically start and finish in London but may spend a period elsewhere for data collection or fieldwork.