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Postgraduate research in nursing, midwifery and social work, University of Manchester

Postgraduate research

We have an acclaimed national and international reputation for excellence in research and education in nursing, midwifery and social work.

Our research in this area formed a key part of the unit of assessment (Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy) judged to be the best of the 94 submissions across the UK in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Our programmes

We offer both full and part-time study options, as well as distance learning, high-quality supervision, and excellent training and support. The subjects covered by our programmes include:

We are part of the Economic and Social Research Council's (ESRC) North West Doctoral Training Centre and regularly host National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Doctoral Fellows. We attract UK and international students, with around 70 students registered for PhD/MPhil degrees.

Studying for a PhD or MPhil with us will give you the opportunity to undertake comprehensive, tailored training and to work with internationally renowned scholars engaged in innovative research that will make a difference to people's lives and to health and social care services.

We welcome students from all health and social science disciplines who are interested in conducting research related to our key interests.

Our graduating students are in very high demand, with many assuming leadership roles in health and social care research, higher education, practice and management.

"I particularly enjoyed the first year, which had some taught components; it broke me in gently after a long time away from academia. The excellent supervision is also an important aspect."

Ros Hunt / Social Work PhD

Programme structure

PhD programme structure (three years full-time, six years part-time)

During the first year of full-time study (or the first two years of part-time study), you will conduct a literature review, develop a detailed research proposal, apply for research ethics approval and undertake research methods training.

Year 2 (or Years 3 and 4 if part-time) is usually devoted to data collection and initial data analysis. In Year 3 (or Years 3 and 4 if part-time), data analysis is completed and you will write and submit your thesis for examination.

MPhil programme structure (one year full-time, two years part-time)

During the first year of full-time study (or the first two years of part-time study), you will conduct a literature review, develop your research proposal, apply for research ethics approval and undertake research methods training.

You will also collect and analyse your data and write and submit your thesis for examination.

Students considering MPhil study should contact the admissions administrator before submitting an application.

Monitoring progress

There is a detailed system to monitor your progress. You must submit work at specific stages and meet your supervisor throughout your course.

All PhD students submit a continuation report at the end of Year 1 (Year 2 if part-time), which is accompanied by a viva examination. This must be successfully completed before you can move on to the next stage of your studies.

Training

Research methods training is a fundamental part of our PhD/MPhil programmes. On admission, you will complete a training needs assessment and develop an individualised training programme with your supervisors.

You will usually study units from our MRes course that are relevant to your research topic. Typical units include:

  • Research Design
  • Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis
  • Qualitative Research and Design
  • Quantitative Research and Design
  • Statistics.

Transferable skills training is provided on aspects such as critical writing skills, research ethics and research management.

In addition, you will be able to access a wide range of training courses and attend seminars/workshops to develop your wider research knowledge.

You will also have the opportunity to join a research group that relates to your study area to benefit from the support of a wider group of researchers.