Applying for the PhD Programme

A PhD is a substantial piece of work, and can be expected to take between 3 and 5 years to complete. The eventual PhD focus is likely to remain an important component of an ongoing, or future, research career and so the choice of topic is critical.

If you are interested in applying to the PhD programme, please read and consider the information in this section carefully.

The closing dates for applications are: 

  • 30 April
  • 31 October

Departmental Application Process

Four sets of documents must be submitted via email to Ms Latiefa Adams on 

  • A detailed curriculum vitae (including a list of publications and a description of your role in any unpublished research projects in which you may have participated).
  • An electronic copy of academic transcripts for previous degrees, which should indicate what courses you have completed and the mark achieved for each course.
  • A concept note of the research envisaged in the PhD, of about 3-5 pages. This should include a brief introduction outlining the rationale for the research, initial research questions, aim and objectives and a brief description of the envisaged methods. The rationale should indicate why you think the research is original, as this is a requirement for doctoral work.
  • A covering letter that explains why you want to undertake PhD research (especially how the PhD fits into your career plan), and that indicates which of the seven Divisions of the School you wish to be located within. The Divisions are: Environmental Health; Epidemiology and Biostatistics; Health Economics; Health Policy and Systems; Occupational Medicine; Public Health Medicine and Social and Behavioural Sciences.

University Application Process

The same set of documents as outlined above must be submitted to

Decision Process

Once the deadline has passed, the department will convene a meeting of Heads of Division to consider the applications. The Department will notify applicants of the outcome of this process within 4-6 weeks after each of these closing dates. While all applicants will be considered during this process, at times it is also useful if applicants engage with a potential supervisor. Supervisors can be contacted during the two month period directly before the application deadline. See list of PhD Supervisors.

Registration Process

Once accepted on the programme via the departmental process, students will need to accept the offer and register for the programme as follows: 

  • The department sends a letter of acceptance to Taryn-Lee Safers ( at the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Office
  • The candidate liaises with the Faculty of Health Sciences Postgraduate Office to complete registration procedures (including accepting the offer letter and completing registration forms)
  • The candidate liaises with Latiefa Adams (PhD Programme Administrator) to organize access to the department’s PhD Vula site

For detailed additional information about the time, financial and other requirements of the PhD programme, please download our Programme Guide.