Research course

PhD/MPhil Health Services Management

University of Birmingham · Health Services Management Centre

Entry requirements

Normally a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline, or the successful completion of an appropriate postgraduate programme is required.

Post-qualification experience, including professional qualifications and experience, will also be taken into account when considering applicants.

Potential for research generally also needs to be indicated through the submission of relevant application materials including a research proposal on your selected topic, a personal statement, and a CV.

Months of entry


Course content

We offer two types of research degree: an MPhil or a PhD - in health services management and related disciplines such as health policy, health sociology and leadership.

Our PhD programmes offer you a combination of taught courses in the first year and careful supervision throughout your study, with the aim of helping you to produce a thesis that makes a significant and original contribution to the discipline.

In the School of Social Policy we offer much more than a degree. PhD students have the opportunity to take part in a wide range of events including Departmental Research Seminars, Research Centre Seminars, Postgraduate Research Student Seminars, as well as a vibrant and engaged PhD researcher community.

Prospective applicants for research degrees in any aspect of health service management and health care policy are invited to apply, outlining their special interests through the submission of a research proposal and other relevant documents such as personal statement, a CV, and a confirmation of supervision statement from the main supervisor. As part of their application, candidates will need to submit a research proposal of their research topic. Find out more about writing a proposal for HSMC. We welcome applications to work in a wide variety of areas and encourage you to make prior contact with potential supervisors. Supervisors will typically be from the Department but joint supervision, both between staff within the Department, and with staff in other departments is possible.

All research students have regular meetings with their supervisors. PhD students also have annual panel meetings to support and review progress. We encourage you to give conference papers and to publish your work.

For home students, a research degree programme may be undertaken either by full-time or part-time study or via distance learning. International students can only undertake full-time studies, but distance learning programmes may be undertaken full-time or part-time.

Research areas

Theories and concepts of the social sciences underpin the approaches of HSMC research staff. HSMC offers the opportunity to study for research degrees in a wide variety of topics relating to health services policy and management, including:

  • Health Policy and Reform
  • Decision making and strategic planning
  • Service and quality improvement
  • Public, patients and communities
  • Leadership and management
  • Workforce and professions

HSMC staff bring their wide knowledge of UK and international health systems (gained through research and consultancy activities, as well as their own professional experience) to their teaching and tutorial support for students. This emphasis on combining theory and practice is maintained throughout all of our programmes.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    72 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    36 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
  • MPhil
    part time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries