Research course


University of Liverpool · Faculty of Medicine

Entry requirements

A good (2:1 or first class or equivalent) degree in a relevant subject is normally required. Potential students should be aware that for certain projects criminal record checks may be necessary. Projects will always be subject to appropriate ethical approval and in some cases collaborating NHS Trusts may require health checks before permitting access to patients.MD students should be registered medical practitioners.

Months of entry


Course content

There are several outstanding research themes within Psychiatry. In General and Adult Psychiatry where Professor Christoph Lauber was appointed in late 2007, “social inclusion and exclusion of people with severe mental illness” best describes the research addressed. The research’s mission statement is “People with severe mental illness: From clinical questions to research evidence and back again”. This includes the following topics: supported employment in people with psychosis and common mental disorders, user and carer involvement in mental health care, stigma of people with mental illness, mental health services research and intervention studies. The aims of the new research group are:

  • To make a significant contribution to a better understanding and treatment of people with mental illness who have complex needs,
  • To significantly contribute to mental health services research, and
  • To be a leading centre in translational research in mental health.

In child and adolescent psychiatry, Professor Gowers is undertaking a Department of Health funded multi-centre trial on cognitive behaviour therapy for adolescent anorexia nervosa. He leads an international collaboration to develop and field test the Health of the Nation outcome scales for children and adolescents.

Professor Rahman was appointed to the chair of child psychiatry in early 2008 and brings his international portfolio to the Division. He has recently completed the largest trial of a psychological intervention for perinata depression in a developing country and is carrying out further interventional studies for the promotion of early child development in low-income countries. He is an advisor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and a member of the Guidelines Development Group for the WHO Mental Health Gap Action programme.

Dr Helen Sharp is conducting a large Medical Research Council funded study into the earliest developmental origins of childhood conduct disorders. The aim of this work is to identify risk and protective factors for the development of conduct problems and to establish an epidemiological sample for longitudinal study into later childhood and early adulthood. A subsample of families, stratified by psychosocial risk, are being studied in great detail using developmental, observational and investigator interview measures at frequent intervals. A recent pilot RCT funded by the NHS Forensic R&D Programme has just been completed by Dr Sharp, evaluating a new intervention for treatment resistant conduct problems in childhood. We also have an ongoing research project exploring the role of burden and carer/family issues in relation to complex healthcare treatments for Cystic Fibrosis. This project is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, Research for Patient Benefit Programme and is led by Dr Claire Glasscoe.

Within old age psychiatry, Professor Wilson has undertaken Cochrane reviews of interventions in the treatment of depression in older people. This work is complemented by publications of randomised controlled trials in long term treatment of depression and he is currently engaged in HTA funded study of RCT of antidepressant treatment in depressed patients with dementia. These intervention studies are against a strong background of epidemiological studies of mental illness in older people. In particular, the Unit has fully recruited into a five year longitudinal study focus on the phenomenology of depression in Parkinson’s disease. Professor Wilson is Director of the NIHR Cheshire and Merseyside Comprehensive Research Network, providing support for research across all 25 Trusts within Cheshire and Merseyside.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

PG Recruitment
+44 (0)151 794 5927