Research course

Health Sciences and Social Work

University of Portsmouth · School of Health Sciences and Social Work

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Why take this course?

The School of Health Sciences and Social Work (SHSSW) is committed to delivering research to the highest ethical standards in order to improve knowledge and services for the health of the community. A wide range of research interests exist amongst staff within the School and we support a number of postgraduate researchers carrying out PhD, Professional Doctorate, MPhil, MD and MRes awards.

Our postgraduate researchers have access to seminars and tutorials in epidemiology and statistical methods, database management, qualitative research, and development and assessment of quality of life measures.

Research within the field of Health Sciences and Social work may also be closely linked to: Biomedical Science and Pharmacy, Psychology, and Geography.

Research centres:

Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science (IBBS): The Institute of Biomedical and Biomolecular Science (IBBS) serves as a focus for multidisciplinary research in the biomedical sciences, including both fundamental studies and applied research in the molecular biosciences. Molecular biology is supported by a dedicated molecular modelling centre, a 600 MHz NMR facility, and apparatus for DNA profiling and array analysis, while mass spectrometer and gas chromatography/mass spectrometers are available for detailed sample analyses.

Research groups:

Allergic and respiratory disorder research group: The Allergic and respiratory disorder research group is focused on improving the quality of life for those with allergies. We research into how these conditions develop, improving diagnosis, effectiveness of management strategies, and the impact on quality of life.

Health and social care environments: In Health and social care environments, in line with the World Health Organisation, we are interested in improving health from the perspective of the physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals.

Health and social care of the older person: The Health and social care of the older person research group conducts and supports collaborative research in all areas of older person well being.

Global health and social care unit: At the Global health and social care unit we undertake high impact policy relevant research on international health as well as theoretical research underpinning health inequalities and health outcomes.

Module Details

Allergic and respiratory disorders

Research areas include:

  • Development and prevention of allergic diseases
  • Prevalence of food allergies and intolerances
  • Diagnosis and management of food allergies and intolerances
  • Quality of life and food allergies
  • Consumer behaviour and nutritional intake of sufferers of food allergies and intolerances

Health and social care environments

If your research interest lies in the area of sensory environments (e.g. the built environment and the materials, components, and multi-faceted systems making up the environment), we can provide you with supervision in fields such as:

  • Effects of health and social care environments on health-related outcomes
  • Psycho-social effects of health and social care environments
  • Methodologies for conducting research in environmental design
  • Cross- disciplinary collaborations and networks in environmental design research

Health and social care of the older person

Research areas include:

  • User-driven, participatory projects to address practice-based problems
  • Falls and fall-related injury prevention
  • Psycho-social well-being (e.g. quality of life, dignity, and sense of control)
  • Collaborations and networks with multiple stakeholders and organisations

Global health and social care

The School's researchers are working and supervising students in topics such as:

  • Causes and consequences of demographic transition
  • Reproductive health; maternal and child health,
  • Inequalities in access to health care

Our focus is on developing countries, particularly countries in South Asia, Africa and South America.

Student Destinations

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities.

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months
part time
48 months


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Research Team - Faculty of Science
023 9284 2994