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PhD Research Degrees – Centre for Health and Social Care Research

Study for a higher degree by research in our well-respected Centre for Health and Social Care Research (CHSCR). During your studies you are trained in research methods and complete a high level research project. We encourage and support you to present your findings at national and international conferences to help launch your academic career.

Course length 2-7 Year(s)
Location Collegiate Campus

Course description

Study for a PhD at our Centre for Health and Social Care Research, devoted to cutting edge applied research. The centre provides a vibrant postgraduate community where you work closely with experienced academics to develop your knowledge and expertise.

We support a wide range of research opportunities and help you work towards your research degree with
• supervision by an active researcher in your chosen area
• access to excellent facilities and learning resources
• help to enhance your career portfolio
• access to faculty seminars and workshops
• lively debate and discussion with colleagues

During the course you critically investigate and evaluate an approved topic and display an understanding of suitable research methods, with the aim of making an original contribution to knowledge in your subject area. You present your work in a thesis, then explain and defend it during an oral viva voce examination.

Our current students are studying a range of topics and are encouraged to circulate their research by attending conferences and publishing papers jointly with CHSCR staff.

Our main areas of expertise reflect our research programmes. These include • service delivery and organisation • inter-professional and multi-disciplinary education and working • rehabilitation and recovery • ageing and older people • children, young people and families • ethnicity, culture and health • social inclusion • maternal and child health • clinical and public health science.

CHSCR staff have highly developed expertise in a broad range of research methods including • action research • participatory methods • ethnography • health technology assessment • phenomenology • grounded theory. We also have expertise in evaluation, case study, surveys and are rapidly developing expertise in mixed methods research.

Several members of our team have experience working in the health and social care sectors and with voluntary organisations in the UK and internationally.

A number of the team also have honorary academic appointments with universities in several European countries, and we have extensive collaborations with universities in Europe, North American, Australia, the East Asia and the Middle East.

Split PhD for international students
A split PhD is a research degree programme for international students wishing to study from their home country university. You register for a Sheffield Hallam University PhD and spend some time studying in Sheffield, but are substantially based in your home country.

The balance of study between Sheffield Hallam and the overseas university is agreed between you and your supervisors depending on the needs of your research programme, but will not exceed three months per year in UK.

The benefits for students studying on the split PhD scheme include
• completing fieldwork or laboratory work in your home country, in an area directly linked to your professional or career development interests
• access to local facilities and supervisory support in your home country combined with the expert supervisory guidance of our academic staff
• short, intensive periods of face-to-face working with a dedicated supervisory team in Sheffield, while enjoying the educational, social and cultural benefits of studying in the UK.

You have a director of studies in the UK as well as a supervisor in your home institution.

Entry requirements

2017 entry requirements

Typically you need

• an appropriate masters degree or an honours degree 2.1 or above, from a UK higher education institution


• a qualification the University considers as being equivalent. Other qualifications and experience are considered on their merits.

You must also complete an interview in person or by phone with the prospective director of studies, the postgraduate tutor and one other member of the Centre for Health and Social Care research and academic staff and provide two satisfactory references. You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

International students
Overseas applicants from countries whose first language is not English must normally produce evidence of competence in English, such as
• a Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 600 Paper-based, 250 Computer-based, 100 Internet-based
• an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 7.0 or above (with at least 6.5 in the written component)
• a Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) pass

If your English language skill is currently below an IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent, we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the necessary English level. An offer of a research degree place may be made subject to a completing our Pre-sessional English for Academic Purposes course.

International and European entry qualifications

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

Course structure

Full-time – two to four years
Part-time – three to seven years

If you are receiving funding from external sources, you may be expected to meet different timescales as stipulated by your funding body.

Starts September, January and May.

Split PhD for international students
Students normally spend most of their time in their home country but come to the University for a minimum of two weeks and a maximum of three months a year.

Typical modules may include

Doctoral skills training

As a postgraduate research student (PGR) at Sheffield Hallam University you have the opportunity to develop a range of research, personal and professional skills during the course of your programme. Transferable skills training as a key component of undertaking a PhD or professional doctorate is required by the university regulator, expected by research funders, and promoted by the University as part of its commitment to education for employment.

Sheffield Hallam's approach
Sheffield Hallam recognises that all students arrive at the start of their programme with different experiences and career plans. Therefore doctoral skills training is, as far as possible, needs-based and individually-tailored. Rather than being required to complete a set training programme, your development needs are identified and jointly agreed with your supervisory team at the start of the degree, then regularly reviewed and updated as appropriate.

The University's requirements
As a PGR you complete three compulsory elements of doctoral skills training at Sheffield Hallam, including
• a development needs analysis, which your agree with your supervisory team
• the required research ethics training (epigeum online research ethics 1 all PGRs, epigeum research ethics 2 for those whose research is likely to involve human participants, personal data and/or human tissue; plus the follow-up workshop)
• any discipline-specific research methods courses requisite for the programme

Beyond these minimum requirements, you must also address the other needs identified in your development needs analysis. This may be virtually nothing, or a comprehensive development programme, depending on your previous experience and career plans. Essentially this involves addressing any significant gaps that were determined to exist between current skills level and the level required, to enable successful completion of the research project and equip you for your intended career pathway.

Development available for PGRs includes
• faculty-based research methods
• PGR skills workshops
• career service career management workshops
• SHaRD, the research and innovation office researcher development programme
• library researcher sessions
• courses in teaching and lecturing
• HR personal effectiveness courses
• online courses and resources covering research skills, research integrity, research leadership, statistical methods and personal effectiveness

Assessment Thesis followed by viva voce examination.


Research degrees are a vital qualification for most academic careers, and for professional specialisation and development in an existing or planned career.


Home / EU student

Please note tuition fees may increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation. More information can be found in the ‘Tuition Fee Increases’ section of our Fees Regulations (PDF, 2.10 MB)

2017/18 academic year

Full-time – typically £4,195 a year plus a final writing up fee of £500
Part-time – typically £2,098 a year plus a final writing up fee of £250

Postgraduate loans of up to £10,280 are available across the majority of subject areas.

International student

Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs information

How to apply

Complete the application form available at www.shu.ac.uk/study/form

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and student Regulations.

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