Notes for applicants

Notes for applicants

The Centre for Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH) at the University of Manchester offers a PhD degree in the general area of Occupational and Environmental Health. This covers topics ranging from occupational and environmental epidemiology, occupational surveillance and laboratory studies of agents present in the occupational and environmental areas that may affect human health.  Staff have a wide range of research interests but in general we have four main research themes:

  • Environmental epidemiology and work-related ill-health
  • Gene-environmental interactions
  • Occupational Health Surveillance Schemes
  • Biomarkers of exposure and susceptibility to chemical toxicants

Why do a PhD?

Working professionals and postgraduate students decide to undertake a PhD for a wide variety of reasons. Some are looking for an academic career, others a change from their work/life routine; some want to challenge themselves; others desire the professional standing and personal gratification associated with obtaining the PhD qualification and others are looking to maximise their career prospects within their profession. Often, the candidate is seeking a combination of these.

Will I receive any training?

PhD students receive high-quality training suited to their particular needs. Research training is provided to equip postgraduate students with necessary skills, competencies and understanding to cope with postgraduate research.  This training is provided not only by the student’s supervisors but also through courses run by the Institute of Population Health and by the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences.

How long does it take to earn a PhD?

The duration of study is 3 years full time or 6 years part time with an additional year being allowed to write up the study into a thesis.

Am I eligible?

Eligibility is flexible and is determined from a combination of:

  • Past academic achievement
  • Professional experience
  • Personal and professional references

N.B. Overseas students will need to have an IELTS score of at least 7.

What will it cost?

For the cost of undertaking a PhD, see: Fees. We recommend that students try and obtain the maximum amount of funding for their research study as possible as this will determine the approaches and techniques that would be used to examine their topic of interest.

What if I don't have funding?

There are specific organisations that fund research into occupational and environmental health by offering studentships, grants, stipends, etc. We can provide support in writing proposals to these organisations.

Where is the research carried out?

Generally the research will be carried out within COEH. However, field work (e.g. for an occupational hygiene or epidemiological study) in the student’s own country is possible, given a suitable project and support structure.  Laboratory-based research will be carried out within COEH.

What facilities are provided?

Campus-based students are provided with office space, phone, fax, stationery, photocopying facilities, a dedicated personal computer, and access to online search/library resources. Laboratory facilities are available for typical molecular biological projects and access to further advances facilities is available on the campus.

Do I need to have a specific research project in mind? What projects might I expect to do?

Priority for places is given to outstanding candidates who already have a project in mind and/or project funding. Ideally, any proposed PhD project should complement the research interests of the group and we can offer candidates a project from existing research activity within the research group.

Previous projects carried out recently by past PhD students are shown here.

What support will I receive from our staff?

PhD students join a thriving research programme within the Institute for Population Health and are integrated alongside research staff to encourage and facilitate interaction.

Each student will have a PhD supervisory panel comprising the supervisors and an advisor. The advisor provides pastoral support to the student. Meetings are held throughout the PhD. In addition there is a peer-monitoring scheme in operation, whereby experienced students (after appropriate training) are paired with new students.

How can I apply?

We welcome expressions of interest and these should be addressed to Dr Andy Povey (Reader in Molecular Epidemiology):