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PhD in

Medical or Human Sciences

Our PhD will give you the opportunity to conduct a substantial independent research project, leading to an original contribution to knowledge in your chosen field.

Course length 3 years* full-time, 6 years part-time
Start date September start recommended (Other options: January, April or July)
Location University of Hull or University of York (depending on your supervisor's employing university)


About the PhD

Our PhD will give you the opportunity to conduct a substantial independent research project, leading to an original contribution to knowledge in your chosen field.

You can work in a wide range of areas. Our current students are researching topics as diverse as the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular disease, the role of doctors' consciences in clinical practice, and how dietary stresses and strains affect skull shape.

Throughout your studies, you will be supervised by a leading expert in the field and supported by a specialist Thesis Advisory Panel. You will be registered for a PhD in Human Sciences if you are supervised within the Centre for Anatomical and Human Sciences. Research in our other centres are normally registered for the PhD in Medical Sciences.

The PhD can be studied full-time or part-time. If you have fewer than about 35 hours a week to devote to your studies, you should consider studying part-time. Part-time study is at least 17.5 hours per week.

You will register at the university where your principal supervisor works, and you will have access to facilities and support at both our parent universities – Hull and York. All of our degrees are awarded by both the University of Hull and University of York.

Most previously awarded research theses are available on the HYDRA digital repository.

*Full-time PhDs usually last three years, however some externally funded studentships last four years.

Students and researchers in Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine
Academy of Primary Care


Postgraduate Researcher Development Scheme

As a postgraduate research student, you will also take part in our Postgraduate Researcher Development Scheme, which provides you with extra opportunities to broaden your personal and professional development horizon.

It is widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation for your research degree or future. The Postgraduate Researcher Development Scheme is designed to be a major contributor to your personal development planning.

You can choose between a wide range of activities and courses to put together a portfolio that is tailored to your individual needs, as agreed with your supervisor and Thesis Advisory Panel.


Entry requirements

  • Bachelors degree with First or Upper Second Class Honours; or
  • Masters Degree, or equivalent award

Students who are nearing completion of their Bachelors or Masters degree, or the equivalent, at another university, but have not yet been awarded the degree may be conditionally accepted on to the PhD programme. Confirmation of award will normally be expected within three months of enrolment.

Do not hesitate to contact us about our entry requirements if you have further queries, email:

English language requirements

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept any of the following:

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 6.0 in each component
  • PTE Academic: 61, with no less than 55 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 169 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with no less than 21 in each component
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components

You do not need to provide evidence of your English language abilities if certain conditions apply. Check English language exceptions on the University of York website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees



How to apply

You might already have a specific supervisor or project in mind, or maybe you're thinking more about an area of study rather than a specific project. Whichever route you're considering, here are some starting points:

Applications are made on the University of York website:

Apply for the PhD in Medical Sciences

Apply for the PhD in Human Sciences

We advise to apply at least 8 weeks before your intended start date (or earlier if you are an international student to allow for visa applications).

More information about applying