Peninsula Medical School

PhD Medical Studies

Peninsula Medical School (PMS) sits within the Faculty of Health at the University of Plymouth. By studying for an MPhil, ResM, or PhD degree at PMS, you will be joining a dynamic research community of students, academics and staff that are doing their bit to tackle some of the greatest problems impacting science and society. We at PMS look forward to hearing from you!

Entry requirements

All applicants must meet the following entry criteria:
  •  You will usually need a 2:1 degree from a UK University or equivalent. If English isn't your first language, you'll need to show evidence of your English language ability. The minimum IELTS test score for entry to a research programme is 6.5 overall, with at least 5.5 in each element of the test. However, some postgraduate research degree programmes are linguistically more demanding, and higher command of the English language and/or higher IELTS scores are required. This will be indicated upon advertisement of that specific research degree study opportunity, upon contact and/or following interview with the applicant. 
  • Two satisfactory academic references
  • Evidence of funding for the duration of your course.
If you do not have a masters level qualification, we recommend you consider applying for our ResM Medical Studies or one of our postgraduate taught programmes.
For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Fees, costs and funding

Please visit tuition fees postgraduate research for information about fees. MPhil/PhD Medical Studies is in Band 2 for fees purposes.
You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.
Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

Potential applicants should first identify a member of academic staff who may be a suitable supervisor, and contact them by email to discuss possible directions for a research proposal. The research proposal must be agreed by the supervisor before an application to study can be made. You can identify research areas of interest at the University by browsing our school’s research groups and looking at publication outputs from Plymouth-based researchers.
After a potential supervisor has been identified, in order to formally apply, please complete the online application form and ensure you upload the following documents:
  • a brief research proposal and personal statement
  • an up to date CV which includes dates with all gaps accounted for and the location of your activities
  • two academic references
  • a copy of your highest qualification certificate and final transcript of grades
  • information on how you meet our English language requirements, which is 7.0 academic IELTS overall score with at least 6.5 in each component test area.
  • if a non-UK national, a copy of the information page of your passport
  • copies of any UK visas you previously held
  • information on how you intend to pay your fees.
Please note our application deadlines. Overseas applicants must submit their application 4.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. For Home applicants the deadline is 2.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. There are three possible start dates per year, 1 October, 1 January and 1 April.
Submitting your application
Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form.
Questions on the application process?
We're here to help. Please contact the Doctoral College and we'll be happy to assist you.
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.
If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit Disability Services.
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office
Find more information about Apply for a postgraduate research programme.

Medical studies at Plymouth

This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake.
You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. 
You will be expected to fully engage with skills development and training and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts. 
Your PhD will be assessed via submission of either a written thesis (approximately 80,000 words), and a viva voce (an oral examination).
For full details of what doing a PhD entails at the University of Plymouth, please visit our postgraduate research degrees pages.
If you do not already have a masters degree, you may be interested in one of our masters level research degrees – for instance, our ResM Medical Studies (which enables a transfer directly into the PhD programme if you are making excellent progress), or else an MPhil degree.
Coastal Processes Research Group Perranporth beach
Postgraduate research students listening to a talk