Research some of the world's most pressing public health issues with a PhD or MD(Res).

Imperial is one of the world’s leading universities, with the School of Public Health being one of the UK's top institution in public health research. The School’s strength lies in being able to draw on the critical mass of research expertise found throughout its departments and across Imperial College London, in additional to its close links with the Imperial College Academic Health Sciences Centre and the Imperial College Healthcare Trust.

The School introduces and integrates its doctoral students into its research, teaching and evidence-led policy work to allow them to not only develop as researchers but to also work alongside experts from a wide range of backgrounds to gain new skills and expertise.

The School of Public Health’s PhD students work within six broad areas:

Research areas:

  • Epidemiology and biostatistics
  • Infectious disease epidemiology
  • Primary care and public health
  • Genomics of common diseases
  • Neuroepidemiology and ageing
  • Clinical trials and evaluation

These form the six departments that make up the School of Public Health, with the overall focus being on addressing the major public health challenges of the twenty-first century.

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Key information

PhD/MD(Res) Modes and Duration: Full Time 3 years (Plus 1 year writing up if required; thesis submission must be within 48months of enrolment), Part Time 6 years

For information on fees visit the Postgraduate tuition fees page

Application deadlines: Applications are accepted throughout the academic year, however, most students start in September/October in line with the beginning of the academic year. Start dates may be governed by particular funding opportunities and you should consider this when preparing your application.

Please note, academic supervisors should be contacted prior to submitting your application; no application will be processed without a confirmed supervisor. Please, therefore, give yourself adequate time to start the application process should you have a particular start date in mind.

Entry requirements

An MBBS degree or a minimum of an upper second-class UK bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline, in addition to an appropriate Masters degree, or overseas qualifications of equivalent standard.

English Language: If your education has not been conducted in English you will be expected to demonstrate you have an adequate level of English Language proficiency.

For further information please see English Language requirements

The English Language level for this programme is: Higher

MD(Res) Applicants: Must be eligible for full registration or hold limited registration with the General Medical Council

Assessment and structure

The PhD/MD(Res) are examined by thesis and a viva voce.

Additionally, throughout the PhD/MD(Res), students follow a “milestone” structure which enables monitoring of a student’s progression, as well as allowing the opportunity for independent feedback on the research from experts in the field.

PhD/MD(Res): Minimum programme length is 24 months for full-time, or 48 months for part-time students


MRC, NERC, Wellcome Trust, BBSRC and NHIR funding has all been secured in the past in addition to funding typically being offered through the School’s two MRC Centres.

Perspective research students should contact academic staff and research groups to discuss potential funded research places.

Imperial College also offers a range of PhD research scholarships, including the scholarship indicated below. For an extensive list of the funding opportunities please visit the PhD Scholarship Scheme.


Students graduating in the last three years have secured employment within the World Health Organisation (WHO), ZSL, Medicins sans frontiers, Medical Journals, as well as research posts within the School or other Higher Education Institutes.

Employability: The College offers world-class education and training. The Graduate School runs training courses for professional development to assist our students in becoming well-rounded researchers, whilst the School of Public Health itself offers excellent research opportunities and training to assist our graduates in becoming successful in their chosen careers.

Networking: The School hosts world leading experts in the field of Public Health in additional to having collaborations with nationally and internationally renowned organisations. Students are integrated into Research groups and encouraged to utilise the networks available, through the School and their academic supervisors throughout their degree and once graduated.

Application details

For applications please see How to apply.

Applications can be made at any point of the academic year, however, applicants should ensure they have secured a potential academic supervisor prior to submitting an admissions application. 

The application for Admission does not necessarily constitute an application for scholarships/studentships; please check the appropriate funding web pages to confirm the necessary application procedures.

Imperial Staff
Imperial staff members who wish to pursue a Research Degree should first discuss the idea with their line-manager and secure a potential supervisor. Further information for staff members on completing their application can be found on .

How to apply

Prior to submitting an application for admission, you must secure a potential supervisor. Supervisors will then carry out an interview to assess the candidate. Following a successful interview the candidate will need to apply to the programme via Imperial's online application system, called Imperial Gateway.  The programme is Clinical Medicine PhD programme (School of Public Health).

For more information and support please refer to Postgraduate admissions