PhD in Medical or Human Sciences

About the programme

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.

Your principal academic supervisor

Before making your PhD application, you need to find a member of academic staff to supervise your research project. Your principal academic supervisor must be employed by either the University of York or the University of Hull. 

To find your principal academic supervisor, visit our research pages and browse the academic staff pages. Once you find an academic staff whose research specialism matches your interest and proposal, contact them directly to determine if your proposal can be supported.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

As a postgraduate research student, you will also take part in our Postgraduate Training Scheme, which provides you with extra opportunities to develop both specialist and transferable skills.

Recently awarded PhD theses

  • Fraser, S. (2017) Peripheral blood leukocyte immune responses in sarcoidosis.
  • Godinho, R (2017) Recent hominin cranial form and function.
  • Hawkins, K (2017) Visual cortical alpha rhythms: Function and relation to other dynamic signatures in local networks.
  • Law, R (2017) PDE3A signalling in blood platelets.
  • Moody, H (2017) Investigating the role of microRNA-31 as a modulator of chemosensitivity in malignant pleural mesothelioma.
  • Purvis, N (2017) Classification of breast malignancy using optimised advanced diffusion-weighted imaging; and surgical planning for breast tumour resection using MR-guided focused ultrasound.
  • Robinson, S (2017) What are the factors influencing GPs in the diagnosis of lung cancer?
  • Swan, F (2017) A preliminary investigation of the hand-held fan and the Calming Hand for the management of chronic refractory breathlessness in patients with advanced malignant and non-malignant diseases.
  • Woodward, C (2017) The role of scavenger receptors in oxidised low-density lipoprotein induced platelet hyperactivity.
  • Yusuf, M (2017) cAMP signaling reverses platelet spreading via inhibition of RhoA.

Entry requirements

  • Bachelors degree (or equivalent)
  • English language – IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 6 in all components of the qualification
  • Masters degree is desirable but not essential