PhD in Healthcare Ethics and Law

The Centre for Ethics in Medicine can provide supervision for a PhD in Ethics in Medicine in areas related to the research themes of the Centre and the research interests of its staff.

Research training

PhD students will be expected to attend training offered by the Department of Population Health, in which the Centre for Ethics in Medicine is located. Depending on qualifications already obtained and the nature of the project to be undertaken, students may receive additional training on:  

  • Research methods in bioethics
  • Health care ethics theory
  • Health care law

Some of these sessions will involve participation in existing programmes, including the BSc Bioethics. Additional training is provided through research seminars and meetings.

All registered PhD students also have access to the Department Short Course programme.


We do not currently have any doctoral funding opportunities available in the Centre.

Bristol Medical School has some studentships available, which are normally advertised in January each year. Applicants are also welcome to contact the University Student Finance Office or the Centre to discuss possible sources of funding. Examples of potential funding sources for bioethical research include the Arts and Humanities Research Council, The Wellcome Trust, and the Medical Research Council. Any prospective student, whether UK, EU, or overseas, who can provide evidence of funding, is welcome to apply for postgraduate study.

If you would like help or advice in working up an application for funding, please get in touch.

Entry requirements

Potential applicants for the PhD programme in the Centre for Ethics in Medicine need to have at least a good Honours degree in a relevant subject e.g. philosophy/ethics, law, social science, theology, health care.  Proficiency in English is essential.

Details of the required academic qualifications and English language requirements.


Details of current tuition fees for this programme. Further information on fees and living expenses.

If you are seeking funding, please see our postgraduate funding opportunities and advice.

Application procedure

Applicants are encouraged to email Initial inquiries ought to be supported with a brief outline of the area(s) of bioethics in which the applicant is interested. At this stage we would especially welcome:

  • A brief curriculum vitae
  • An outline research proposal of 500-1,500 words

If you are intending to apply, you will need to submit a formal application, but potential applicants are strongly encourged to make contect with us with us before doing so.

Applications are in principle welcome at any time, but we encourage applicants who intend to commence their research in autumn to ensure that their application reaches us in the spring/early summer.

I am wonderfully supported as a first year PhD student at CEM. The warm and welcoming multidisciplinary team provides an environment for innovation and the cross-pollination of ideas which is essential for any thriving research community.

Helen Smith, Phd student, and Critical Care Nurse

The Centre for ethics in medicine is a very friendly, welcoming and inclusive environment to study in.

Dr Paul Teed, 2nd year PhD student, and Accident & Emergency Physician
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