The Department of Population Health Sciences is part of Bristol Medical School. Staff in the department participate in extensive national and international research collaborations and provide health policy advice for government organisations and international bodies. Staff and students in the department are also members of the cross-faculty Bristol Population Health Science Institute.

The department is multidisciplinary and includes statisticians, epidemiologists, geneticists, sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, health economists, public health physicians, medical ethicists, data scientists, neuroscientists, and various community-based physicians and nurses. We are keen to attract graduates from all these disciplines to carry out postgraduate research.

Please visit the school website to see current opportunities.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) or a lower second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) with a master's degree in a subject relevant to the proposed research. To register for an MD you must hold an MBChB.

Applicants must have identified two potential supervisors who are willing to support the research proposal.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£4,758 per year
UK: part-time
£2,379 per year
Overseas: full-time (Non-clinical and Clinical)
£26,000 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Bench fees

For postgraduate research students who are not funded by UK Research Councils or (specific) UK charities, it is usual to charge a bench fee. A bench fee covers the costs of laboratory consumables, specialist equipment and other relevant costs (such as training) for the duration of the programme. The bench fee charged can vary considerably depending on the nature of the programme being undertaken. Details of specific bench fee charges can be provided on request and will be made clear in the offer letter sent to applicants.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2024/25

A selection of fully funded PhD opportunities are available within the department. We host a Wellcome Trust PhD programme in Molecular, Genetic and Lifecourse Epidemiology which offers fully funded four-year PhD studentships. Cross-institutional PhD studentships are available through the GW4 PhD Biomedical and Clinical programmes, enabling students to benefit from the diversity of expertise and resources across the GW4 network of universities. The MRC Integrative Epidemiology Unit provides four-year PhD opportunities on cross-disciplinary projects exploring the causal effects of potentially modifiable exposures on health. The department also hosts cross-disciplinary studentships funded through the BHF Integrative Cardiovascular Science PhD programme and health data science studentships funded through EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training. Other funded studentships are available for projects in many research areas within the school.

Funded opportunities are advertised on the school website as they become available. Some funding opportunities are restricted to UK citizens.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

Most of our final-year research students express a wish to continue in research. The majority of recent PhD graduates now work in the academic sector, with others working in the health and private sectors. In addition to excellent research training, our students develop a range of transferable skills to ensure they have the best possible opportunities whatever their chosen career.

Research groups

Research in the Population Health Sciences department encompasses a number of academic areas:

Many research groups, centres and units work across more than one of these themes, reflecting the highly multidisciplinary environment in the department.

Find out more about our staff in the Bristol Medical School.

Contact us


Sharen Hockey O'Keefe, Graduate Administration Manager

+44 (0) 117 928 7274
Liz Hemmings, Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
+44 (0) 117 455 7759