PhD Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence

Year of entry: 2023

Overview

Degree awarded
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Duration
3 years
Entry requirements
A good (UK First class or Upper Second class honours) Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline;

and

Either a Master's degree in ethics, law, or a cognate discipline, at merit level (or overseas equivalent), with overall average of 65%, dissertation mark of 65% and no mark below 55%;

or

A suitable period (normally at least three years) of validated professional experience in a relevant field.

Full entry requirements

How to apply

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

Admission to studying for a PhD is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics' profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines.

To be considered for external funding sources (for example, ESRC NWSSDTP), you need to apply far enough in advance of the relevant external funding deadlines, which are usually much earlier than the programme deadline listed below. For internal studentships from the School of Social Sciences, you must submit your completed application by 1 December 2022.

If you are applying for or have secured external funding (for example, from an employer or government) or are self-funding, you must submit your application before the relevant deadline to be considered. You will not be able to apply after these deadlines have passed.

  •  For September 2023 entry: 30 June 2023

Programme options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
PhD Y Y Y Y

Programme overview

  • Join an innovative programme for a publication-based PhD. 
  • Work closely with the  Centre for Social Ethics and Policy , a leading bioethics and medical jurisprudence centre, which has a lively and productive research environment. 
  • Pursue a unique structured research programme containing taught elements designed to provide a solid skills basis for independent research in this area.

Open days

To find out what studying on a postgraduate research programme at Manchester is like, visit our Open days and study fairs page and explore our virtual open week or future on-campus and international events.

Fees

Fees for entry in 2023 have not yet been set. For reference, the fees for the academic year beginning September 2022 were as follows:

  • PhD (full-time)
    UK students (per annum): £4,596
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,500
  • PhD (part-time)
    UK students (per annum): TBA
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,250
  • PhD (full-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): £4,596
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £20,500
  • PhD (part-time distance learning)
    UK students (per annum): TBA
    International, including EU, students (per annum): £10,250

Further information for EU students can be found on our dedicated EU page.

Scholarships/sponsorships

Various funding opportunities are available to PGRs applying for the three-year PhD degree programme. In addition to submitting the relevant scholarship application, you must submit the PhD application (deadlines apply).  

Please visit our How to apply page for terms and conditions, or email law.scholarship@manchester.ac.uk .  

References may be uploaded with your other supporting documents during the application process or emailed directly to research-law@manchester.ac.uk .

Contact details

School/Faculty
School of Social Sciences
Contact name
School of Social Sciences
Telephone
Email
Website
https://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/law/research/postgraduate-research/
School/Faculty

Programmes in related subject areas

Use the links below to view lists of programmes in related subject areas.

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

A good (UK First class or Upper Second class honours) Bachelor's degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline;

and

Either a Master's degree in ethics, law, or a cognate discipline, at merit level (or overseas equivalent), with overall average of 65%, dissertation mark of 65% and no mark below 55%;

or

A suitable period (normally at least three years) of validated professional experience in a relevant field.

English language

Candidates whose first language is not English require one of the following:

  • IELTS test minimum scores - 7 overall, 7 in writing and with no further score below 6.5;
  • TOEFL IBT minimum scores - 103 overall, 28 in writing and no further score below 25;
  • Other tests may be considered - please contact us for advice.

Please note:

  • All non-native English speaking students are required to do the English language assessment when they register in September.
  • Any non-native English speaking student going away for fieldwork in an overseas, non-English speaking country are required to re-take the English assessment when they come back to Manchester.
  • All non UK non-native English speaking applicants must have obtained the minimum IELTS or TOEFL score in order to obtain a CAS for their visa.
  • Scores are valid for 2 years.

Please note that CAS statements are issued only when all conditions of the offer have been satisfied, a PDF copy of your passport received and the offer accepted.

English language test validity

Some English Language test results are only valid for two years. Your English Language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

Please ensure you include all required supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications may not be considered.

Application Deadlines

Admission to studying for a PhD is highly competitive, so please allow as much time as possible to prepare your application, browse our research pages and academics' profiles, and familiarise yourself with the application process and any important deadlines.

To be considered for external funding sources (for example, ESRC NWSSDTP), you need to apply far enough in advance of the relevant external funding deadlines, which are usually much earlier than the programme deadline listed below. For internal studentships from the School of Social Sciences, you must submit your completed application by 1 December 2022.

If you are applying for or have secured external funding (for example, from an employer or government) or are self-funding, you must submit your application before the relevant deadline to be considered. You will not be able to apply after these deadlines have passed.

  •  For September 2023 entry: 30 June 2023

Advice to applicants

Required Supporting Documents

• A 1,500 word PhD research proposal , and 500 word supporting statement summarising your motivation for PhD study, outlining any research experience you have and why you want to do a postgraduate research degree at Manchester. Please upload the 2000 word document as a single file.

• Copies of the academic transcript and certificate from both your undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. If your postgraduate degree is pending, please provide an interim transcript;

• An up to date academic CV;

• A sample of written work demonstrating ability in the area of philosophical bioethics or medical law (2,000 to 5,000 words);

• You must nominate two academic referees (including one from your most recent institution). Your referees will be contacted directly via the Referee Portal following submission of your application form. You may wish to contact your referees to request they submit your reference in a reasonable time as this forms part of the review process;

• If you are not from a majority English speaking country, you must additionally provide English Language evidence (e.g IELTS).

Finding a supervisor

Your supervisor will be an important part of your PhD programme. It's a close relationship over many years, through which you develop your ideas, skills, thinking and research. Your supervisor's research interests should therefore closely align with yours.

If you aren't applying for a specific project, you'll need to find potential supervisors who will support your research. Details on recent publications, ongoing projects and particular research interests are all available on our academics' profiles.

Your potential supervisor should be able to give you advice on developing your research proposal as well as critical feedback to help make your proposal strong and competitive when it comes to applying for funding. If you'd like us to match you to a suitable supervisor, providing clear details of your research area within your application will make it easier for us to identify suitable opportunities for you. Include any details in section six of your application form under 'Proposed programme of study'.

Although guarantees cannot be made, we'll do our best to match your area of research to the most suitable supervisors.

Interview requirements

As part of the offer making process applicants will be required to undertake an interview assessment. This may be in the form of an in-person interview, telephone or video call.

The interview is designed to assess your knowledge and understanding of the broad topic area, the viability of your proposed research and its intellectual contribution, alongside the fit of your project with the supervisory team.

Re-applications

If you applied in a previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard programme entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen programme.

Programme details

Programme description

National, regional, and local governments, organisations, and authorities are beginning to realise that they need highly trained people in healthcare ethics and law. This means now is a good time to aim for the highest academic qualifications in the field.  

Traditional graduate studies for a research degree do not offer the ethical and legal knowledge or the comprehensive training needed for cutting-edge research into bioethics and medical jurisprudence. A more structured approach is called for. 

This programme is designed to provide a solid skills basis for independent research, and to guide you steadily towards the completion of a structured doctoral thesis, which is based on publishable journal articles and book chapters. The programme itself is unique in its combination of group sessions in research methods and presentation events which are designed to ensure a genuine sense of community among researchers, and friendly but consistent supervision by world-class scholars in the field. 

The topics and themes which are covered during the group sessions in Year 1 address the diverse challenges of doctoral research in health law and ethics, for example: 

  • refining your research question;
  • scoping the literature; 
  • doing interdisciplinary research; 
  • exploring methodologies in bioethics and law; 
  • getting published. 

Our entire community of doctoral scholar's meet four times during the year to present their ideas and research papers. We encourage staff and PGRs at all stages of their learning to attend our BMJ presentation events so that doctoral scholars can become accustomed to presenting their research to a diverse audience. Our doctoral scholars are a vital element in the research culture of our centre and our School.

Aims

The PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence is a structured research programme containing taught elements designed to provide a solid skills basis for independent research in this area.

Special features

As a PGR here, you’ll be a member of the Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, one of the leading bioethics and medical jurisprudence institutes in the world. The Centre has three decades of experience in campus-based and distance-learning programmes, and a lively and productive research environment.

Coursework and assessment

Study success will be assessed by the structured doctoral thesis.

All the taught elements serve the preparation of the doctoral thesis, which develops knowledge of bioethics and medical jurisprudence methods and approaches. The development of your research skills are monitored and supported by supervisors. Although the outputs for the doctoral thesis are somewhat different to the conventional PhD, the report and the articles that make up the thesis are assessed according to the general rules in the University.

You will have a supervisory team which normally consists of two supervisors with expertise in both philosophical bioethics and medical jurisprudence that you will meet regularly.

Programme unit details

The first year consists of a series of research methods workshops, attendance at presentation events and monthly supervision meetings with two supervisors. Year 1 concludes with the production of a report, which outlines the contextual legal and philosophical issues that underpin your research questions and a draft outline of your first research paper.  

Years 2 and 3 continue with supervision meetings and attendance at presentation events. Work produced during this time is devoted to research which leads to at least three publishable journal articles or book chapters and a structured doctoral thesis. The progress of the research will be closely monitored in research methods sessions, presentations, and supervisory meetings. The results of the research will be presented in research seminars and national and international conferences and meetings. To this end, our scholars are provided with a generous financial allowance to enable attendance and presentation at external events. 

If you have any questions about the PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence please contact our  Recruitment and Admissions team.

Facilities

At The University of Manchester Law department, School of Social Sciences, you are supported by the first-class resources you would expect of a top law school. In addition to the networked study spaces at the Williamson Building, you can access The University of Manchester Library , which houses a substantial collection of law books and periodicals, as well as texts to support all the degrees we offer.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

A PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence can lead to careers in academic and clinical research, as well as enhance a career in medicine and other healthcare and legal professions. 

The University has its own dedicated  Careers Service that you would have full access to as a PGR and for two years after you graduate.  

At Manchester you will have access to a number of  opportunities to help support you with your goals for the future.