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PhD/MPhil Occupational & Environmental Health / Programme details

Year of entry: 2020

Programme description

Our PhD/MPhil programme enables you to undertake a research project that will provide you with high quality training in Occupational and Environmental Health. 

Our research investigates the relationship between occupational and environmental exposures (e.g. air pollution, radiation, pesticides, carcinogens), the exposome and human health. In addition, we carry out studies to determine the impact of interventions to reduce exposure on the  health of populations  as well as studies of stress and wellbeing and of factors that affect return to work by patients following or during treatment.  These studies are generally highly multidisciplinary, involving epidemiologists and health scientists, statisticians, toxicologists, clinicians, social scientist, molecular scientists, and geneticists. 

Themes of our work and illustrative papers are as follows:

Occupational exposure to chemical, physical and biological agents and risk of adverse health outcomes

Environmental exposure and risk of adverse health outcomes

Biomarkers of occupational and environmental exposures

Intervention studies to reduce occupational, environmental or indoor exposures on health

Return to work following sickness absence

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

See the  training and development  page for more information.

Teaching and learning

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one year (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).

Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.

International applicants interested in this research area can also consider the our PhD programme with integrated teaching certificate .

This unique programme will enable you to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, whilst also carrying out independent research on your chosen project.

Attendance Requirement for Distance Learning Programme

Students must maintain expected virtual presence and communication with their Supervisor in order to remain registered on the programme and follow all online progression milestones as for any PGR student.

Students must attend, in person, the Welcome and Induction activities organised by the Doctoral Academy in September.  As a result, a September start date is preferable.  Students should also attend, in person, the compulsory `Life as a PhD Student' training.

Students are encouraged to consider undertaking additional training offered via the  Doctoral Academy Training Programme.

It is expected that students will spend a  minimum  of one working week (5 days) in attendance at the University (in addition to welcome/induction days).  This may coincide with formal study weeks (ie in NMSW) and will present the opportunity for the student to spend time with their Supervisory team, visit the Library or local research facilities.

Students must participate in the formal Annual Review meeting, ideally in person, but attendance via Skype etc can be considered.

The final oral examination will be held at the University of Manchester.  Only in very  exceptional  circumstances will a student be allowed to undertake the viva remotely.

Scholarships and bursaries

Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants from within the UK, EU and overseas.

For more information on available the types of funding we have available, please visit the  funded programmes  and  funding opportunities  pages.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the   Doctoral Academy Blog .


You will have access to a range of  research and learning facilities  across the University and at some of our partner organisations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: