PhD/MPhil Health Economics

  1. Course Variations
    Nomenclature Duration Mode Of Attendance
    Ph.D. 3Yr FT
    Ph.D. 6Yr PT
    M.Phil 2Yr FT
    M.Phil 4Yr PT

Course Overview

Delivering robust and ground breaking health economics research on the development and delivery of health care interventions and services, by combining significant qualitative skills, expertise in real-world data mining and analysis, and health policy. Studying for a PhD or MPhil is a truly challenging and deeply rewarding experience, and Swansea University provides an excellent environment in which to pursue your research studies.

Key Features

A research degree gives you the chance to pursue a research project based around your own passions and interests, leading to a qualification which can open the door to an academic career or boost employment prospects outside academia.   

Research degrees typically last from three years (full-time study) to six years (part-time) for a PhD, or two years (full-time) to four years (part-time) for an MPhil.  Key features include:

  • An environment in which you can develop and enhance transferable skills such as problem solving, independent thinking, project management, and critical thinking.
  • The support of two academic supervisors throughout your studies.
  • The availability of structured training, interdisciplinary seminars, dedicated research facilities and software from both the College and University.
  • Support from a dynamic community of research staff and students each pursuing their own lines of research.
  • Assessment by means of a thesis of up to 100,000 words which must demonstrate the student’s capacity to pursue original research and should represent a distinct and significant contribution to the subject. This is then followed by an oral examination of the thesis (viva).

You can gain an insight into what studying for a research degree will involve, and hear about other students experiences, in our latest brochure

The most recent UK-wide assessment of the quality of research in HEI’s (the Research Assessment Exercise 2008), revealed that 70% of the research carried out by the College was of international or world-leading quality.  With our research into the health disciplines demonstrating outstanding quality in originality, significance and rigour, students can be assured that they will be immersed in the dynamic and supportive research culture needed for their studies.  


Delivering robust and ground breaking health economics research on the development and delivery of health care interventions and services, by combining significant qualitative skills, expertise in real-world data mining and analysis, and health policy.

Research students in this area are investigating areas such as the cost effectiveness of clinical pharmacist interventions in patients with cardiac disease, the application of prioritisation methods in an era of disinvestment, and the costs associated with the collection and utilisation of allergenic blood.

Find out more about some of the academic staff supervising theses in these areas:

Professor Ceri Phillips

Dr Deborah Fitzsimmons

Find out more about our Swansea Centre for Health Economics.

Entry Requirements

Applicants for the PhD programme would normally have, or be studying for a Master’s degree, while our MPhil programme requires a first or upper second degree in a discipline related to the proposed research project, or a relevant, approved postgraduate qualification.  In some cases, there may be opportunities for MPhil students to continue their studies as a PhD student.

We welcome applications by prospective students from around the world and look for evidence of previous study that is equivalent to the entry requirements stated above. The Postgraduate Admissions Office is happy to advise you on whether your qualifications are suitable for entry to the course you would like to study. Please email for further information.

If English is not your first language you will need an acceptable pass in an approved English Language qualification to make sure you get the full benefit from studying at Swansea. We consider a wide range of qualifications, including the Swansea University English Test, the British Council IELTS test (with a score of at least 6.5 in each component). A full list of acceptable English Language tests can be found here.

How To Apply

Details of the application process for research degrees are available here, and you can apply online and track your application status at  As part of your application you should include a research proposal outlining your proposed topic of study.  Guidance on writing a research proposal is also available

Applicants can expect to be interviewed following their application to discuss their topic of research and ensure they demonstrate the necessary level of commitment to their studies and training.

Please note that it is advisable that you contact us before submitting your application.  This will ensure we can identify appropriate supervisors, and where necessary work with you to refine your proposal.  If you would like to do this you should contact Maria Davis in the first instance at

If you're an international student, find out more about applying for this course at

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU International
Ph.D. Full-time £4,200 £15,750
Ph.D. Part-time £2,100 £7,850
M.Phil Full-time £4,200 £15,750
M.Phil Part-time £2,100 £7,850

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

Note: The UK/EU fee is indicative pending confirmation from RCUK.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

International students and part-time study: If you require a Tier 4 student visa you must be studying full-time. If you are in the UK under a different visa category, it may be possible for you to study part-time. Please see our part-time study and visas page for more information.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

The tuition fees do not cover the costs of purchasing books or stationery, printing, thesis binding or photocopying costs.

There are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course, but in addition to tuition fees and living expenses most studies will also incur a further element of cost throughout your research. This could take the form of travel costs, hospitality to run a focus group, conference fees, etc. You should spend some time considering what other costs you may need to fund when designing your research proposal.

Occasionally postgraduate research studentships can be made available at Swansea University in specific areas. Details of current opportunities can be found at


PhD: Typically three years in duration (full-time) or six years (part-time). Students undertake supervised research.

MPhil: Typically two years in duration (full-time) or four years (part-time). Students undertake supervised research. In some cases, there may be opportunities for students to continue onto a PhD.


PhD: A thesis of no more than 100,000 words is submitted, which demonstrates original research that contributes significantly to the subject area. This is then followed by an oral examination of the thesis (viva).

MPhil: A thesis of no more than 60,000 words is submitted, which demonstrates original research that contributes significantly to the subject area.  This is then followed by an oral examination of the thesis (viva).


The College of Human and Health Sciences has state-of-the-art facilities including:

  • Simulated clinical practice facilities and bioscience practice rooms, for realistic workplace experiences.
  • Specialised psychology laboratories hosting a sleep laboratory; computer controlled visual and auditory displays for work on perception, attention, memory and language; an eye movement laboratory; fMRI brain scanner; EEG facilities and a nutrition laboratory.

We also have access to many different facilities and further equipment at organisations that we work closely with, such as the NHS.

Other resources include:

  • Service Users and Carers Group which can help in providing essential advice or improving engagement between your research project and the user community.
  • Structured training programmes, interdisciplinary seminars from worldwide speakers, dedicated research/study facilities and specialist analytical software.

As well as being immersed in the vibrant research community of the College and its research groups, you will also be able to access wider support and advice through the research networks staff are involved in, such as:

Wales Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience

WICN is a multi-centre initiative which draws together psychology research from across the breadth of Wales to create a world leader in the study and application of cognitive and clinical neuroscience.

Older Person and Ageing Network Cymru (OPAN)

OPAN Cymru aims to improve the lives of older people through the integration of research, policy and practice across Wales.

Welsh Health Economic Support Service (WHESS)

WHESS provides health economic support at the early conceptual stages of proposal planning, in research funding applications, in research practice and in the dissemination of information.


Delivering high quality research is a key step in enhancing the health, social and economic well-being of all sections of society. It is essential that decisions on policy and practice are informed by the latest research findings and evidence available if we hope to improve organisational effectiveness and sustainability, social welfare and cohesion, and quality of life.

Through our cutting edge research, the College of Human and Health Sciences is bringing about real-life benefits for the health care, social care, voluntary and private sectors, ultimately leading to improvements for patients, users, practitioners, managers and policy makers. 

As a forerunner in the field, the College is well-placed to respond rapidly to changes in the delivery of care, whilst also establishing links with the main service providers in Wales, such as the NHS and Local Authorities.

Our research is delivered through discipline focussed research centres.  In doing so, we have secured funding from a number of prestigious collaborators and funding bodies in recent years such as the Welsh Government, NHS Wales, Public Health Wales;  European Union; Amgen Europe; Ministry of Defence; GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals; British Medical Association; National Institute for Social Care and Health Research; Astrazeneca; and the Wellcome Trust. These collaborations have been crucial in ensuring research informs, and is informed by, the wider healthcare environment.

Examples of how our research has impacted health and social care services can be found here.


Student Profile

Abdulaziz Altowaijri is a postgraduate researcher in the College of Human and Health Sciences. We asked him about his research into the benefits of clinical pharmacist services involved in the care of patients with cardiovascular disease in an inpatients setting.

Aziz told us “the evaluation involved assessing the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of this service by using health technology assessment methods. The process was enjoyable and I managed to complete my tasks within time. The majority of difficulties I faced were during data collection and writing up.  However, I tried to write up drafts as I went along throughout my research and didn’t leave it all to the end. Then I started editing my thesis to present it as a story that explores the research journey.

“My viva was over three hours long, with a large number of the questions. However, I prepared myself and summarized my thoughts on the project as a whole, and prepared for potential questions about my thesis in the weeks prior to the event itself. I tried to go in with a good attitude and think about it as a chance to discuss my work rather than worrying about the viva outcome. This helped me to go into it open, positive and to welcome the chance to talk about my thesis for an extended time.

“My experience in the PhD studies taught me several lessons which qualified me to become a future researcher and provided me with expertise on how to properly meet requirements to conduct research. I believe that studying at PhD level will benefit my future career, broaden my horizons, and build up my skills and confidence.”