Healthcare and Medicine

  • MPhil/PhD
  • MD Doctor of Medicine
  • MS Master of Surgery
  • MSc by Research
  • MPhil/PhD/MSc by Research Medical Imaging (Exeter St Luke's only)
  • MPhil/PhD/MSc by Research Nursing Research
  • PhD Complex Living Systems
Degree typesTypes of research degrees explained
DurationDegree duration details
LocationCornwall (Penryn), Cornwall (Truro), Exeter (St Luke‘s)
Study modesFull time and part time Study mode details
Start date MPhil/PhD/MS/MD: Flexible monthly start dates
MSc by Research Medical Imaging: September, January or April
MSc by Research Medical Studies: Flexible monthly start dates

Research overview

Postgraduate research at the College of Medicine and Health

Anne Leonard talks about a study which examines whether we are exposed to antibiotic resistance in coastal waters.

As a postgraduate student in College of Medicine and Health you will be part of a thriving community, benefiting from quality research-led teaching and supervision, as well as access to outstanding facilities. We can offer a wide range of supervision across our core research areas but we are also involved with interdisciplinary research with other Colleges in the University of Exeter.

  • Based in both Exeter and Truro, we operate across the whole of the South West.
  • Research at the cutting-edge of health innovation, making a difference across the world.
  • We feature in the world top 20 for Biomedical and Health Sciences in the CWTS Leiden Ranking 2019.
  • High-quality research referenced by other academics in major journals across the world.
  • Close-working relationship with the National Health Service (NHS) - our priorities will continue to reflect national needs and priorities.
  • Commitment to high-quality applied medical research spanning from the basic biomedical to applied health services.
  • Medical imaging research focuses on musculoskeletal imaging and diseases associated with aging.
  • Research into new diagnostic techniques including computer-assisted diagnosis and thermal imaging techniques.

Research areas

Our research based around four distinct themes:

  • Diabetes, Cardiovascular risk and Ageing
  • Environment and Human Health
  • Health Services Research
  • Neuroscience and Mental Health


Our research themes are delivered across our two research institutes:

The Institute of Biomedical & Clinical Science
The Institute’s research is people-focussed and designed to deliver direct benefit to patients, the NHS and the pharmaceutical industry. The Institute’s aim is to understand the underlying molecular basis of disease and to apply this knowledge in innovative ways that lead to improved treatment and a better quality of life for patients.

The Institute of Health Research
The Institute’s research strengths lie in applied health research and underpinning methodological work. We focus on research that reflects the needs of patients and of health service providers, based on partnership with the NHS and other public bodies and a strong commitment to public involvement.


Many academic staff engage in research in partnership with organisations including the NHS, NIHR, The Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC) and a wide range of health-related charities and international universities and institutions. View a list of our current research students.


Our core research themes align us closely with the interests of the NHS with whom we have close working relationship. Our priorities will continue to reflect national needs and priorities. This will place you in a strong position for your future career.

Our postgraduate research students can access our Postgraduate Researchers' Programme, which covers a range of topics to help you complete a successful research degree and to act as a springboard for your research career.

In addition, all students have access the University's Career Zone providing business contacts, support and training as well as the opportunity to meet potential employers at our regular Careers Fairs.

Doing a research degree can be great for your career but it also builds personal development, confidence and independence.

“I feel that after the PhD I'll be more responsible, respectful, disciplined, better on prioritising. Avoiding the cliches, I'd add that I feel more curious, open minded and critical - not only on research-related topics but in general.”  PhD student, College of Medicine and Health.

Graduate destinations

On completion of their research degree, our graduates have returned to, or found employment in, the following organisations:

  • Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cornwall Foundation Trust - Trengweath
  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • Marine Management Organisation
  • NHS Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
  • Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Exeter Medical School
  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Entry requirements

Applicants should be highly motivated and have, or expect to obtain, either a first or upper-second class BSc (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline. International applicants must also have IELTS score of 7 and above.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

At least 7.0 overall and no less than 6.0 in any other section.


At least 100 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2021/22


MSc by Research Medical Studies

MSc by Research Medical Imaging

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 3 per cent per year of study.

Tuition fees per year 2020/21


MSc by Research Medical Studies

MSc by Research Medical Imaging

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 3 per cent per year of study.



Current available funding

Contact us

Postgraduate Admissions
Phone: 0300 555 60 60 (UK callers)*
           +44(0)1392 723044 (EU/International callers)
WebEnquire online

* Calling us on an 0300 number will cost you the same as a call to a standard landline number starting with 01 and 02.
If you have an inclusive call package for calling landline numbers on your mobile or landline telephone the call would simply be reduced from your available talk minutes. Otherwise your call will be charged at the same rate as calling a standard national rate number.

Supervision and support

You’ll usually meet your supervisor monthly, however this will be more frequent when engaged in activities like designing your research methods, conducting your detailed analysis, or completing your thesis for submission. Your meetings may involve discussion of your progress, briefing papers or draft chapters you have written as well as training needs assessment, preparation for seminars or conference presentations, and debating current trends and future prospects in your field.

You’ll both keep personal records of supervision and three times a year you and your supervisor will write an agreed report on your interim progress, your work plans, and your ongoing training needs. Your supervisor will make sure your work remains on track. That’s good for you, your sponsors, and for the University.

Find a supervisor

To find a supervisor, you will need to contact an academic in the College of Medicine and Health who is conducting research in the field you are interested in, and for them to agree to supervise you. View the list of academics in the College of Medicine and Health. You can also contact us for general admissions queries.

Pastoral tutor

In addition to your supervisor, you will also have a pastoral tutor who will provide general guidance and pastoral support. Your pastoral tutor will contact you three times a year to ensure that any issues which may be interfering with your ability to study are being addressed.

Apply online How to apply Healthcare and Medicine research pages Staff profiles Ask a question Print page

I love my PhD

Clinical Fellow Richard Oram tells us about his research into diabetes and why he loves his PhD. View full size.

I love my PhD

Former Genetics PhD student, Kate, tells us about her research and why she loved studying for her PhD here at Exeter. View full size.

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