Healthcare and Medicine

  • MPhil/PhD
  • MD Doctor of Medicine
  • MS Master of Surgery
  • MSc by Research
  • MSc by Research Medical Imaging (Exeter St Luke's only)
  • MPhil/PhD/Masters By Research Nursing Research
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

Research areas

Research within the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health is based around four distinct themes:

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

Medical Imaging research focuses on musculoskeletal imaging and diseases associated with aging. Medical Imaging also undertakes research into new diagnostic techniques including computer assisted diagnosis and thermal imaging techniques.

We have a lively and innovative research environment based in Exeter and Truro, but operating across the whole of the South West. Our research is at the cutting edge of health innovation, making a difference across the world. In our submission to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 Clinical Medicine research was ranked 3rd in the country, based on research outputs that were rated world-leading. Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care research also ranked in the top ten, in joint 9th for research outputs rated world-leading or internationally excellent.

Our core themes and focus on chronic disease and applied health research, align us closely with the interests of the NHS with whom we have close working relationship and our priorities will continue to reflect national needs and priorities. We have a commitment towards high-quality applied medical research spanning from the basic biomedical to applied health services.

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


Many academic staff engage in research in partnership with organisations including the NHS, NIHR, The Wellcome Trust, MRC and a wide range of health-related charities and international universities and institutions. You can view a list of our current research students on the Medical School web pages.


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.


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 places our research students in a strong position for their future career.

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.

Graduate destinations

On completion of their research degree, 2011/12 graduates have returned to, or found employment in, the following organisations:

  • Devon Partnership NHS Trust
  • NHS (West Suffolk)
  • NHS Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital
  • Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust
  • Semmelweis University
  • Southampton General Hospital
  • Sparx (Part of the Atass Group)
  • University of Bristol
  • University of Exeter
  • University of Oxford

Entry requirements 2018

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.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

65 with no less than 55 in all skills.

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 2019/20

MSc by Research Medical Studies

  • UK/EU: £4,320* full-time; £pro-rata part-time
  • International: £19,900 full-time

MSc by Research Medical Imaging

  • UK/EU: £pro-rata part-time (of £4,320* full-time fee)
  • International: £9,950

Following your registration, tuition fees for subsequent years of study may increase to take into account inflationary pressures – this will not exceed 5 per cent per year of study.

*This is the expected UK/EU fee. The UK/EU tuition fees are set in line with Research Councils UK fee levels which have not yet been set for 2019 entry. Once these are set in March 2019 we will email to confirm the tuition fees for your programme. The 2019/20 fee will not increase by more than 3% from the 2018/19 fee.

Tuition fees per year 2018/19


  • UK/EU: £4,500 full-time; £2,250 part-time
  • International: £19,700 full-time

MSc by Research Medical Studies

  • UK/EU: £4,500 full-time; £2,270 part-time
  • International: £19,700 full-time

MSc by Research Medical Imaging

  • UK/EU: £2,270 part-time
  • International: £9,850

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.


We make a number of PhD studentships available annually. Please use our postgraduate research search for the latest information on PhD studentships and funding schemes.

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, but more frequently 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 on-going training needs. Your supervisor will make sure your work remains on track. That’s good for you, your sponsors, and for the University.

Your mentor

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

Find a supervisor

We offer guidance on how to find a supervisor for your degree. You can also contact us to discuss matching you with a potential supervisor. 

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I love my PhD

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

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