Medicine and Health

MPhil/PhD Medical Studies
MD Doctor of Medicine
MS Master of Surgery
Master of Research Medical Studies

The University of Exeter Medical School has a lively and innovative research environment based in Exeter and Truro, but operating across the whole of the South West. 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.

We offer our postgraduate students a fantastic learning environment, which includes research skills training and dedicated postgraduate facilities. The School benefits from exemplary facilities in all areas as a result of recent major investments.

What is an MPhil or PhD?

Both MPhil and PhD research degrees involve an extensive investigation of a particular topic.

MPhil research takes a maximum of three years to complete full-time, or five years part-time, and is assessed by the submission of a dissertation of up to 60,000 words. The PhD takes a maximum of four years full-time and seven years part-time and the results of your research will normally be assessed by a written thesis of up to 100,000 words and oral examination. The PhD is only awarded when the results of your investigation make an original contribution to knowledge in the field.

A PhD is the highest qualification that a university can award and offers a challenging and exciting opportunity to work at the cutting-edge of research: if you have these qualities Exeter can offer a very supportive environment in which to pursue research.

Advice for PhD applicants

Our online learning resource 'Considering a UK PhD?' provides lots of helpful advice and information from staff and students about the PhD experience at Exeter.

You may wish to read our general advice for PhD applicants webpages, which give tips on how to put together a successful research degree application.

Applicants for research programmes are also advised to visit the College's webpages to check for specific advice (see further information link). Here you will be able to find out about staff research interests and make preliminary enquiries about supervision. We advise that you do this before applying.

What is a Masters by Research?

The Masters by Research, not to be confused with the taught MRes degree, was introduced in 2009 and is offered within some Colleges. The Masters by Research, like other research degrees, contains no taught element and offers you the opportunity to pursue a research project, without entering into the commitment of a longer-term research degree. As such, it’s ideal for those in employment who are interested in pursuing a specific shorter-term research project.

A Masters by Research degree is assessed by a written dissertation of up 40,000 words. The dissertation will not need to constitute an original contribution to knowledge but will need to provide evidence that you have worked at the current limits of understanding of the subject. Unlike a taught Masters degree, there is no taught element, so dedication and enthusiasm for your subject are essential.