Years Two to Four

Home  About  Years Two to Four

Thesis research and writing

Years two to four are when the thesis research happens. Students have found the topic that they are passionate about, and will spend three years carrying out research, furthering their training and creating external links and networks. 

The final year focuses on thesis writing, but students are also supported in thinking about next steps and career planning.

Supervision in years two to four

Quality supervision is crucial to the postgraduate experience. We are committed to ensuring excellent standards, incorporating best University practice. Training needs analyses are revised and agreed with supervisors and a Programme Director each year. 

As students develop, supervisors identify further training opportunities, assess progress, discuss career aspirations and identify ways to maximise potential.

Student progress is carefully monitored with:

Year two

Students attending a health conference

From year two, students and supervisors plan academic research visits, external courses, conference attendances, and possible internships with research-relevant external organisations. 

Relevant national conferences include, for example, the Lancet public health conference, the Health Economics Study Group (HESG), and the UKPRP meetings.

International meeting attendance relevant to PhD topic is agreed with supervisors.

Year three

A man showing a student a graph on a computer screen

During year three, students are encouraged to organise their own internship (up to three months) at a stakeholder/research organisation (e.g. the NHS, NICE, local authorities, Public Health England, government departments, WHO, industry, and centres of recognised scientific excellence).

Students work collaboratively with these academics and decision-makers, enabling further research translation and impact.

Year four

A student looking at books in a library

Year four students concentrate on thesis writing and submission, viva, academic publications and planning the next steps in their careers. Supervision support is particularly intense during this period. 

A special feature of this programme is that students have the option of applying for transition funding to support them in moving to the next stage of their careers. Current students have used this to create post-doctoral research positions, undertake additional training, work with charities or develop their research agenda.