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Study with us

DPhil Students, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences

Welcome to the Departmental Graduate Studies website.  The Director of Postgraduate Studies is Dr Alison Ward.  The Graduate Studies Committee is responsible for all graduate affairs in the department.

Direct entry DPhil and MSc by Research

We have up to 20 postgraduate students at any one time for research towards a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil.) degree, which is the University of Oxford’s equivalent of a PhD. Details of all our supervisors can be found here.

We are a well-funded department, able to offer graduate students plenty of space and facilities. Students also benefit from our close proximity to colleges, libraries and other facilities.

We provide a comprehensive training programme for graduate students, which includes an induction, a series of seminars and access to training in a wide range of transferable skills.  

All candidates should contact the Postgraduate Training Administrator, Daniel Long, at in the first instance. 

For 2015/16 we have a number of full-time studentships that cover university and college fees and living costs. These are funded by a number of bodies including the Medical Research Council, the NIHR, Clarendon Funds and University Colleges. They are awarded on a competitive basis.

View our available Studentships

Apply by

12 noon, Friday 8th January 2016 to be considered for funding

Course code

002130 DPhl / 002140 MSc


  • Richard McManus

    I am a Professor of Primary Care. My research interests include cardiovascular disease and its prevention, particularly the management of hypertension in primary care. I currently lead programmes of research around self-monitoring of blood pressure in both hypertension and pregnancy and welcome students wishing to base projects in these areas.

  • Paul Aveyard

    My research focuses on behavioural medicine. This is the intergration of biological, psychological and sociological knowledge to prevent and treat disease and to aid rehabilitation. My work focuses on helping people change their behaviour, either to prevent serious disease, or as a treatment for that disease.

  • Sue Ziebland

    Sue is a medical sociologist with particular interest in how people use the internet in relation to their health. While specialising in qualitative research she also has an interest in mixed methods studies

  • Carl Heneghan

    My research projects involve investigating the evidence base for publication bias and drug and device regulation. I also work on a number of projects with the BMJ related to the regulatory and evidence requirements for devices.

  • Kamal R. Mahtani

    My research primarily focuses on chronic disease, specifically in the areas of cardiovascular and musculoskeletal medicine. I am also interested in novel interventions to improve chronic disease management.

  • Alison Ward

    I have successfully supervised seven PhD students and seven masters students in a range of topics related to primary health care both in developed and developing countries. The main areas of my research include self-management of chronic diseases, self-care for non-communicable disease with a particular focus on LIMCc and pathways to care for critically ill and injured children in Africa. My work includes: cohort studies, RCTs, mixed methods and psychometric development of measurement instruments.

  • Sara Ryan

    My research interests are around disability (particularly learning disability and autism), qualitative research and health experiences. I'm also interested in exploring ways of including people who are 'seldom heard' in research.

  • Rafael Perera

    I am a University Lecturer in Medical Statistics, and the Department's Head of Statistics. My general interests include: monitoring in primary care, meta-analysis methods, methodology for studying infectious diseases in children, and assessing complex interventions.

  • Richard Stevens

    My current research interests include monitoring chronic diseases, especially diabetes and hypertension, and clinical prediction rules, especially risk scores. My publications, listed on my webpage at the department of primary care health sciences, give the best overview of my research.

  • Andrew Farmer

    Much of the research that Professor Farmer has recently led or collaborated on aims to improve the effectiveness of tests and treatments for people with diabetes, for example the use of telehealth to support self-management in diabetes, although recent trials also include evaluation of telehealth support for people with COPD, and use of text messaging to support treatment adherence in hypertension.

  • Louise Locock

    Interested in projects using qualitative research methods to understand health and illness experiences, and the use of these experiences to develop more patient-centred policy and practice, including service improvement and commissioning decisions. Current D Phils I am supervising focus on patient-centred care, use of personal health narratives for peer support and understanding healthy lifestyle choices.

  • Richard Hobbs

    My research interests focus on cardiovascular epidemiology and clinical trials, especially relating to vascular and stroke risk, and heart failure. See my full biography at