About the course
Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.
MPhil degree option
An MPhil involves the exploration of a research topic and is typically studied over a shorter period of 1 year for a full-time student and 2 years for a part-time student. MPhil students are required to demonstrate a systematic understanding of knowledge and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights informed by the forefront of their discipline, field of study or professional practice.
Physiotherapy offers a multi-stranded research programme exploring the development and evaluation of rehabilitation strategies, the environments in which they can be used and the lived experience of patients across a broad spectrum of acute and long term conditions. This includes the whole rehabilitation pathway and beyond, aiming to explore and promote the best in evidence based practice. Physiotherapy at Brunel has a large team of academics who are actively involved in research across a wide range of clinical specialties. The academic team has internationally renowned expertise in cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal and neurological health and rehabilitation and in quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methodologies. We have an established national and international profile in terms of relationships with health, government, professional and research funding bodies to support collaborative research. The academic team has extensive clinical expertise and retains strong collaborative links with several key London hospitals and NHS trusts.
Applicants are welcome to contact us about their own specialist topics and projects. However we particularly welcome proposals on :
- Evaluating the effectiveness of contemporary and novel rehabilitation strategies for long term conditions.
- The refinement of contemporary rehabilitation, preventative and health promotion strategies used to enhance the wellbeing of people with stroke, cerebral palsy, cardiac disease, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain and people in critical care.
- The use of electronic and assistive technologies.
- Peoples’ experiences of physiotherapy and/or living with long term health conditions.
- The use of principles from sports psychology to help older adults overcome fear of falling and improve mobility and to reduce gait deficits (such as freezing of gait) in people with Parkinson’s disease.
- The use of principles from sports psychology.
- Investigating participation and pedagogy to enhance the learning experience of student physiotherapists.
Find out more
All research degrees are administered by the Postgraduate Research Programmes Office in Colleges. Once you have identified your area of research and a potential supervisor, you can complete your application online. Please use the contact details below for enquiries. You may also approach your potential supervisor directly.
College of Health and Life Sciences
Tel: +44 (0) 1895 268161
Dr Neil O’Connell - Division PGR Officer
Tel: +44 (0)1895 268814
Dr Claire Donovan, Department PGR Director
Tel: +44 (0)1895 267651
A training programme will be provided by the College to assist students with achieving targets. The programme will include the underpinning principles such as philosophy of science, research integrity, ethics and specialist methodology. Sessions in core, specialist and advanced research methods will prepare students for an independent research career. The College research methods programme includes sessions from specialists with research expertise in qualitative, quantitative, reflexive, practitioner and insider research, and is aligned with the ESRC research methods expectations. Students will also enrol in the Graduate School Researcher Development Programme that ensures all students are equipped with generic research skills including presentational skills and impact activities.
Facts and Figures
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission:
Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy
Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism
The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008. The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students
Teaching and Assessment
Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here.
Each student will be allocated a supervisory team consisting of the principal supervisor, second supervisor and a Research Development Advisor. The supervisory team will set teaching and learning targets and advise the student how to achieve them. The progress of each student will be assessed by the supervisory team at regular meetings and by a formal Progress Review Panel at 9 months for full-time students (18 months for part-time students) and then annually. All academic supervisors receive university supported training in the supervision of PhD students.
A PhD in Physiotherapy will particularly suit physiotherapists who wish to contribute to the development of research knowledge in their specialist area or to academic training. Universities recruiting lecturers for Physiotherapy courses usually expect a PhD as well as a practice experience.
At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.
» More about Employability
Fees for 2017/18 entry
Full time: £4,195 Part time: £2,097
Full time: £17,500 Part time: £8,750
Full time: £4,121 Part time: £2,060
Full time: £17,200 Part time: £8,600
Additional course related costs
Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.
Entry Criteria 2017/18
The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree. All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study - IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 6.5 in any section). This applies even if English is the native language of your home country. An appropriate level of English language competence is also expected as listed below. Find out which alternative English language qualifications we accept. Applicants may also be required to attend compulsory in-sessional English language support. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
Potential research students are encouraged to contact members of staff in the area of interest to receive guidance on how to focus the research proposal.
Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.
International and EU Entry Requirements
If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions
This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.
English Language Requirements
- IELTS: 7 (min 6 in all areas)
- Pearson: 64 (51 in all subscores)
- BrunELT: 70% (min 60% in all areas)
Brunel University London strongly recommends that if you will require a Tier 4 visa, you sit your IELTS test at a test centre that has been approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as being a provider of a Secure English Language Test (SELT). Not all test centres have this status. The University can accept IELTS (with the required scores) taken at any official test centre or other English Language qualifications we accept as meeting our main award entry requirements.
However, if you wish to undertake a Pre-sessional English course to further improve your English prior to the start of your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider. This is because you will only be able to apply for a Tier 4 student visa to undertake a Pre-sessional English course if you hold a SELT from a UKVI approved test centre. Find out more information about it.
Brunel also offers our own BrunELT English Test and accepts a range of other language courses. We also have Pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet these requirements, or who wish to improve their English. Find out more information about English course and test options.