MPhil option available
This course has an MPhil option
PhD student loans
The UK Government has recently introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here.
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.
The overall aim of the Ageing Studies theme is to advance our knowledge and understanding of how to improve the health and quality of life of older people. We bring a range of disciplinary perspectives to addressing our key research challenges: maximising the ability of people to age well, mapping the diverse and dynamic ways that people age, and contributing to the development and evaluation of health and social care interventions that optimise the potential for ageing well. Our theme, which has 40 members, embraces the four key disciplinary perspectives that underpin the understanding of ageing well: social and behavioural sciences, biology, clinical and health sciences, and arts, humanities, policy and politics. In the main, however, our research focuses on three key areas of activity.
While we welcome all multidisciplinary topics in the area of Ageing Studies, here is a list of potential research areas we would like to supervise:
- Successful ageing: learning from the very active
- Reactivating senescent cells through epigenetic mechanisms
- Ageing in minority communities
- Ageing with a disability
- Ageing without children
- Financial gerontology and elder abuse
- Literary, cultural and social narratives of old age
- Fear of falling and mobility
- Design interventions and assistive technologies
- The association between muscle strength, muscle quality, sedentary behaviour and disability in adults with cerebral palsy
- Activity and participation in adults with multiple sclerosis
- Identifying genes that affect ageing in a Drosophila model of Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome.
The three main clusters of research cut across areas of Biological, Social and Psychological Ageing and include experts in:
- rehabilitation after cancer and stroke,
- biomechanics and falls,
- cellular and molecular biology of ageing,
- sociology and psychology of loneliness,
- financial and elder abuse,
- ageing with alcohol,
- ethnic ageing and driving cessation,
- mid life risk factors for cognitive decline in old age, and
- posterior cortical atrophy.
Find out more:
Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)
Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure
Entry criteria 2019/20
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. The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.
As part of our application process for entry on our research degree (MPhil and PhD) programmes, we ask you to provide a 500-1,000 word research statement, excluding any references/bibliography you may include, setting out your research motivation, ideas and aspirations. Learn how to prepare a research statement here.
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)
You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.
If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.
Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.
We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.
Specialist equipment and facilities
Students have access to our state of the art research facilities, where we perform molecular biological and toxicological research, as well as chemical analyses and separation chromatography. We have specialist laboratories to house fish and invertebrate species.
Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students
Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.
- state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
- one of the largest UK’s full text repository
- an integrated data management system
- analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
- Open Access centrally managed fund
Facts and figures
Brunel University London REF2014 Submission:
Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care
Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience
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
Fees and funding
Fees for 2019/20 entry
Full time - £4327
Part Time - £2163
Full time: £18720
Part time: £9360
Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130
Full time: £18,000
Research projects undertaken within the Department of Life Sciences in the areas of Biosciences; Environmental Sciences; Psychology and Sport, Health and Exercise Sciences may require an annual bench fee. Research projects undertaken within the Department of Clinical Sciences in the areas of Physiotherapy; Occupational Therapy; Health Sciences and Social Work may also require an annual bench fee. The amount is variable dependent on the requirements of the project and will be discussed and agreed between the applicant and the supervisor at interview stage. This amount will be additional to tuition fees and will be stated in the offer letter from Admissions.
We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees. Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.
Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.
Fees quoted are per year and are subject to an annual increase.