MPhil Communicable Diseases

Course summary

The School of Psychology, Social Work and Human Sciences at the University of West London welcomes applications from students who wish to study for a PhD/MPhil research degree in subject areas such as: Nursing, Midwifery, Psychology, Health and Social Science, Microbiology and Biochemistry, Physiology, Complementary Medicine, Communicable Diseases, Community Health, and other health and human science related subjects.

Richard Wells Research Centre
The Centre has established a national reputation for quality research within the field of communicable diseases. Specific research interests include evidence-based approaches to preventing healthcare-associated infections (HCAI), influencing individual and organisational behaviour to promote health protection and patient safety, using novel forms of disease surveillance to enhance infection prevention and control practice, and the care and management of persons with infectious diseases, especially HIV disease and tuberculosis.

Centre researchers have specialist skills and experience in conducting large-scale systematic reviews and incorporating best evidence into Department of Health (DH) national infection prevention and control guidelines and associated National Health Service blended e-learning educational initiatives.

The Centre is continuously engaged in long-term government funded infection prevention and control research projects and is home to the DH National HCAI Research Network which manages DH funded research in this specialism.

The Centre Director is Professor Robert Pratt, an internationally recognised authority on the nursing care of persons with HIV disease and evidence-based infection prevention and control. Dr Carol Pellowe, Deputy Director, and an experienced and cohesive team of senior researchers, research fellows and research assistants, manage the Centre's research programme and provide supervision for research students.

Course detail

The aim of the PhD/MPhil research programme is to enable research students, nationally and internationally, to explore and critically evaluate related issues to extend the knowledge base of their field and, where applicable, to recommend organisational change of policy. 
The programme is designed to build on your existing strengths and to bring you to the leading edge of knowledge in your chosen area of research. 
The PhD/MPhil research programme consists of the following stages: 

Initial stage 
Submission of a short outline research proposal and a brief CV to help us to assess the candidate's suitability, the viability of the topic to be investigated, and to allocate a suitable supervisor to the candidate. 
Acceptance of candidate 
Once the suitability of the candidate and the topic for investigation has been established, that candidate is accepted onto the programme. A copy of the University Research Regulations, and an enrolment and application form are sent to the candidate to complete and return, with the appropriate annual fee. 
MPhil registration 
During the initial stages of the research proposal, a student's research supervisor will support and guide them to produce a full research proposal for submission to the University Research Degrees Committee, to upgrade their status from enrolled student to formal registration as an MPhil research student. 
Research students can study full-time or part-time. The ideal method of completing a PhD is to be a full-time student at all stages. However, for a variety of reasons this may not be possible. It is also possible to mix full and part-time status during the course of the research study.

Entry requirements

The minimum entry requirement is a good first degree (First Class or 2.1), or equivalent qualification in a relevant field, plus MA/MSc qualifications, or relevant postgraduate or research experience.

Candidates with other qualifications are required to discuss their eligibility with a member of staff.

International entry criteria
International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 7 or above. Contact our International Office to find out what international qualifications you need to get onto a course


Fees for home and EU students

Main fee
Fees for our 2017 courses have not yet been released.


A range of loans, bursaries and scholarships are available to help you fund your studies.

Students on some Masters courses may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards their course and living costs. Find out how to apply for a Postgraduate Loan on GOV.UK

Other loans available to postgraduate students include Professional and Career Development Loans, which also allow you to borrow up to £10,000.  Find out more about Loans on GOV.UK

Additional funding is available to some types of students, such as disabled students. Find out more about funding opportunities

Within the university, we offer a range of scholarships and bursaries including:

  • The William Brake Bursary: a £1,000 award for candidates on undergraduate or postgraduate degree courses
  • The Mollie Clay Scholarship: a £2,500 scholarship awarded to an outstanding student
  • Exclusive alumni discounts: a £2,000 discount on taught postgraduate courses or a 10% discount on research courses, exclusive to students who graduated from the University of West London.

Other scholarships are also available, including awards for specific subjects. Find out more and check your eligibility for the scholarships and bursaries listed above.

Please note that fees given are per academic year unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to change. Costs can increase each year.

How to apply

Apply for this course

UK and EU students

You can apply for most of our Postgraduate Certificates, Postgraduate Diplomas and Masters’ Degree courses using our online application system.  Simply click the red ‘apply now’ button above.

Your application will be dealt with by our Admissions team who will be in touch with you.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

International students

To apply for a Masters’ Degree course, please complete our online application form for international students or you can download the print version (Word, 186kb).

You can also review the relevant information about the qualifications we accept from your country and our English language requirements, as well as details about your visa application.

If you are applying for a research degree (MPhil or PhD), you will need to submit: a CV, research proposal, transcript of academic qualifications and online application form.  Full details of how to apply for research degrees

More about the application process for international students.

More about how to apply for postgraduate courses.


During the course



To support you towards the award of PhD/MPhil, your progress is monitored regularly both formally and informally.

Informally, you can expect your supervisor(s) to meet with you regularly to monitor your progress and discuss any concerns you may have.

You will be required, on an annual basis, to write a formal report to the University Research Degrees Committee to highlight your progress and your plans for the future.

Student support

Students who are accepted on the programme are allocated one or two supervisors, plus, in many cases, an external supervisor to support and guide them throughout their research. In addition to supervision support, all enrolled research students are able to access the postgraduate diploma course of the University's MSc/PgDip programme in Research Methods, free of charge. This programme is delivered part-time, and is especially useful for students who do not have prior research experience.

The School of Psychology, Social Work and Human Sciences at the University of West London has excellent research links with local health and community services via its system of Learning Communities, in addition to a range of formal and informal subject-based links locally, nationally and internationally.

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