Course Overview

Population health research seeks to improve people’s health through a better understanding of the ways in which social, environmental, occupational and economic factors can influence health status and ultimately reduce the numbers seeking acute medical interventions or requiring care for chronic conditions. Population health research is a relatively new term that is considered to include, but be distinct from, traditional definitions of public health, health promotion and social epidemiology. In general, it can be viewed as a field which analyses health outcomes, patterns of health determinants and policy interventions that link them.

The Academy for Health Services Research and Health Policy defines Health Services Research as “the multidisciplinary field of scientific investigation that studies how social factors, financing systems, organisational structures and processes, health technologies, and personal behaviours affect access to health care, the quality and cost of health care, and ultimately our health and well-being.”

Programmes Available

Structured PhD (full-time)
Structured PhD (part-time)
Applications are made online via the NUI Galway Postgraduate Applications System


Learning Outcomes

Entry Requirements

Admission to a PhD is at the discretion of the potential Supervisor, and is based on a proposal from the applicant following discussion with the member of staff whose academic area of interest is most appropriate. Candidates should have obtained a degree in a related discipline to at least upper second-class honours level (or equivalent).

Who’s Suited to This Course

Current research projects

Current funded research opportunity

Work Placement

Related Student Organisations

Career Opportunities

Find a Supervisor / PhD Project

If you are still looking for a potential supervisor or PhD project or would like to identify the key research interests of our academic staff and researchers, you can use our online portal to help in that search

Research Areas

The primary goals of Health Services Research are to identify the most effective ways to organise, manage, finance, and deliver high quality care; reduce medical errors; and improve patient safety. Medical research focuses on the development and evaluation of clinical treatments, whereas Health Services Research is more concerned with delivery and access to care. Health Services Research is an area of research in which a number of members of faculty across the College of Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences are engaged (e.g., chronic disease management, patient safety).

Researcher Profiles

Course Fees

Fees: EU

€5,750 p.a. (€5,890 including levy) 2024/25

Fees: Non EU

€15,000 p.a. (€15,140 including levy) 2024/25

Extra Information

EU Part time: Year 1 €4,250 p.a. (€4,390 including levy) 2024/25

All students, irrespective of funding, must pay the student levy of €140.

Contact Us

Dr Paul O’Connor
T: +353 91 492 897