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Cicely Saunders Institute of Palliative Care & Rehabilitation Research MPhil/PhD

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The Cicely Saunders Institute is a world-leading centre for palliative care research and an official collaborating centre of the World Health Organisation. The Institute’s breakthrough research projects not only influence clinical practice, but also have an impact on national and international policies for palliative care. The Institute’s multidisciplinary environment combines social science, psychology, nursing, medical and health services research.

Key information

Duration Expected to be: PhD three to four years FT or up to six years PT. MD Res: two years FT. There are four registration points throughout the year; January, April, July and October.

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care



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Course detail


  • REF2014: 90% of overall activity currently rated 4* or 3* ‘world leading’ or 'internationally excellent’ (Unit of Assessment 3c - Subjects Allied to Medicine: Nursing and Midwifery and Palliative Care).

  • Current research areas: measuring outcomes; evaluating and improving care; symptom-led research; dying in society; and needs assessment and policy.

  • Recent publications

Course study environment

Students work alongside staff researchers, are supervised by at least two members of academic staff and overseen by divisional research co-ordinators. Students benefit from the extension range of traning and support provided both within the institute, with a strong research development programme and throughout King's College London.

Postgraduate training

All students are regularly notified about skills development opportunities through a monthly Postgraduate Research newsletter and are expected to undertake 10 days of training a year. Participation in departmnetal and Faculty wide programmes is compulsory for all students and provides an opportunity to improve science communication and presentation skills. Presentation of students' research work at national and international research conferences is actively encouraged.

Head of group/division

Professor Irene Higginson

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Centre at Guy's Campus, tel +44 (0)20 7848 1648.

Contact email


Course website


Further literature

For further information about our postgraduate opportunities, please visit our Faculty Postgraduate Study handbook here.

Further literature link(s)

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Cicely Saunders Entry Requirements
Minimum UK requirements  
  • Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in a relevant subject.

  • A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit or above.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements  Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.
Non-academic requirements   Please note that research programmes may sometimes require a criminal conviction check depending on the particular topic/method of research.


Application procedure

Studentships will be advertised via the College’s Health Schools Studentships website.

Prospective students interested in PhD study within the department should undertake the formal application process through King’s College London - https://apply.kcl.ac.uk/

All proposals are reviewed at our bi-monthly PhD Coordinators meeting, and decisions are made on the strength of the application. Applicants are advised as soon as possible of the outcome, and we aim to make a final decision within 6-8 weeks of receiving a completed application. Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics. Proposed research projects must be approved by the School Postgraduate Research Committee before an offer can be made.

Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Palliative Care research
Research Proposal Yes The proposal (1-2 pages in length) should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page. Please provide information about your research experience and, for self-funded applicants, details of how you plan to fund yourself.
Previous Academic Study Yes A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.
References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Yes Please submit a CV (Resume) as part of your application.


Course intake

Please contact for details

Application closing date

The deadlines for applications are detailed below. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier. 

    • February 2021 entry – 23rd October 2020 for international applicants and 23rd November 2020 for Home/EU applicants
    • June 2021 entry - 12th April 2021 for international and Home/EU applicants
    • October 2021 entry – 30th July 2021 for international/EU applicants and 27th August 2021 for Home applicants
    • February 2022 entry – 12th November 2021 for international/EU applicants and 6th December 2021 for Home applicants
    • June 2022 entry – 1st April 2022 for international/EU applicants and 11th April 2022 for Home applicants

    Applications for 2022/23 academic year will open from October 2021.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

Preparation courses

Fees and funding

UK/EU Tuition Fees 2020/21

Full time tuition fees: £6,390 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,195 per year

International Tuition Fees 2020/21

Full time tuition fees: £24,150 per year

Part time tuition fees: £12,075 per year


UK/EU Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £6,720 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,360 per year

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £25,350 per year

Part time tuition fees: £12,675 per year

 These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King’s terms and conditions.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.


Blue box with King's College London rankings. Starting with, 7th in the UK for research quality. Followed by, 6th in the UK for research power. Concluding with, 4th among multi-faculty universities for research Impact. The source is research excellence framework 2014

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