Digital Health and Care

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Run by Faculty of Engineering Faculty of Health Sciences
Awards available PhD
Programme length Four years full-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available No, full-time only
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

The future of Health is Digital – we urgently need new technologies for understanding, preventing, diagnosing and managing illnesses that affect millions of people, such as diabetes, depression and dementia.

This unique multidisciplinary PhD programme brings together students from health and life sciences, computer science, design and engineering.

Join the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health and Care to become part of a new generation of innovators involved in building and developing apps, wearables, smart homes and other digital technologies. Together, these technologies are helping to support health professionals in their decision-making and empowering patients in managing their own health conditions.

Working together as a diverse and multidisciplinary group in purpose-built new laboratories adjacent to Bristol Cathedral, students will collaborate closely with the local NHS, experts in social care, charities and with the CDT’s industry partners that range from start-ups to multi-billion dollar corporations that are household names in computing and healthcare.

The first year will provide you with a unique foundation in the rapidly-moving field of digital health. Students from engineering/computer sciences backgrounds will be introduced to relevant aspects of health; while students from a health-related background will be introduced to coding, data analysis and e-health. You will come together to work on real-world digital health problems, leveraging varied expertise from across the cohort.

The three-year PhD research project will then put what you have learnt from your first year into practice, building new expertise and creating new knowledge in digital health and care.

EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health and Care About the centre.

Why study Digital Health and Care at the University of Bristol?

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

This CDT programme has Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds to support up to ten students per year inclusive of tuition fees, enhanced stipend (£18,000 per year), research and travel expenses. These studentships are open to both home and (a limited number of) international students.

There are residence requirements for research council funding for postgraduate research. Please visit the EPSRC website to find out about Student eligibility.

Prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students seeking funding advice can visit Information on funding postgraduate study

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The taught first year is specially designed to bridge disciplinary gaps and produce innovative researchers who can work at the interface of health science and engineering. Students from engineering/computer sciences and technical backgrounds will take bespoke units in health, exploring major conditions from cradle to grave; while students from a health-related background will be given groundings in coding, data analysis and e-health. Students will combine their expertise to work on real-life digital health case studies, explore the ethical ramifications of digital health innovation and explore the modern healthcare landscape.

Students will have the opportunity to attend workshops and develop potential supervisory relationships with more than 20 external partners in the programme – including charities, community groups, small health start-ups, large technology companies, healthcare delivery organisations (including the NHS in the UK) and multi-national pharmaceutical companies.

After their first year, our students undertake a 3-year research project, supervised by an interdisciplinary team formed from our supervisory network of over 60 academics across four Bristol faculties, and in close collaboration with one or more external partners. These projects make use of expertise and facilities supported by some £30M of digital health research at the University since 2013.

You can visit our Current student cohorts web page to see the range of projects that our current students are working on and their supervisory teams.

Details on the programme structure can be found in the Programme Catalogue.


Entry requirements

Upper second-class degree (or international equivalent) in either:

  • a STEM-related discipline (eg computer science, engineering)
  • or a health-related discipline (eg life sciences, medicine, health sciences, psychology, neuroscience, nursing or an allied health profession)

In exceptional circumstances, we may consider applicants with alternative qualifications.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile B
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Research groups

The Digital Health Engineering group applies computer science and electronic technologies to health and well-being challenges. Working with clinicians and the public, we research and design wearable sensors, low power communication networks, computer vision systems and machine learning methods that can reason about these diverse sources of data

The Bristol Visual Information Laboratory undertakes innovative, collaborative and interdisciplinary research, resulting in new technology in the areas of computer vision, image and video communications, content analysis and distributed sensor systems. Current research includes: images and video search and retrieval; video tracking; visual SLAM; medical and bio-imaging; machine vision; 3D and multi-view processing; colour science; and high dynamic-range imaging, vision and graphics.

The Bristol Interaction Group is a creative interdisciplinary research team interested in designing novel interactive computers and displays. We specialise in exciting research that couples the design of hardware devices with complex electronic, electrical and physical properties, alongside deployment and evaluation in everyday public settings. We like to call this style of research Human-Hardware Interaction (HHI).

Researchers of the Communication Systems and Networks Research Group are members of the Smart Internet Lab. This recent initiative builds on Bristol's strategic research in communications and digital technologies to create a hub for Internet Research with long lasting benefits for society and the economy.

The Intelligent Systems group explores general principles underlying learning and intelligence in artificial and natural systems. An important aspect is machine learning and data mining techniques for systems and software that improve with experience. We also work on the interface between computer science and the biological sciences, exploiting connections that not only help to make computers more intelligent but also deepen our understanding of aspects of human intelligence. We are working on computational methods for automating significant parts of the scientific method. Our research enables the development of sophisticated systems that allow us to manage and make full use of vast amounts of digital data.


The digital health industry is one of the fastest growing, both internationally and in the UK, with current estimates indicating that the sector is increasing at a rate of 15% each year. Driven by the health needs of ageing populations in countries such as the UK, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Japan and the US, this growth is expected to continue for decades to come.

Exciting career opportunities to develop new digitally-enabled, personalised health solutions therefore exist within academia, the charitable sector and health providers in many different countries (eg the UK’s NHS), as well as myriad companies that have active health research and development programs (such as Apple, Google, Amazon, Sony, Microsoft, Samsung, Huawei, Arm and many others).

Application deadline

Applications for 2022 entry have now closed.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interviews from January onwards.

Open days and visits

Watch on-demand recordings from November's virtual open week.

Get in touch

Digital Health and Care CDT Programme Enquiries Phone: +44 (0) 117 428 2343 Email:

Postgraduate Research Admissions Team Postgraduate Admissions Enquiries Phone: +44 (0) 117 331 4753 or +44 (0) 117 331 5232 Email:

Digital Health
1st Floor
1 Cathedral Square
Trinity Street
United Kingdom
School website: School of Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Engineering Maths (SCEEM)
Department website: EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Digital Health and Care

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Bristol Doctoral College

The Bristol Doctoral College facilitates and supports doctoral training and researcher development across the University.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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