What could I do with my PhD in Health?
As a postgraduate from the School for Health, perhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself at this stage is whether or not you want to use your subject! It's entirely your choice - you will have acquired and developed many skills during your PhD which are complementary to the research skills you might think define your career choice.
If you'd like to remain working in Health and would like some
ideas as to how, open
one of the documents below to see details of what previous Bath School for Health
PhD graduates have gone on to do.
PDF file 20 kb or RTF file 216 kb
(To view the PDF document you need to have Acrobat Reader installed - you can download a free copy from the Adobe site.)
This covers the most obvious choices (academic, research and public sector employment, employment as trainee or chartered practising psychologists) but the public sector, in particular, is vast and there are many options within it. Possible employment destinations might include the civil service, NHS or relevant charities.
For jobs in the practising psychology areas, it is strongly recommended that you have some prior work experience. You may have this already; if not, it can of course be part-time or voluntary and fit around your PhD studies. Visit the work experience section of the main Careers Advisory Service web pages for more information.
Jobs in the exercise physiology and biomechanics fields also tend to be mainly available in the health sector; opportunities also exist in the private sector, for example with sporting organisations or equipment developers.
You might want to move out of the Health sector altogether, but still use your social science background. There are many occupations in which your PhD would be valuable, including management consultancy, which uses research skills to produce recommendations for organisational change. Marketing is an area which requires an understanding of psychology to be at its most effective. Similarly, training in psychology is very useful groundwork for a career in counselling.
Other areas might be human resources, which concentrates on employment policy and regulations, or market research. Finally, work in policy, in either central or local government or independent bodies, could be an interesting occupation. For more information on Health-related employment, look at the AGCAS leaflets ‘Options with Health Studies', 'Options with Sports management/science', 'Options with Psychology' and 'Options with Public Administration/Social Policy', viewable on the Graduate Prospects website.
For more information on these jobs and their training and entry requirements, see the Useful Links section and the Occupational Profiles on the Graduate Prospects website.
What else could I do?
If, having got to this stage, you're not sure that you want to use your subject any more, don't despair! You have many skills and experiences that are highly valuable to employers and you can choose from the huge range of graduate jobs on offer, from structured training with large financial services firms to management training with well-known retailers and manufacturers. The key is to think of the skills you have and enjoy using and explore occupations that use them to suggest possible alternatives. Look at the ‘What career planning should I do during my PhD?' pages to get some ideas on how to do this. For information on different types of jobs, explore the occupational profiles on the Graduate Prospects website.
You may be interested in starting your own business, or working on a freelance basis. If this is the case, take a look at the self-employment community on the Graduate Prospects website, the ‘Going it alone' page on researchers@bath and the websites for the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship and Business Link.
You might find the AGCAS booklet ‘Your PhD…..what next?' useful in helping you consider your options. Our searchable jobs database within MyFuture should also give you some interesting ideas of jobs open to you if you select 'For PhD students' under the 'Service' option and leave the discipline box blank. And, of course, you are recommended to look at the material in the Student section of our website and make full use of the services available to you.