Primary Medical Care

Our research is embedded in primary and community care with expertise in, for example, complex interventions, qualitative and quantitative research, randomised controlled trials and mixed methodologies. We have established research collaborations with other departments within the University, NHS partners, charities and both national and international organisations.

The primary medical care research team

Our research seeks to understand and improve the ways that primary care health services work for patients. It focuses on common but hard to manage conditions such as persistent “medically unexplained” physical symptoms, epilepsy and lung disease.

It emphasises the importance of reducing health inequities by matching services to the needs of the most vulnerable in society, including those with high levels of socio-economic deprivation or recent migration.

Our research aims to inform health services about how practitioners should provide care, which practitioners can deliver it, and how they can best be trained.

The research uses a wide range of methods, from large scale data analysis, through in-depth qualitative interviews, to randomised controlled trials. We work in close collaboration with academics in other disciplines from the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and beyond.

For further information see our individual research profiles via the links below.

We are interested in research collaborations around our key interests including PhD, Masters and Intercalated BSc supervision. If you want to find out more, please contact us.

Sheffield Primary Care Research

Sheffield Primary Care Research is a collaboration between GP practices in Sheffield which has a combined list size of 100,00 patients. Our team is highly skilled, highly experienced and has a track record in rapidly identifying suitable patients to take part in clinical research and delivering research studies. If you would like to collaborate with us we’d be delighted to hear from you.

Click on the link for full details about Sheffield Primary Care Research.

Any queries to

PhD opportunities in the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care

We'd be delighted to hear from any students who might be interested in applying for a PhD. Our mission is:

“Research and teaching excellence in both medical education and primary medical care through the development and evaluation of innovative undergraduate teaching and complex health interventions.”

Research in the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care (AUPMC) addresses clinically important questions in relation to primary and community healthcare. Our areas of interest include persistent "medically unexplained" symptoms (Prof Burton, from January 2017), neurological conditions (Dr Dickson) and overlap of physical and mental health (Dr Mitchell).

We use a range of quantitative and qualitative research methods, working in collaborations across disciplines and university departments, and so provide a broad-based research training for our PhD students.

Contact Details

For more information, please e-mail either Prof Chris Burton, Head of Department or Dr Jon Dickson, Postgrad Research Lead.

Get in touch

Contact the Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care at:


Postal address:

Academic Unit of Primary Medical Care
University of Sheffield
Samuel Fox House
Northern General Hospital
Herries Road
Sheffield S5 7AU
United Kingdom

Telephone number: +44 114 222 2620

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The University’s four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.