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Prof Billie Hunter  -  PhD(University of Wales Swansea), PG Diploma in Midwifery, BNurs, RM, RN, HV, PGCE

Career Overview:

One of the first Bachelor of Nursing students in England, I undertook undergraduate study at Manchester University from 1972-76. I graduated with qualifications in general nursing, health visiting and district nursing, working for a short time in each of these roles before training as a midwife at Guys and St Thomas Hospitals. I developed a strong interest in working with new parents, particularly around the time of birth, leading to a clinical career in both midwifery (NHS and independent practice) and health visiting. I have worked in settings as diverse as Inner London and the Outer Hebrides, as well as in voluntary sector community projects.

In 1992 I moved into education, teaching at Pembrokeshire Further Education College before becoming a lecturer at Swansea University in 1996. I spent 16 years at Swansea University, gaining my PhD in 2002, supported by an Iolanthe Trust Research Fellowship. My PhD explored the emotion work undertaken by qualified and student midwives.  In 2006, I was appointed as the first Chair of Midwifery in Wales. In this role, I developed the midwifery research programme at Swansea University, as well as supporting the general development of Welsh midwifery research. A Leading Practice Through Research Award from the Health Foundation from 2004-2006 supported an ethnographic study of the All Wales Clinical Pathway for Normal Labour and establishing the Midwifery and Reproductive Health Research Forum.

In February 2012 I was appointed as RCM Professor of Midwifery at Cardiff University.

Awards and Prizes:

Visiting Professor, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford. Jan 2010 – Dec 2012 (Visiting Senior Fellow, Sept 2005- 2010)

Distinguished Visiting Scholar, 7-20th Feb 2011, University of Technology, Sydney, Australia

Leading Practice Through Research Award, The Health Foundation. Oct 2004 – Dec 2006

Iolanthe Midwifery Trust Research Fellowship. September 1999 - September 2001

Ann Stewart Award, Iolanthe Midwifery Trust for commitment to midwifery practice.  July 1999

Welsh National Board/General Nursing Council Research Training Fellowship April 1997 - April 1998

Membership and External Activity: 


  • Royal College of Midwives
  • UK Centre for History of Nursing and Midwifery (UKCHNM) Advisory Board
  • De Partu History of Childbirth Group
  • BSA Medical Sociology Group
  • Working with Emotions Network
External activity:


  • Advisory Group Member, International Confederation of Midwives Expert Advisory Group on Midwifery and Maternal Health Research (2002 – ongoing)
  • Editorial Board member, Women and Birth ( Journal of the Australian College of Midwives)
  • International Advisory Board: Midwifery (2006 – ongoing)
Membership of Editorial Boards/Scientific Committees:
  • International Advisory Board: Midwifery (2006 – ongoing)
  • Sub- Editor, Editorial Board, Women and Birth (Research Journal of the Australian College of Midwives)
  • Editorial Panel: Evidence Based Midwifery Journal (2003 - ongoing)
  • Scientific Committee: International Conference: A Labour of Love? Emotion Work and Reproduction. University of Huddersfield. Sept 15-16 2005

Peer reviewer:  I regularly review for a number of midwifery, healthcare, medical sociology and history journals.

Referee (Grant awarding bodies): 

I regularly referee for a number of grant awarding bodies including: NIHR HSRSDO, NIHR RfPB, NIHR HTA, ESRC