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Dr Tessa Watts

Dr Tessa Watts

Senior Lecturer: Adult Nursing

School of Healthcare Sciences

+44(0)29 225 10963
13.14, Eastgate House, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0AB
Available for postgraduate supervision


Tessa Watts is a researcher, qualified teacher and registered nurse (adult field) with a clinical background in palliative and end of life care in advanced cancer and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University.  A London University graduate, Tessa subsequently completed the MSc in Nursing at University of Wales College of Medicine and PhD at Swansea University. Tessa is an Honorary Professor with Swansea University's Centre for Health Economics and Evaluation and Associate Editor for the international journal, Nurse Education in Practice. 


I have an academic grounding in the social and political sciences and nursing and am an active qualitative researcher, publishing, making conference presentations with a focus on palliative care, chronic illness/conditions, most particularly advanced cancer and examining at doctoral level. I am particularly interested in care and support for people living with advanced cancer and those approaching the very end of life. I have an active and productive research collaboration with University of Notre Dame in Perth Western Australia which focuses on the development and testing of falls prevention interventions in care home settings and am now developing a programme of work around people’s experiences of cancer immunotherapy. I review grant applications for the NIHR Research for Patient Benefit Scheme and Tenovus. In 2018 I was invited to join the Scientific Review Panel for the International Nursing Education Conference (NET/NEP). I regularly review for several journals as detailed on my publons account.

December 2019 - Honorary Professor Swansea University

September 2018 - current: Senior Lecturer Cardiff University, School of Healthcare Sciences.

2003- 2018 - Associate Professor, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

In this post I also held College and Institutional roles including: Deputy Chair, Swansea University Programme Approval Committee (2015-2018); College Associate Dean (Undergraduate Studies) (2014-2015); Programme Director DProf (2016-2018); Programme Director MSc Long Term and Chronic Conditions Managment (2009-2018); Programme Director BSc Cancer Care (2009-2014); College Strategic Lead Recruitment and Admissions (2009-2015), College Strategic Lead Widening participation and inclusion (2008-2105); Acting Head of Nursing and Midwifery (2004 -2006); BN Programme Director (all fields) (2003-2009).

1996-2003 - Senior Lecturer, Swansea University. 

Lectuerer in Nursing Theory; initiated, developed and led the first BSc in Palliative Nursing (with spq) in Wales and Swansea’s first BSc Cancer Nursing and multiprofessional Cancer Care programmes. Module Leader Post registration Death Dying and Bereavement.

Editorial Board member for Nurse Education in Practice between 2014 and 2019. 

Honours and awards

Honorary Professor Swansea University 2019

Associate Editor Nurse Education in Practice 2019

Advance HE National Teaching Fellow Nominee 2018 (Swansea University)

International travel fellowship College of Human and Health Sciences, Department of Nursing, Swansea University 2017 – visited School of Nursing at Sydney University and University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Faculty of Health/ Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care

Professional memberships

Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy

Academic positions

2003-2018 Associate Professor, College of Human and Health Sciences, Swansea University

1996-2003 Senior Lecturer, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Swansea University.

Speaking engagements

Invited speaker, Notre Dame University, Freemantle Campus, Perth, Western Australia (2020) 

Invited speaker Macmillan Cancer Support Professionals' Conference, Manchester (2019)  

Invited seminar presentation University Technology Sydney, Centre for Cardiovascular and Chronic Care (2017).

Committees and reviewing

  • Associate Editor Nurse Education in Practice (from 2019)
  • Editorial Board, Nurse Education in Practice (from 2014)
  • Grant reviewer, Tenovus Cancer Care
  • Grant reviewer, Research for Public and Patient Benefit (England) 











  • Watts, T. 2010. Chronic conditions management. In: Kell, C. and Helme, M. eds. Interprofessional Education in Wales: case studies in health and social care.. London: Higher Education Academy






I am an experienced educator, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and was an Advance HE National Teaching Fellow Nominee in 2018 when I was still working at Swansea University. I have designed, developed, validated and led full and part time pre and post registration professional body-approved programmes in Palliative Nursing, Cancer Nursing, Undergraduate Pre-Registration Nursing (adult; mental health and child fields) and multi professional post graduate programmes: Long Term and Chronic Conditions Management and a Professional Doctorate. I now teach, supervise and examine at pre-registration undergraduate, taught postgraduate and doctoral levels.

My current, specific, module responsibilities are:

  • MSc Advanced Practice: Understanding Cancer: Patient and professional perspectives HCT 150
  • MSc Advanced Practice: Introduction to research methods HCT 206
  • MSc Advanced Practice: Research methods and data analysis in healthcare HCT 343 
  • BSc Nursing: Evaluation of care: HC 3288 

I am also a personal tutor for undergraduate pre-registration nursing students (adult field)

An experienced postgraduate supervisor, I have supervised students to timely completion of their dissertations at postgraduate (MSc) and doctoral level (PhD and DProf), examined internally and externally (transfer viva MPhil – PhD).  I am committed to growing research capacity and capability within nursing and allied health professionals and welcome research degree applications from potential students who are particularly interested in further exploring aspects of people’s experiences of advanced cancer/ end of life care using qualitative methodologies and drawing on the social sciences.

Research projects

2020 Feasibility and acceptability of brief ACT based intervention for people affected by haematological cancers who have completed initial SACT. (Tenovus Cancer Care) (Dr Tessa Watts, Dr Darren Edwards (Swansea University, Professor Deborah Fenlon (Swansea University/ Hywel Dda University Health Board), Janet Bower (Hywel Dda University Health Board), Tom Dyer Tenovus Cancer Care). (Start date July 2020) 

2019 Experiences of ongoing cancer immunotherapy with immune-checkpoint inhibitors: insights from patients and oncology healthcare professionals in South Wales, UK. (Macmillan Cancer Support) (Dr Tessa Watts (CI), Stephen Jennings, Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons-Warm, Professor Debbie Fenlon, Dr Sally Anstey, Dr Alison Brewster Ms Janet Richards, Mr John Buckman). (December 2019-May 2021) 

2018: Scoping and evaluation for professional stoma care education programme development (Eakin Healthcare) (Dr Tessa Watts (CI) Dr Liv Kosnes (CI) Dr Louise Cleobury)

2018: Reducing falls in residential and aged care homes (Notre Dame University, Perth Western Australia) (Dr Jacqui Francis Coad (CI) Professor Anne-Marie Hill (Curtin University), Professor Caroline Bulsara, Dr Tessa Watts, Michelle Anderson (Swansea)  

2017: Pre-Registration nursing students end of life care education (Swansea University School of Education seed corn funding) (Dr Tessa Watts (CI))

2017 Advance care planning in acute major/severe stroke (Stroke Research and Innovation Fund) (Dr Tessa Watts (PI), Dr Mushtaq Wani , Dr Manju Krishnan)

2016: The community and economic impact of multidimensional cancer rehabilitation interventions in supporting people to live well with and after their cancer: PhD studentship (Macmillan Cancer Support/College of Human and Health Sciences/ Cardiff University) (Dr Tessa Watts (CI))

2016 The needs and concerns of adult haematology patients on completion of initial active chemotherapy treatment in West Wales: A mixed methods investigation (Research Capacity Building Cymru) (Dr Tessa Watts, Ms Janet Richards, Mrs Heulwen Morgan Samuel)

2016 Evaluation of the ‘On-the-Ground’ Educational Programme (OEGP): Improving efficiency and effectiveness in managing chronic oedema in community settings (NHS Wales Collaborative/Public Health Wales) (Dr Tessa Watts)

2014 Sustaining connections during practice placements: Supporting first-year nursing students using Skype© (Swansea Academy for Learning and Teaching small project grant) (2014: Dr Tessa Watts (CI), Mr Hywel Thomas, Ms Lauren Piercey and Ms Elen Davies)

2013: A three counties pilot study of ‘Cyfeillion Gweldda’ Dining Companions for patients with dementia. (Hywel Dda Health Board) (Dr Ruth Davies (CI), Tessa Watts, Mr Tom Alexander, Ms Andrea Higgins)

2011: Coping interventions for couples living with prostate cancer (Swansea University PhD Scholarship) (Professor Jaynie Rance, Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons, Professor Paul Bennett and Tessa Watts)

2010: Patient reported Outcomes in Cancer Rehabilitation (College of Human and Health Science PhD Scholarship) (Professor Jaynie Rance, Professor Deborah Fitzsimmons and Tessa Watts)

2009: Structured personal tutoring to engage undergraduate students on professional programmes (Higher Education Academy) (Tessa Watts, Mike McIvor, Andrew Evered, Angela Williams)

2001: A review of the literature relating to the health information needs of minority ethnic groups (Public Health Strategy Division of the National Assembly for Wales) (Professor Joy Merrell, Tessa Watts and Angela Williams)

2000: A systematic review to evaluate the current level of knowledge on methodologies analysing individual practice which could be used to assist the assessment of health care roles and responsibilities (NHS Wales Office of Research and Development) (Professor Anne Williams, Professor Paul Wainwright, Tessa Watts, Dr Melanie Jones, Dr Ian Russell, Dr Christine Urquart, Rosemary Currell and Mark Lambert)

Current Research students

Judit Csontos PhD studentship – Realist evaluation and economic analysis of cancer rehabilitation services in South Wales.

Fran Mada DProf

Amal Albatini: Effects of Rehabilitation on Cardiac patients' health-related quality of life in Kuwait: Role of exercise, culture and social factors (External supervisor Swansea University)

Maria Cable DProf


I am interested in supervising PhD students in the areas of: 

  • People's experiences of chronic illness 
  • Cancer nursing
  • Peole's experiences of cancer treatments and supportive care
  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Nursing education

I have skills in qualitative research methods, particularly ethnography.


Current supervision

Francesca Mada

Research student

Judit Csontos

Research student

Maria Cable

Research student

Past projects

  • First supervisor Jonathan Arthur (Swansea University) An exploratory mixed-methods investigation of adult hearing aid users and the relationships of hearing aid use with anxiety, depression, loneliness, and social inclusion. (awarded 2020)
  • First supervisor Melanie Thomas (Swansea University)  The impact of the lymphoedema risk reducing recommendations on people treated for breast cancer and the implications on clinical practice. (awarded 2018)
  • Supervisory team member Amina Mehta (Swansea University) Exploring Journeys for Older People with Cancer in South West Wales. (awarded 2015)

External profiles