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Healthcare Sciences

The School of Healthcare Sciences' research programme is structured to give you the opportunity to undertake original and independent research in the healthcare sciences.

Our research programme is structured to give you the opportunity to undertake original and independent research in the healthcare sciences.

Applications are invited for PhD and MPhil study in areas which are congruent with the School’s three research themes. Please familiarise yourself with these themes, and in developing your application tailor your project proposal to clearly reflect an area of existing research activity and expertise as described here:

Research degree supervisors in the School are aligned to research themes, and information about supervisor expertise and availability can be found under the 'Research' tab on this page. Many supervisors have healthcare professional backgrounds, including in:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Midwifery
  • Health Psychology

Programme aims

To undertake independent and original research in the healthcare sciences that will help inform, improve and influence healthcare across the globe.

Distinctive features

  • Dedicated study space provided for postgraduate research students.
  • Research degree students are encouraged to participate in a programme of School workshops, seminars and journal clubs which run throughout the academic year, and to participate in activities organised through the University’s Doctoral Academy
  • Students are also encouraged to take an active role in our Research Themes, participating in regular scheduled Theme meetings.

Key facts

Mode of study Full-time, part-time
Qualification PhD, MPhil
Full-time duration PhD 3 years, MPhil 1 year
Part-time duration PhD 5 years, MPhil 2 years
Start dates January, October

Our research programme is structured to give you the opportunity to undertake original and independent research in the healthcare sciences.

Each doctoral student is encouraged to pursue a programme of courses, workshops and conferences. We provide a programme of monthly research methods master classes, an annual postgraduate research symposium and two sessions per year to update students on ethics review procedures.

You should aim to tailor your research proposal to one of these areas:

  • Optimising Well-being and the Management of Long-term Conditions
  • Optimising Service Delivery and Organisation
  • Optimising Health through Activity, lifestyles and Technology

Optimising Well-being and the Management of Long-term Conditions

This theme looks at the health and well-being of people affected by chronic and life limiting conditions. We welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to areas within the theme. Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise:

Dr Amie Hodges

I am a Senior Lecturer in Children and Young People in the School of Healthcare Sciences. As a Sociologist with a clinical background in both child and adult nursing, I have a long standing interest in improving health and wellbeing outcomes. My research focuses on the lived experiences and social worlds of children, young people and families in relation to chronic illness trajectories.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Anna Marguerite SYDOR

Teaching and scholarship adult nurse lecturer.  I am involved in teaching throughout the school of healthcare sciences at undergraduate and postgraduate level.

I supervise a range of Doctoral students from professions represented within the school, all these students are undertaking research using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

PhD completed (2010): The lived experiences of young men addressing their sexual health and negotiating their masculinities.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Catherine Purcell

I am a psychologist with an interest in research with children and adults with neurodevelopmental disorders (including Developmental Coordination Disorder, Developmental Language Disorder, Dyslexia, ADHD and ASD).

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Chris Bundy

I am a Practitioner Health Psychologist researching inflammatory Skin and Joint disease.
I lead a team of health psychologists working across inflammatory conditions.
I am also an experienced consultant and health psychology stage 2 trainer.

I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Beliefs, mood and behaviour change in long-term conditions especially inflammatory skin and joint disease
  • New Patient Reported Impact measure development
  • Healthcare improvement intervention studies in Inflammatory conditions
  • Clinician training to improve psychological care

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Clare Bennett

I am a nurse, with a particular interest in sexual health, public health, young people’s crisis management, leadership and improvement. I am a qualitative researcher with expertise in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), Framework Analysis, Qualitative Descriptive designs, Realist Evaluation and Mixed Methods.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Jane Harden

A registered nurse with a clinical background in renal medicine and transplantation. Now has a specific interest in dementia care

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Jane B Hopkinson

Hello, my name is Jane Hopkinson. I am a cancer, dementia and end of life care nurse and researcher and Velindre Professor of Nursing and Interdisciplinary Cancer Care

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Jessica Baillie

I am an adult nurse and experienced qualitative researcher. My clinical and research expertise include long term conditions, particularly kidney failure, and end-of-life care.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Nick Courtier

I am an experienced researcher and PhD supervisor, with expertise in quantitative and mixed methods, interested in supervising radiotherapy, radiography and supportive care in cancer projects.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Paul Gill

I am a Senior Lecturer in adult nursing and an experienced healthcare researcher and doctoral supervisor. I welcome PhD applications that focus on the following areas; chronic conditions, service user experiences, early career development and qualitative research.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Tessa Watts

I am 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 Reader in the School of Healthcare Sciences at Cardiff University. I am the Deputy research theme lead for Optimising wellbeing and the management of long-term conditions.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Optimising Service Delivery and Organisation

This theme seeks to provide evidence about both current and new ways of working to meet complex health care demands. We welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to the following areas within the theme.  Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise:

Professor Aled Jones

I research patient safety and healthcare quality, with a particular interest in workplace culture.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Ben Hannigan

My particular research interests are in the study of mental health systems. This includes exploring the connections between policy, service organisation and delivery, and experience.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Daniel Kelly OBE FRCN

Overview Academic Interests. My academic background is in the social sciences, nursing and health care. See book: Understanding Sociology in Nursing. My research interests have focused on the impact and experience of illness - primarily reflecting my clinical and managerial experience in cancer and palliative care - as well as the future potential of nursing and associated NHS workforce issues. Areas of interest include cancer & end of life care, health care innovation and workforce issues. I am also involved in European Cancer Organisation to increase  awareness of HPV  & reduce associated cancer risks.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Davina Allen

I am a sociologist and a nurse academic with research interests in nursing, healthcare work organisation, and service improvement. I have expertise in ethnographic research methods and the use of sociological theories in developing practice insights and advancing the science of improvement in health and social care.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Dianne Watkins

I am a Professor of Public Health Nursing with an interest in international development work, leadership and quality improvement.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Dikaios Sakellariou

My research is located within the area of disability studies and public health. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of a) disparities of access to and utlisation of healthcare for disabled people; b) care; and c) critical disability studies

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Dominic Roche

I am an adult nurse, teacher and researcher with a particular expertise in qualitative research methods. I am interested in supervising students in the broad area of patient, public and carer involvement in health service organisation and delivery. I have a particular interest in the role of patients and the public in patient safety and healthcare service improvement.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Judith Carrier

My background is nursing, my area of research expertise is evidence synthesis and evidence implementation in healthcare with a particular interest in long-term conditions.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Julia Sanders

I am a clinical academic midwife with a joint contract between Cardiff University and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. My clinical interests include all aspects of maternity care and my research methodological expertise is within randomised trials and the use of routine NHS data for research purposes.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Molly Courtenay

Nurse by background interested in prescribing and medicines management by non-medical healthcare professionals (including the prescription of antibiotics) and antimicrobial stewardship.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Shaaron Pratt

Diagnostic Radiographer. Interests in service delivery, skill mix and mammography.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Steven Whitcombe

Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy with a special interest in health professional education and professional identity. I specialise in qualitative research methods.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Teena Clouston

I am an occupational therapist/scientist with a particular focus on how social structures, such as neoliberalism, impact on work, wellbeing and meaning in life, and how creativity influences wellbeing and meaning in life. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Impact of social structures on work, wellbeing and/or everyday life.
  • Occupational or work-life balance
  • Occupational science in context of work, wellbeing and meaning in life
  • Occupational science in the context of creativity
  • Creativity in everyday life
  • Wellbeing and meaning in life
  • Qualitative methods inc,. IPA and narrative

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Optimising Health through Activity, Lifestyles and Technology

This theme looks at the delivery of healthcare for those experiencing a range of acute and chronic conditions, illnesses and injuries. We welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to the following areas within the theme. Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise:

Dr Kate Button

I am a physiotherapist with an interest in musculoskeletal, self-management, and digital technology such as wearables and virtual reality.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Liba Sheeran

I am a Reader in Physiotherapy, Healthcare Science and Population Health Research Theme Lead role at College of Biomedical and Life Sciences (BLS), Cardiff University. I am also a clinician working as a Consultant Physiotherapist for Welsh Athletics.  I am interested in supervising students in the following areas:

  • Use of technologies (wearables, IMU sensors, video tracking) for e-rehab
  • Improved self-management of musculoskeletal and neurodegenerative disorders
    Digital platforms for sport injury prevention and management
  • Data mining for individualised rehabilitation

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Mohammad Al-Amri

I am interested in discussing the possibility of supervising research projects related to any of my research interest areas:

  • Virtual reality applications in rehabilitation including tele-rehabilitation and biofeedback.
  • Movement analysis and cognitive in lower limbs musculoskeletal disorders or traumatic brain injury; movement adaptations to slope walking.
  • Clinical applications of related integrated technology for assessment and intervention.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Nichola Gale

I am Physiotherapy Lecturer with an interest in cardiorespiratory conditions.
My research interests include:

  • The assessment and management of comorbidities in chronic lung disease.
  • The development and assessment of supportive interventions in people affected by cancer.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Dr Rebecca Hemming

My primary research background is in the evaluation of spinal biomechanics during functional movement in chronic low back pain. My work has included the use of motion capture, fluoroscopy and electromyography techniques in chronic musculoskeletal conditions to inform the development of targeted interventions.

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

Professor Valerie Sparkes

Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy background working on delivery of enhanced treatments for people with musculoskeletal disorders

For further information on my research interests and supervision availability, please visit my Cardiff University web profile page by clicking on the above hyperlinked name.

UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Candidates for the Professional Doctorate programme may be eligible to apply for a UK government postgraduate doctoral loan.

Find out more about UK government postgraduate doctoral loans

Funding

See our latest PhD studentships and projects and find out more about other funding opportunities.

Tuition fees

Students from the UK

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the EU, EEA and Switzerland

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from the rest of the world (international)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Thank you for your interest in studying a research degree with the School of Healthcare Sciences. We offer full-time and part-time study routes for a PhD and MPhil.

Should you wish to apply for either of the qualifications available, please complete an online application through the ‘Apply Now’ box to the right of this window.

However, before you apply, please ensure that you have clicked on the ‘Research’ tab to familiarise yourself with our Research Themes, along with potentially available supervisors and their topic areas.

Due to the high volume of applicants, supervisors do not have capacity to answer individual email enquiries. Once submitted, your online application will be considered by the School.

All documents, including your research proposal and personal statement, must be uploaded to your online application as directed. We are unable to consider applications without all documentation being included, and delays in the application process are likely if documents are not supplied.

  • Your personal statement: a personal statement should not exceed 500 words. This should describe your previous experience and passion for the subject area, and your reasons for wishing to complete a research degree in the School of Healthcare Sciences.
  • Your research proposal: a research proposal should be no more than 1500 words (excluding references). This should include the background and rationale for your proposed area of research, your research question(s) and/or aim(s), your plans for data generation and analysis and your projected timescales. Please clearly state how your proposal and interests are aligned to one of the School’s Research Themes.

Selection process

All applications are considered in the first instance by the School’s Director of Postgraduate Research, with the majority then progressing to review by relevant Research Theme Leaders. Before invitations are extended to applicants to participate in online selection interviews, the School will pay close attention to: the quality of the proposed research; the readiness of each applicant for research degree study; and the degree of fit between the proposed study, the School’s Research Themes, and the expertise and capacity of research degree supervisors.

Postgraduate Study at Cardiff University

Postgraduate Research Courses Healthcare Sciences

International Funding and Fees at Cardiff University

If your query was not answered within the information above, or you have any specific questions the team can help you with, please email us and we will get back to you as soon as possible. We look forward receiving your application.

Applicants should normally hold a 2:1 degree or the equivalent in a field relevant to the particular project.

English language requirements

IELTS with an overall score of 6.5 with 5.5 in all subskills, or equivalent. Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

Contacts

Administrative contact(s)

Research Office

Administrative contact

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