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 from those interested in undertaking research that fits with the School’s available Research Themes.

Each of the three themes below has a range of research areas and you should aim to tailor your research proposal to one of these areas:

  • Optimising Well-being in Health and Illness
  • Optimising Service Delivery and Organisation
  • Optimising Health through Activity, lifestyles and Technology

We offer the following research specialisations:

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Midwifery.

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 office space provided for postgraduate research students.
  • Each doctoral student is encouraged to pursue a programme of courses, workshops and conferences. The School itself provides a programme of monthly research methods master classes, an annual postgraduate research symposium and two sessions per year update students on ethics review procedures.
  • Students are also encouraged to take an active role in our themes to include delivering presentations on behalf of the theme at the school seminar series and contributing to individual theme meetings.
  • Research training is also provided by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership.

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 October

Specialisations

  • Adult Nursing
  • Child Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Operating Department Practice
  • Radiography
  • Radiotherapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Midwifery.

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 update students on ethics review procedures.

Our research is structured across the following themes:

  • Optimising Well-being in Health and Illness
  • Optimising Service Delivery and Organisation
  • Optimising Health through Activity, lifestyles and Technology

Optimising Well-being in Health and Illness

This theme looks at the health and wellbeing of people affected by chronic and life limiting conditions.

For 2019/20 we welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to the following areas within the theme.  Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise.

Dr Dikaios Sakellariou

My research is primarily located within the area of disability studies. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Experiences and/ or disparities of access to healthcare for disabled people
    Aim: to explore experiences and/ or disparities of access to healthcare for disabled people.
  • Relationships of care
    Aim: to explore experiences of caring for a family member or friend, with a focus on the relationality of care.
  • Sexuality and disability
    Aim: to explore experiences related to sexuality and disability, and ways to address this topic in clinical practice

Dr Teena Clouston

I am an occupational therapist/occupational scientist by background and have expertise in qualitative methods, particularly interpretive phenomenological analysis. I am interested in supervising students in:

  • Work-life imbalance with a particular interest in neoliberalism
  • Organisational cultures and workplace stress
  • Meaning in life/sustainability/resilience and life balance
  • Occupational science/ occupational balance
  • Values, care and compassion in work and education
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Transitions to and within health and social care practice
  • Professionalism/ inter professional working
  • Problem based learning/ inquiry based learning

Professor Chris Bundy

I am a Health Psychologist and have expertise in quantitative methods with some qualitative expertise in Framework Analysis.  I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Behaviour change in long-term conditions especially skin and joint inflammation
  • Inflammatory processes and mood
  • New Patient Reported Impact measures in Psoriasis or Inflammatory Arthritis
  • Healthcare improvement intervention studies in Inflammatory diseases
  • Clinician training to improve psychological care

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.

For 2019/20 we welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to the following areas within the theme.  Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise.

Professor Davina Allen

I am a sociologist and have expertise in qualitative methods particularly ethnography. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • The organising work of nurses - https://theinvisibleworkofnurses.co.uk
  • Caring roles and responsibilities - lay and professional
  • Healthcare improvement studies
  • Healthcare quality and safety
  • Everyday technologies in healthcare – ICT, pathways, guidelines etc

Professor Molly Courtenay

I am nurse by background who specialised in intensive care. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of

  • Adoption of prescribing by nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals, interprofessional education and collaborative practice, antimicrobial stewardship and the prescription of antibiotics by nurse and pharmacist prescribers.
  • I have expertise in mixed methods and qualitative methodology.

Professor Ben Hannigan

I am a mental health nurse academic, and welcome research degree applications from those sharing my interests in understanding and improving mental health systems and services. I am particularly interested in supervising people proposing:

  • Studies which make connections between the ‘macro’, the ‘meso’ and the ‘micro’;
  • Projects which focus on the work and experiences of practitioners, service users and carers;
  • Research which investigates the provision and receipt of care across organisational and professional boundaries;
  • Investigations which involve meaningful collaborations with people with lived experience of mental health difficulties.

Dr Aled Jones

I am interested in supervising PhD students who would like to explore patient safety and quality improvement in health and social care contexts. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Raising concerns/speaking-up/whistleblowing by staff about failures in care - for example, what are the barriers and facilitators to effective "speaking up" by staff? What interventions/initiatives can be developed to promote speaking up culture in the workplace?
  • Workplace culture and patient safety - for example, how does workplace culture affect healthcare workers understanding of patient safety and their safety practices?
  • Optimal deployment of staffing levels - for example, projects that consider nurse staffing levels and the effects on patient outcomes (e.g. safety outcomes) and staff outcomes (e.g. retention of staff, staff well-being).

Dr Katie Featherstone

I am a medical sociologist interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Inequalities in healthcare
  • Institutional cultures and ward cultures in the acute setting
  • Qualitative and ethnographic research in clinical settings
  • The care and experiences of people living with dementia and carers

Professor Dinah Gould

I am a clinical scientist and nurse with particular expertise in infection prevention. I undertake intervention and observational research studies and I lead the international systematic Cochrane review that evaluates effectiveness of interventions to improve hand hygiene and reduce infection risk in patient care.  I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Focus on improving patient care in line with the existing evidence base
  • Clinical nursing practice
  • Improving the patient experience
  • Patient safety
  • Infection prevention

Dr Steven Whitcombe

I have a general interest in social science and health professional education, I am currently exploring the relationship between occupational science and occupational therapy practice. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • who wish to explore the relationship between knowledge and their professional identity.
  • I am also interested in what healthcare students 'need to know' and ' how best to teach them'. This ties into my research interests around learning and teaching approaches used in healthcare education such as problem-based learning.
  • Currently I am focused on how/whether occupational therapists utilise in their practice the philosophical constructs from occupational science.
  • My interests on knowledge application also extend beyond occupational therapy, with interests in the challenges of interprofessional working particularly in mental health and the changing landscape of health and social care.
  • My other area of interest is the 'transition' from healthcare student to practitioner and the challenges and opportunities this presents. I am most comfortable with qualitative research methodologies.

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.

For 2019/20 we welcome proposals from PhD and MPhil applicants aligned to the following areas within the theme.  Below are supervisor’s areas of expertise.

Dr Liba Sheeran

I work as Senior Lecturer (Research and Teaching). I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • The assessment and management of lower back pain

Dr Nichola Gale

I am Physiotherapy Lecturer with an interest in cardiorespiratory conditions. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • The impact of comorbidities in chronic lung disease
  • The role of physical activity in chronic lung disease
  • Developing and evaluating supportive interventions in cancer

Dr Nick Courtier

I am a radiotherapy lecturer and cancer researcher. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Technical approaches to minimise adverse effects of radiotherapy
  • Predicting, understanding and managing side effects of radiotherapy /cancer treatment
  • Improving the lives of patients after a diagnosis of cancer

Dr Catherine Purcell

I’m a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy and psychologist by background. I’m interested in research relating to independent safe mobility in a variety of contexts, such as road crossing and driving. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Methodologies such as virtual / augmented reality and experimental studies
  • Perception & action and the impact on occupation and / or function
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders and understanding the impact of living with hidden disabilities

Dr Carly Reagon

I took up my current position as lecturer in the School of Healthcare Sciences in March 2008 after working as a research officer in the School of Medicine. I undertake a range of research activities including supervision of postgraduate research students.  I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Qualitative research
  • Arts and health
  • Cancer support
  • Mental health recovery
  • Theory of evidence based practice

Professor Julia Sanders

I am a Registered Midwife and Nurse, a researcher and professional leader. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Maternal health
  • Midwifery
  • Methods - quantitative and routine NHS data.

Dr Katy Hamana

I am a Physiotherapy lecturer; my main areas of teaching in undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are neurological rehabilitation, physiotherapy theory and physical activity and exercise, and research methods. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Qualitative research
  • Physical activity in neurological conditions

Dr Rebecca Hemming

I am a physiotherapist and have expertise primarily in quantitative methods particularly in biomechanics and low back pain.  I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Low back pain
  • Sub classification approaches
  • Functional spinal movement
  • Trunk kinematics and muscle activity
  • Motor Control
  • Chronic Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Physical activity and exercise
  • Functional imaging
  • Development of targeted interventions for musculoskeletal disorders

Dr Una Jones

I am the programme manager for the School of Healthcare Sciences Professional Doctorate programme and teach on research and cardiorespiratory modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level. I am interested in supervising students in the areas of:

  • Physical activity and people with respiratory problems
  • Physical activity and people with neurodegenerative conditions

Professor Monica Busse

I am a chartered physiotherapist, trials methodologist and Director for Mind, Brain, Neuroscience Trials in the Centre for Trials Research (CTR) at Cardiff University. I am interested in supervising students in studies that that are embedded to some of our currently open trials. These may be non-pharmacological or pharmacological or surgical trials. I am also interested in studies evaluating the use of digital sensing devices to provide objective assessments of physical activity and sleep in a range of clinical populations (primarily neurodegenerative disease).

Current opportunities are:

  • DOMINO-HD: Can digital sensing devices provide objective assessments of physical activity and sleep that are both clinically meaningful and acceptable to people with Huntington’s Disease
  • TAPERS: Exploring experiences of medication prescription in the Treating Anxiety to PrevEnt Relapse in Schizophrenia (TAPERS) a feasibility trial.
  • TRIDENT: Understanding participant experiences and surgical processes in cell transplantation in Huntington’s Disease to inform Trial Designs for Delivery of Novel Therapies in Neurodegeneration
  • PACE-HD: Developing a process evaluation framework for a Physical Activity Intervention trial in Huntington’s Disease

Dr Kate Button

I am a physiotherapist specialising in assessment and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. I am interested in supervising PhD's in the field of:

  • Development of digital interventions for musculoskeletal conditions.

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

Name Deadline
KESS2 East PhD in Healthcare Sciences: Evaluating the Recovery Through Activity framework used by Occupational Therapy in Mental Health Services in Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) 1 April 2019

Tuition fees

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You should aim to tailor your research proposal to one of our research areas.

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

English language requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English are normally expected to meet the minimum University requirements (e.g. 6.5 IELTS). Please see our English Language Requirements guidance for more details.

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