(Structured PhD) Nursing and Midwifery

College of Medicine, Nursing, & Health Sciences,
School of Nursing and Midwifery

Course overview

The School of Nursing at Midwifery is a research intensive School with an international reputation for high quality research. As with our teaching programmes, we strive to ensure that our research improves nursing and midwifery practice, the health of those receiving nursing and midwifery care and informs health care policy. The School's key research interests and activities are centered around cognate research clusters. Each cluster is composed of a group of academic staff and research students with a shared research interest who offer each other support within a resourced research environment. The School has specific methodological expertise in case study, grounded theory, phenomenology, in evaluating complex interventions through randomised trials including cluster trials and in systematic reviews and meta analyses.
Please check the School's website (http://www.nuigalway.ie/nursing-midwifery/) for more information about our areas of research interests, activities and expertise.
Research activity within the School of Nursing involves over sixty postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers in four main research areas:

Chronic illness and older people
This cluster brings together researchers working in the field of ageing and chronic illness and involves both qualitative and quantitative research. The focus of work has been on the care of older people with a specific focus on quality of care, person centered care, factors impacting on older people's lives, life stores/biographical data, dementia, rural ageing, carers quality of life, and end of life care. Innovative ways of educating others to self manage chronic illnesses are also a key element of the work for example developing and implementing structured education programmes in relation to the self management of COPD, prevention and management of diabetes including self-management and teaching health care staff to support clients with dementia.

Maternity care and women's health
This cluster brings together researchers working in the field of midwifery and women's health. Work in this area focusses on the implementation and evaluation of models of maternity care including perspectives on childbirth and assessment of fetal wellbeing including cardiotocography and intermittent auscultation.

Teaching and learning
This cluster brings together researchers working in the field of education. Specifically, the work of the cluster focuses on three priority areas; teaching, learning & assessment strategies; distance education (including e learning & blended learning) and competency assessment and preceptorship in nursing and midwifery.

Mental Health
The Mental Health Research Cluster (MHRC) places priority on clinical focused research. The work of the group is committed to further enhancing links between mental health research, education, policy and practice. The group has a wide range of multidisciplinary collaborations locally, nationally and internationally. In addition, the cluster has close links with HSE and user and carer organisations at local and national level. The overall aim of the MHRC is to undertake and disseminate high-quality interdisciplinary mental health research that has national and international relevancy. This research will influence and be responsive to contemporary mental health policy, practice and education.

Programmes available

Structured PhD (Nursing & Midwifery) full-time four years

Structured PhD (Nursing & Midwifery) part-time six years

Entry requirements

PhD candidates should normally have a high honours standard in a relevant academic discipline at primary degree level or equivalent together with the support of an academic staff member who is approved by the College to supervise the research in terms of its nature and scope.

Additional entry requirements
Candidates may be required to submit a research proposal for consideration by the School as part of their application.

Areas of interest

  • Management of chronic illnesses
  • Dementia care
  • Older people
  • Quality of life
  • Person-centred care
  • Cultural issues in nursing & midwifery
  • Health promotion and nursing
  • Service learning
  • Structured Education
  • Nurse-patient relationships
  • Caring and nursing
  • Oncology nursing practice
  • Advanced practice roles in nursing
  • Maternity care and women's health
  • Models of maternity care
  • Assessment of fetal wellbeing
  • Wound Management

Researcher profiles

Professor Kathy Murphy
Quality of care and quality of life of older people, person-centred care, cultural issues
in nursing chronic illness and structured education programmes. 

Dr Dympna Casey
Health promotion and nursing, care of older people, cultural issues in nursing, service learning, self management and chronic illness and structured education programmes.

Dr Maura Dowling
Nurse-patient relationships, caring and nursing, oncology nursing practice, advanced practice roles in nursing, mental health.

Dr. Adeline Cooney
Quality of life of older people, the meaning of “home” for older people in long-stay care settings, connectedness and older people, dementia, reminiscence, life story, older people and chronic illness, structured education programmes and grounded theory.

Professor Declan Devane
Maternity care and women's health, models of maternity care, assessment of fetal wellbeing,
randomised trials, systematic reviews and meta analyses.


Dr Georgina Gethin


Wound management and the science of wounds including assessment of the wound bed, wound pH, palliative wound care, diabetic foot disease, honey and wound healing.  Randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and survey methodology.

Find out more

Dr. Georgina Gethin

T 091 492018

E georgina.gethin@nuigalway.ie

PAC code

Structured PhD,

Fees for this course

EU: €4,529 p.a. 2016/17

Non-EU: €13,750 p.a. 2016/17