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Nursing Research / Midwifery Research / Health Studies Research MPhil/PhD, option of joint PhD with HKU



The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery is regarded as a centre of excellence for nursing and midwifery, achieving high scores in research and teaching quality assessments. The first MPhil/PhD students enroled in the late 1970s and since then the School has expanded steadily its range of high quality graduate education programmes to meet the needs of increasingly well-educated healthcare professionals who wish to continue their education to support and develop their careers.

Our research activity is funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), Research Councils and a range of charities. We host a range of nationally competitive fellowships from PhD studentship to post-doctoral level.

The purpose of our research is to improve the quality of care, services and outcomes for patients and their carers. There are 3 overarching programmes of work:

  1. Patient and carer experience: a programme of work that explores the patient and carer experience with the aim of improving their care. Research activities focus on timely information provision and understanding patient and carer support needs in hospital and community settings, which includes older person care, cancer, mental health, diabetes mellitus, neurological and inherited genetic conditions.
  2. Healthcare workforce, organisation and service delivery: the National Nursing Research Unit (NNRU) and colleagues carry out work that examines how the organisation of the nursing and healthcare work force impacts upon service delivery and organisation within the NHS but also in global healthcare systems.
  3. Health and well-being: maternal and family health and wellbeing is the main focus of activity within this programme. This ranges from ensuring the safety of women and their babies during and following childbirth to supporting families' wellbeing through health visiting, health promotion and disease prevention.

The work we do is underpinned by cross cutting principles: engagement with patient and user perspectives, commitment to conceptual and methodological innovation, attention to the policy relevance and practical application of our findings through interventions.

Our researchers come from a wide range of professional backgrounds including Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professions, psychology, anthropology and social science.

  • Research income: An average of £1.8m per year.
  • Current number of academic staff: 38 academic and research staff support research students.
  • Current number of research students: 80 research students.
  • Current Projects
    • Testing accelerated experience based co-design: using a national archive of patient experience narrative interviews to promote rapid patient-centred service improvement. NIHR HS&DR.
    • A study to the barriers to early presentation and diagnosis of breast cancer in black African, black Caribbean and white women. CRUK – NAEDI.
    • Evaluating a major innovation in hospital design: workforce implications and impact on patient and staff experiences of all single room hospital accommodation. NIHR HS&DR.
    • What is the effectiveness, appropriateness, meaningfulness and feasibility of demand side financing (DSF) measures that aim to increase maternal health service utilisation and outcomes with particular reference to rural, poor and socially excluded women. AUSAid/DFID.
    • A National Clinical Quality Improvement Project to Improve the Assessment and Management of Perineal Trauma. The Health Foundation.
  • Selected Recent Publications
    • Nicholson C., Meyer J., Flatley M.& Holman C. (2012). The experience of living at home with frailty in old age: A psychosocial qualitative study. International Journal of Nursing Studies, doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.01.006.
    • Tsianakas V., Robert G., Maben J., Richardson A., Dale C.& Wiseman T. (2012). Implementing patient centred cancer care: using experience-based co-design to improve patient experience in breast and lung cancer services. Journal of Supportive Care in Cancer, doi:10.1007/s00520-012-1470-3.
    • Morrow E., Robert G., Maben J.& Griffiths P. (2012). Implementing large-scale quality improvement lessons from The Productive Ward: Releasing time to careTM. International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance 25:237-53.
    • Bick D.E., Murrells T., Weavers A., Rose V., Wray J.& Beake S. (2012). Revising acute care systems and processes to improve breastfeeding and maternal postnatal health: a pre and post intervention study in one English maternity unit. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 12:41.
    • Dheensa S., Metcalfe A.& Williams R.A. (2012). Men's experiences of antenatal screening: A metasynthesis of the qualitative research. Int J Nurs Stud, doi: 10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2012.05.004
    • Shepherd C.W.& While A.E. (2012). Cardiac rehabilitation and quality of life: A systematic review. Int J Nurs Stud 49:755–71.
    • Ridge K., Treasure J., Forbes A., Thomas S.& Ismail K. (2012). Themes elicited during motivational interviewing to improve glycaemic control in adults with Type 1 diabetes mellitus. Diabet Med 29:148-52.
    • Pedersen V.H., Armes J.& Ream E. (2011). Perceptions of prostate cancer in Black African and Black Caribbean men: a systematic review of the literature. Psycho-Oncology 21:457-68.
  • Partner organisations: The School of Nursing & Midwifery is highly regarded by leading London NHS Trusts with whom we have a strong record of success in collaborative working- The School also has strong relationships with a large numebr of renowned educational and healthcare organisations around the world-

Key information

Duration Three years full time, six years part time

Study mode Blended learning,Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London/King's and HKU for joint programme

Faculty Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery



Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

An English Language test must be submitted with the application in order to meet minimum requirements.


Applicants should normally hold an upper second class undergraduate degree and a masters degree obtained from a UK university or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard.

Application procedure

To apply for graduate study at King's you will need to complete the graduate online application form. Applying online makes applying easier and quicker for you, and means we can receive your application faster and more securely. King's does not normally accept paper copies of the graduate application form. However, if you are unable to access the online graduate application form, please contact the relevant admissions/School Office at King's for advice.

Your application should include an outline research proposal and curriculum vitae. Your application will be considered by at least two members of academic staff. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by two members of academic staff, one of whom may be a potential supervisor, either in person or, if this is not possible, via telephone. We aim to process all completed applications within six weeks of receipt. You are advised to apply well in advance of the entry month that you are interested in; commencing a MPhil/PhD involves considerable organisation including arranging financial support, study leave, accommodation etc. Once you have applied using the online application form you can check the status of your application by logging into myApplication

You may be required to take and pass particular taught modules as a requirement for continued registration; any such conditions will be discussed with you fully.

Personal statement and supporting information

Applicants are required to write an outline research proposal of up to 1,000 words that includes the research area, an overview of relevant literature, the research question, the methodology, and timescale of the project. Applicants should also write a statement to support an application to the programme and submit a curriculum vitae.

Course intake

No set number.

Joint PhDs - Application advice

Applicants to Joint PhD programmes are encouraged to contact the department before submitting an application, to discuss the suitability of their topic for the joint programme and the availability of suitable supervisors at both institutions. Applications should initially be submitted to the proposed home institution only, i.e. the institution where student will start and finish their programme. Applications will then be assessed by both partners.

Applicants who choose King’s as their home institution should apply through the online application form, selecting the appropriate Joint PhD option from the drop-down list. In addition to the standard supporting documentation, applicants should submit a travel plan indicating how they intend to split their time between the two partner institutions. Applicants to Joint PhD programmes are normally expected to start the programme in September.

Application closing date

There is no specific deadline for applications. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.


Course detail


The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery offers research programmes for MPhil and PhD (Nursing Research, Midwifery Research, Health Studies Research) and a Masters in Research Health and Social Care. The MPhil/PhD programme aims to prepare students to be knowledgeable and competent researchers. To this end, research supervision is provided by faculty with expertise in their research and clinical areas.

Course study environment

The Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery offers a supportive and intellectually stimulating environment. In the Postgraduate Research Experience Survey (PRES) 2011, results for the Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery indicated that student experience was positive about all aspects of supervision, skills and development, infrastructure, intellectual climate, and knowledge of roles and responsibilities within the School. Research students are allocated a supervisory team led by an experienced principal supervisor. The team meet regularly with the student for supervision and review of progress. Progress is also reviewed formally by the School Postgraduate Research Students Committee at set points in the academic year. Supervisors provide advice on training needs and career development. Student representatives for full-time and part-time students play an important role in communicating student feedback about learning experiences and the support infrastructure to inform ongoing programme development. Research students have a study suite in the James Clerk Maxwell Building and access to Graduate Lounges on the different campuses.

Postgraduate training

Students on the MPhil/PhD programme are immersed in the academic culture and are encouraged to engage in a wide range of learning opportunities. Students will normally undertake two core research methods modules: Advanced quantitative research methods offers an in-depth study of quantitative research methods including epidemiological studies and randomised controlled trials, and Advanced qualitative research methods offers an in-depth study of different qualitative methods and their relationship to epistemological theory. Students can also access doctoral training courses organised by King's Graduate School and the ESRC training centre where places permit, and all students are encouraged to become actively involved in research seminars and fora. Research students are encouraged to present their doctoral research at conferences and a School competition fund exists to support this.

Joint PhDs - Benefits of collaboration

The Joint PhD is an innovative integrated programme that offers unique opportunities for the very best PhD supervision in an international context. The programme offered provides candidates with the opportunity to divide their PhD study between two prestigious universities (King’s and the University of Hong Kong), enjoying full supervision at both. While supervisions and regular graduate seminars enable students to construct a theoretical, historical and systematic framework for their research, the Joint PhD also organizes international colloquia and workshops at which students can present and discuss their work with peers and academic staff across the institutions involved. The programme builds on an extensive network of existing institutional links, joint teaching experience and collaborative graduate programmes between King’s and our partner universities.

Find out more about our strategic partner, University of Hong Kong.

Head of group/division

Dr Anne Jones, Programme Leader

Contact for information

Dr Anne Jones, Programme Leader: Tel +44 (0)207 848 3213

Admissions Team: Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1648

Contact email,

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

PhD graduates have been successful in obtaining academic, research and clinical posts in universities and healthcare organisations around the world including the UK, Syria, Jordan, Taiwan and Ghana.


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Fees and funding

Health Studies/Midwifery/Nursing

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£5,460 p.a (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£17,000 p.a (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU
£2,730 p.a (2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Overseas
£8,500 p.a (2016/17)*

Nursing and Midwifery Research with Hong Kong University

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU
£5,460 p.a (2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas 
£17,000 p.a (2016/17)*

*This tuition maybe be subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.




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