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RGU lecturers celebrate Doctorate of Education success


Three senior lecturers at Robert Gordon University (RGU) are celebrating success after completing their Doctorate of Education (EdD) studies and receiving their awards.

L to R – Dr Ruth Edwards and Dr Brian Addison from RGU’s School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences and Dr Heather Bain from RGU’s School of Nursing and Midwifery.Dr Heather Bain, senior lecturer at the School of Nursing and Midwifery, and senior lecturers Dr Brian Addison and Dr Ruth Edwards from the School of Pharmacy and Life Sciences all completed the programme at University of Stirling.

They began the course with a view to developing their careers and graduated in the summer of 2014 and 2015. The lecturers attended RGU’s December Faculty of Health and Social Care graduation ceremony in their new gowns.

Dr Bain decided to undertake a doctorate in education to progress her professional practice as a nurse educator.

She has particular interest in the future educational requirements of nurses beyond the point of registration in the community, which led her to explore the unique knowing of district nursing in practice and how this professional knowing is developed.

A case study design was adopted using three Health Boards in Scotland as the cases.

Dr Bain said: “The study findings illustrate the complexity of knowing in district nursing that requires an advanced level of education to support it.

“This has informed the education at RGU where district nurse education has moved to postgraduate level and we are the first institution in the UK to have a district nurse course accredited by the Royal College of Nursing meeting the bench marks of advanced level nursing.

“Through my doctorate journey I have developed new networks that are both personal and professional and importantly I was able to influence policy and practice in the area of district nursing locally and nationally.”

Dr Addison was keen to continue his professional development as a pharmacy educator after completing a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education Teaching and Learning.

He said: “Studying for a postgraduate certificate in higher education learning and teaching stimulated my interest in education as a subject area. In particular how pharmacy ensures teaching and educational policies and practices are supported by an evidence base.

“The Doctorate of Education programme gave me a greater understanding of the issues and complexities in undertaking research into education.

“My study entitled: ‘I’m Just the Sunday Boy!: Exploring the role of uncertainty in becoming a pharmacist’ revealed the complexity and uncertainty that pharmacy students experience in the process of ‘becoming’ a pharmacist.”

Dr Edwards started the doctorate in education as the next step in her professional development.

She said “RGU supported me to complete of the Doctor of Education at Stirling, providing me with the opportunity for professional development and allowing me to make a unique contribution to professional knowledge in pharmacy.

“Pursuing the EdD enabled me to conduct research about learning, an area I am passionate about, which was a truly transformational experience, opening my eyes to different ways of looking at my practice and my research.

“The findings from my study, entitled: ‘Opening the door on student learning: using artefacts to explore pharmacy students’ experiences of learning’, have already influenced policy and practice in pharmacy education at RGU and nationally.”

All three theses are available to view online:

Dr Heather Bain – The Unique Knowing of District Nurses in Practice

Dr Brian Addison – ‘I’m Just the Sunday Boy!: Exploring the role of uncertainty in becoming a pharmacist’

Dr Ruth Edwards – Opening the door on student learning: using artefacts to explore pharmacy students’ learning practices’

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Ross AndersonCommunications Officer | Health and Sport