Nursing and Midwifery

Nursing and Midwifery
Our Research aim is to engage with key partners to develop, deliver and disseminate high-quality research that is of value to society, those using health and social care services, and the professions of nursing and midwifery.
Start Date
MRes | MPhil | PhD | PD
Start Date
February and October

We have a vibrant community of post graduate research students and we are committed to advancing scholarship through teaching and research. There are opportunities to study for Research Master's, PhD and Professional Doctorates in topics related to our two main themes.

  1. Person, Family and Community Focused Health and Wellbeing & Organisation
  2. Delivery of Health & Social Care/Services 

Aligned to these core themes, we have two research groups that lead research activities.  These are: 

  1. Long-Term Conditions, Palliative and End of Life Care and Bereavement
  2. Maternal, Child and Family Health 

We welcome proposal submissions from students to undertake research in the following indicative areas, although other areas will be considered: 

  • Community Health, Long Term Conditions, End of Life Care, Qualitative methods, action research and systematic reviews - Professor Catriona Kennedy
  • Respiratory disease, allergy, diagnosis and assessment. Methodologies: questionnaire design, analysis of quantitative data, accuracy of diagnostic and assessment strategies, systematic review 
  • Educational Research; Nurse Education; Community Nursing; Advanced Practice; Qualitative Research; Case study approaches - Dr Heather Bain
  • Midwifery, Maternity, Primary Care, Models of Care Provision, Sustainability and resilience in practice, Case load Midwifery Practice, Spirituality in Healthcare, Rural and Rural, Hermeneutic phenomenology, Working with qualitative data, Crafting/polishing stories from raw data, Grounded theory - Professor Susan Crowther
  • Ethnography, quality and safety improvement, in particular, developing and evaluating complex interventions, prescribing (social, therapeutic and drug), self-care, digital health and delivery of care - Dr Aileen Grant
  • Mixed methods; clinical skills; curriculum development; diversity and internationalisation in interprofessional education; interagency working; public protection collaborative practice 
  • Quantitative/qualitative; midwifery; infertility; assisted reproductive technology; health promotion; translation testing; bone marrow; cancer therapy - Dr Annie Lau
  • Metastatic spinal cord compression, end of life care, interdisciplinary team working, COPD, long term conditions, eHealth and population health. She has experience of using quantitative, qualitative and mixed research methods - Dr Siew Lee
  • Quantitative; epidemiology; complex intervention design; asthma; COPD; quality of life & self-care - Dr Sheelagh Martindale
  • Organisational change; staff development; mental health; student learning; health & social policy - Professor Ian Murray
  • eHealth, Cancer Care, Patient Experience, Supportive Care, and Urological cancers; multi-site clinical trials; Quantitative/mixed methods - Dr Catherine Paterson 
  • Qualitative; mental health; solution focussed brief therapy - Dr Steve Smith
  • Qualitative; JBI systematic reviews; Bereavement Care; bariatric surgery; multi-disciplinary care; case study analysis of recruitment & selection - Dr Audrey Stephen
  • Qualitative; JBI systematic reviews; death, dying, bereavement; male grief - Dr Fiona Work
Our Research Groups 

The aim of the research groups is to undertake applied health research which impacts upon policy, education and practice and fits with RGU’s mission to ‘transform people and communities.’  Each group is organised around a portfolio of internationally-recognised research with a transdisciplinary focus conducted in collaboration and partnership with multiple stakeholders: women and men; families and carers; members of the public and our communities; academic, clinical and voluntary sector partners; policy makers; funders and, community and health service leaders.   

Research undertaken by the groups will align with a range of theoretical frameworks and models relating to the development and evaluation of complex interventions and implementation in practice. A range of methodologies including mixed methods, systematic literature reviews, scoping and mapping studies, quantitative and qualitative research, and feasibility and pilot studies moving towards large scale RCTs, if and where appropriate.  

The School Research Committee is convened by Professor Catriona Kennedy. The purpose of the research committee is to guide the development and conduct of research in the School and the research groups will report through the committee.  

Long-Term Conditions, Palliative and End of Life Care Research Group

Group Lead: Dr Aileen Grant

The aim of this research group is to conduct high quality, impactful research that aims to improve quality of life in, and the quality and delivery of care and support for, people with a diverse range of physical and mental long-term conditions from diagnosis to end of life.  We will work collaboratively with people affected by long-term conditions and their families, and across disciplines with our clinical, and third sector partners, adopting a co-creative, co-production model of investigation.  Key areas of research within the programme include: supported self-management, rehabilitation, palliative and end of life care, and bereavement support.  

Maternal, Child and Family Health Research Group

Group Lead: Professor Susan Crowther

The aim of this research group is to conduct high quality, impactful research that aims to improve the quality of maternity, family and paediatric services across primary and hospital sectors. We will work collaboratively with women and their families, and across disciplines with our clinical, and third sector partners, adopting a co-creative, co-production model of investigation.  Key areas of research include: sustainable workforces (e.g. rural and remote midwifery services, models of care provision), women and family’s physical and mental health and wellbeing (e.g. physical, psychological and spiritual) and safe, accessible and acceptable service provision.


Normal entry requirements are a first or upper second class honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom, or from an overseas University, or degree equivalent qualification, subject to the approval of Robert Gordon University. Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. 

Applicants holding qualifications other than those above shall be considered on their merits and in relation to the nature and scope of the proposed research programme. Applicants will normally register for an MSc/PhD or MRes/PhD with transfer to PhD dependent on satisfactory progress. However, applicants who already possess a Master’s degree which includes a significant research component could be registered directly for a PhD, subject to a satisfactory research proposal, and clear evidence of research expertise. 

English Language

Any applicant whose first language or language of previous University-level instruction is not English must normally demonstrate competence in English. This should be a score of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

English Language requirements

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Pre-Sessional English Programme at RGU

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


UK/EU Students


  • Fee to be confirmed

Part-time MPhil/PhD

  • Fee to be confirmed

Part-time MRes/MSc by research

  • Fee to be confirmed

International Students


  • £16,510 per academic year

Part-time MPhil/PhD

  • £9,906 per academic year

Part-time MRes/MSc by research

  • £8,255 per academic year

UK/EU Students


  • £4,327 per academic year


  • £2,600 per academic year

International Students


  • £16,110 per academic year


  • £9,666 per academic year

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:



Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.



Postgraduate students will normally make their own arrangements for payment of fees. However, there are a limited number of SAAS funded places on certain postgraduate courses.
There are also sources of funding that are applicable to categories of student.



You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:



For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:

Student Finance


All applications should be made via the University's online application for research students.

Our Research degrees usually start in February and October each year. There is no official deadline for you to submit your application, though we recommend you submit it as early as possible in order to ensure we can help you join us at your preferred time.

Completed application forms should be accompanied by:
  • Two academic references
  • A transcript or mark sheet for all graduate qualifications
  • A draft research proposal, or at least a short summary to indicate the potential area of research (Refer to Section 8 of the Application Form)

For applicants whose first language or language of university education is not English, applications must include:

  • Certificate of English language competency score of IELTS 6.5 in each of the four test components (Listening, Reading, Writing, Speaking).
  • Students who can demonstrate successful completion of tertiary (university or college) studies in a country whose national language is English, may be exempted from this requirement.


For more information on your proposal and application:

Flora Douglas Research Degrees Coordinator

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