Postgraduate Research Students

Areas of Research Strength

The Faculty has a large professoriate led by Professors and Readers, supported by research fellows, associates and assistants. Specialist research teams are engaged in applied health and social care and sports focused research, contributing to enhancement of policy and health improvement of individuals, families and public services. 

The Faculty makes a substantial contribution to the following University Research Themes: Citizenship, Society and Justice;  Lifelong Health and Wellbeing

Members of the Faculty are part of the Lancashire Institute of Citizenship, Society and Change and the Lancashire Institute of Global Health and Wellbeing (LIFE).

Applied Public Health

Research in applied public health at UCLan spans elements of health protection and health promotion, including nutritional science and food safety and healthy settings. As well as the contributing to the University Research Themes above this area of research strength also feeds into the Sustainability, Business and Enterprise and People, Place and Environment Themes. To find out more please contact Professor Nicola LoweProfessor Carol Wallace or Professor Mark Dooris.

Ethics and Justice

Justice, equity and fairness are values that humans have aspired to throughout the ages and globally. Yet, how to make research itself and societies at large fairer and more ethical requires sophisticated interdisciplinary work and sustained, long-term engagement with research beneficiaries.  To find out more about our Centre for Professional Ethics please contact Professor Doris Schroeder.

Health Services Research

Health services research is concerned with access to, effectiveness, quality, use, costs, and delivery of health treatment and care.  It is multidisciplinary and aims to produce new knowledge about the contexts, processes and outcomes of health services, both for individuals and the wider population.  To find out more about our stroke research or cancer research please contact Dr Lois Thomas and Dr Liz Lightbody.

Health Technology Assessment

Health Technology Assessment encompasses multi-disciplinary research groups with expertise in the methodology and conduct of evidence syntheses (including systematic reviews, economic evaluations and information science), clinical trials and health implementation science, supporting decision-making about the clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and use of new and existing interventions in health and social care.  To find out more please contact Professor Andy Clegg.

Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and Child Health Research at UCLan encompasses multi-disciplinary research with specific expertise in Maternal and Child Nutrition, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Breastfeeding, Perinatal Mental Health, Childbirth and Global Midwifery Practices.  To find out more please contact Professor Soo Downe or Professor Fiona Dykes.

Mental Health

Mental health research at UCLan is informed by trans-disciplinary perspectives aiming to pursue inquiry that informs progressive developments in practice and deepens critical thinking about the complexities of experiences of mental distress in its social context. To find out more please contact Professor Mick McKeown.

Social Work and Social Policy

Our research in social work and social policy is innovative and interdisciplinary, with a strong commitment to reflecting the realities of people’s lives and providing a foundation for development of policy and practice.  We are also closely involved with the Criminal Justice Partnership and lead in the area of Youth Justice. To find out more please contact Professor Aidan Worsley.

Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Our works spans from the molecular level to worldwide, lab based, and field based work with real world impact. Our multidisciplinary research teams are internationally renowned in the fields of health, rehabilitation, sports performance, sport and exercise, sports coaching, sport and humanities, physical education, and strength and conditioning.  To find out more please contact Dr Sarah Jane Hobbs and Professor Jim Richards.

Research Student Support

Dr Rob Monks is Principal Lecturer in Nursing. His teaching portfolio mainly involves teaching research methods to postgraduate research students. He is the Research and Innovation Lead for the School of Nursing, the Research Degree Tutor for the School of Nursing and the RDT Lead for the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing.

Andy Sprake is a Lecturer in the School of Sport and Health Sciences.  His specialist interest is concerned with Physical Education culture and he is research active in the area of Physical Education pedagogy and practice. His PhD is exploring the place of learning and literacy in Physical Education, with the view to exploring alternative pedagogies and assessment practices within the subject area.

Dr Naoimh McMahon recently completed her PhD.  She used discourse analysis the examine the question of what it means to work 'upstream' to reduce health inequalities. 

Event Information

There are several events within the faculty which are available to support your research journey.

  • Post Graduate Research Forum.
  • Faculty Student Research Conference.
  • Post Graduate Workshops.
  • Hermi Seminars.
  • Early and Mid-Career Research Forum.
  • NIHR Postgraduate opportunities and training.
  • NIHR; ARC; NWC opportunities and training.



School of Nursing

Prof Tim Thornton

Prof Tim Thornton’s research concerns conceptual issues at the heart of mental health care. He has published on clinical judgement, idiographic and narrative understanding, the recovery model and understanding psychopathology, among other things.

School of Community Health and Midwifery

Gill Thompson

Dr Gill Thompson is a Social Scientist, who has a psychology academic background. Her research interests relate to psychosocial influences and implications of perinatal care, with a particular focus on factors that impact upon maternal wellbeing, including peer support models of care.

Dr. Carol Kingdon

Dr Carol Kingdon is a Medical Sociologist, part of the Research in Childbirth and Health Unit (ReaCH), University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). There are two strands to Carol’s research programme. The first, is concerned with optimising caesarean section use and care. The second, with stillbirth prevention and optimal bereavement care.

School of Social Work, Care and Community

Dr Stuart Cameron

Dr Stuart Cameron teaches on the Social Work, Social Policy and Sociology, and Community and Social Care programmes from Year 0 to Masters level.  His specific areas of interest are education policy, undergraduate employment, welfare history, social theory, and the sociology of childhood.

Prof Helen Spandler

Prof Helen Spandler, Professor in Mental Health in the School of Social Work and an Associate of the Psychosocial Research Unit (PRU) at UCLan. She is primarily a qualitative researcher in mental health, critical social theory and policy. 

Dr. John Wainwright

Dr John Wainwright’s social work experience has spanned several years of practice, education and management mainly within the City of Liverpool. He teaches social work values, research methods, ethnicity and social work. His research interests centre around ethnicity, and social work with a particular focus on children, young people and their families.

Dr Jess Macbeth

Dr Jess Macbeth is research active within the area of sport and exercise science and is a member of the International Football Institute.

Dr Clive Palmer

Dr Clive Palmer teaches on undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses spanning Outdoor Education, Physical Education, sports philosophy and coaching theory.  Clive teaches through an arts-based learning approach to explore aspects of sports culture and identity and specialises in qualitative research methods. 

John Stoszkowski

Dr. John Stoszkowski is a Senior Lecturer and Research Degree Tutor in the School of Sport and Health Sciences. John is research active with a particular interest in coach learning. He is a member of the Institute of Coaching and Performance.

Prof Nicola Lowe

Prof Nicola Lowe, Professor of Nutritional Sciences and Co-Director of the International Institute of Nutritional Sciences and Food Safety Studies. Her research interests include micronutrient requirements, with a particular interest in zinc requirements and metabolism. She is also leading research activities addressing issues around malnutrition in North West Pakistan.

Dr Sarah Hobbs

Dr Sarah Hobbs, Reader in Equine and Human Biomechanics and she teaches biomechanics at postgraduate and undergraduate levels. She is the research lead in equine biomechanics at the university and as such is responsible for development of local and international equine research collaborations. She is also the lead for the Research and Consultancy in Equine Surfaces (RACES) team at UCLan.

Jonathan Sinclair

Dr Jonathan Sinclair is course leader for both the MSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences and the MSc Nutrition and Exercise Sciences. He is research active in Sport Exercise and Nutritional Sciences and part of the SENS consultancy service.

Dr Bojlul Bahar

Dr Bojul Bahar joined UCLan in 2016 as a Senior Lecturer in Nutritional Sciences. The main focus of his current research is to understand the role of gene-nutrient interaction in chronic inflammation linked metabolic syndrome and use of bioactive nutraceuticals in inflammation and insulin resistance.

Prof. Louise Connell

Dr Louise Connell is a physiotherapist and clinician-scientist. Her current research focuses specifically on implementation research for intensive rehabilitation after stroke.  Louise is research active within the area of Rehabilitation Sciences and is a member of the Allied Health Research Unit.

Dr. Kate Chatfield

Dr Kate Chatfield’s subject areas: Health, Philosophy, Public Health. Kate Chatfield is a bioethicist and qualitative researcher, specialising in topics related to research ethics, and responsible research and innovation. Kate is a part of the Centre for Professional Ethics Research Group.