Research Degrees

Research Degrees

Graduate Studies at the Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery is characterised by its focus on research, innovation and student-centred learning.  This empowers our students to become independent researchers, educators and clinical leaders, and to contribute to the development of the theoretical basis of practice, the evaluation of health care interventions and positive health care outcomes for patients and their families.

The Graduate research programs in Nursing and Midwifery can lead to an MSc (by research), Doctorate in Nursing (DN) and PhD in Nursing/Midwifery.  Students can choose to specilise in a variety of areas as follows.

Six core research themes: here

  1. Maternal and child health.
  2. Healthy ageing.
  3. The health and life experiences of individuals and their families during the cancer trajectory.
  4. Chronic illness management - children, young people and adults.
  5. End-of-Life Healthcare Ethics.
  6. Mental Health and Well-being

Other research areas: Intellectual Disability, Midwifery, Public Health, Patient Safety, Simulation Education for nurses and midwives.

Methodological expertise: evidence based synthesis, broad quantitative and qualitative research approaches, grounded theory, phenomenology, mixed methods research, intervention development, questionnaire design,  using large data sets, to name but a few.

If you are interested in pursuing a research degree in the School of Nursing and Midwifery please contact Dr Patricia Leahy-Warren

Email address  (Director of Graduate Studies)


Doctorate of Nursing (DN)

The Doctorate of Nursing Programme was developed by Prof. Geraldine McCarthy and launched in 2010.  The programme is normally completed over a 3-year timeframe with 6 theory modules (120 credits) delivered and examined in the first section of the programme and the doctoral thesis (150 credits) being completed in the latter section of the programme.

The curriculum is planned to develop the knowledge and skills of individual nurses to function effectively as advanced leaders in academic and service settings and to be nurse practitioners at the highest level of practice.

Please see the DN calendar entry for admission requirements, and to make a formal application, please access the PAC application system using application code CKZ77, Doctor of Nursing Practice (Full-Time) here

If interested in persuing a DN, please make contact with the Director of Graduate Studies Dr Patricia 

Note: Not advertised for 2018.2019



The purpose of the PhD in Nursing/ PhD in Midwifery degree program is to prepare scholars who will discover and extend scientific knowledge that advances the science and practice of nursing, midwifery and health care. Graduates of the PhD program will:

  • Demonstrate evidence of originality in the presentation of their research findings (discovery and development of new knowledge and skills)
  • Make a significant contribution to nursing or midwifery knowledge (delivering findings at the frontiers of knowledge and application)
  • Exhibit an in-depth understanding of their field of research and a mastery of the literature and familiarity with the sources of information pertinent to their area of study
  • Demonstrate proficiency in quantitative and/or qualitative analysis methods
  • Develop transferable skills e.g. the abilities to critique and develop organisational structures and initiate change.

Students registered full-time normally complete the programme over a 3-year timeframe, whilst students registered part-time can take up to six years to complete the programme.

Please see the PhD calendar entry for admission requirements  admission requirements  and to make a formal application, please access the PAC application system using PAC application code CKZ09, PhD Nursing (Full-Time) or CKZ14, PhD Nursing (Part-Time)  here

If interested in pursing a PhD, please make contact with the Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Patricia Leahy-Warren Email address 

See  PhD brochure

MSc by Research

Students can study for an MSc by research on either a fulltime basis over one year or on a part-time basis over two years.

Please see the MSc Research calendar entry for admission requirements and to make a formal application, please access the PAC application system using PAC application code CKY04,

MSc Nursing/Midwifery  (Research mode Full-Time) or CKY50, MSc in Nursing/Midwifery (Part-time) click here

If interested in pursuing an MSc (by research) please make contact with the Director of Graduate Studies Dr Patricia Leahy-Warren,

Email Address: 


Policies and Procedures

All students are asked to familiarise themselves with the Graduate Studies policies and procedures.  see link here

The School of Nursing and Midwifery has developed approved documentation and procedures to assist students taking their research degree at the School of Nursing & Midwifery, UCC.

Students are advised to read the Graduate Studies Handbook School of Nursing & Midwifery 

All research students are required to undertake an annual review facilitated by a progress review panel (PRP) this involves:

  • The student will complete the Student report, print a copy of their slides as a handout and submit the report and the copy of the slides to the chairperson of the PRP panel on the day of the review.  
  • The supervisors will complete the supervisors report and submit to the chairperson of the PRP panel on the day of the review.
  • The student will present their research topic area and progress to date in a 20 minute presentation.
  • 10-15minutes is given over to discussion/questions.  All research students, supervisors, PRP members are welecome to attend the PRP presentations.
  • The PRP panel will meet and once they have completed their deliberations, the student will be asked to meet with the panel to discuss the outcome of the PRP review.  The student is informed about the outcome of the review on the day of the review and associated recommendations.  Thereafter a formal  PRP report is issued to the student for their records.



Schedule of Education, Training & Skills Development Events

School of Nursing and Midwifery: Many events and seminars are organised for students across the academic year.  Students are asked to attend as many of these events as is possible. These events are offer great networking opportunities and the prospect of learning about the many different approaches to research.  The schedule of events is regularly updated,  please see the attached Graduate Studies schedule of events 2019

Graduate School, College of Medicine and Health: The Graduate School and the postgraduate student committee facilitates many events for students including public speaking workshops, writing for publication, statistics etc. The graduate school also hosts two key social events: The Winter and Summer gatherings. These are great opportunities to meet with students from other Schools, across the College of Medicine and Health. In addition, the College offers three Postgraduate online courses (hyperlink to : to students: a) Communicating your Research b) Statistics for Researchers c) Research Integrity. The schedule of events is regularly updated; please keep a close eye on the website for updates.

University Graduate Studies Office: The University Graduate Studies Office also facilities many events of note which are open to all research students across the University. Of particular note are the writing workshops and the annual postgraduate showcase. The schedule of events is regularly updated; please keep a close eye on the website for updates.

Postgraduate Skills development: The University offers formal postgraduate (PG) modules: the listing of PG modules is accessible at this link . It is useful to discuss your choice of PG modules with your supervisors in the first instance and consider your choice in terms of the skills that will help with the completion of your research.

Scholarships and Open Nights


College of Medicine and Health Graduate School Travel Bursaries.

  This funding offers students registered on doctoral programmes within the College of Medicine & Health an opportunity to seek funding to     support travel to conferences, avail of unique educational opportunities, and to network with international experts in their area of research.  Details of the annual call can be found at this link     Graduate School Travel Bursaries

  Open Nights

 A "Drop in Session" for Prospective Students interested in undertaking a Research Degree (MSc (research), Doctorate of Nursing or PhD) will be organised in April 2018.




link here

School of Nursing and Midwifery

Scoil an Altranais agus an Chnáimhseachais

Brookfield Health Sciences Complex University College Cork Ireland