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Conversation analysis of health communication

   Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Good communication can enhance health outcomes. In order to optimise health communication in different settings it is important to understand what interactional techniques are used, and which techniques work well and less well. This project (precise details will be refined in discussion with supervisor/s) will use conversation analysis to identify communication patterns in audio and/or video data on health topics – broadly defined: for example, it may involve exploring how members of support groups discuss the way they cope with a particular condition, helpline interaction, how people with chronic health conditions interact with assistance dogs. This project would be ideally suited to someone who already has ideas about, or access to, a particular data collection site, and who has a keen interest in, and experience of using, qualitative research methods.

Entry Requirements

Candidates are expected to hold (or be about to obtain) a minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a related area/subject. Candidates with previous laboratory experience are particularly encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

For information on how to apply for this project, please visit the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Doctoral Academy website ( Informal enquiries may be made directly to the primary supervisor. On the online application form select the appropriate subject title.

For international students, we also offer a unique 4 year PhD programme that gives you the opportunity to undertake an accredited Teaching Certificate whilst carrying out an independent research project across a range of biological, medical and health sciences.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all of our activities. The full Equality, diversity and inclusion statement can be found on the website”

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from self-funded students. This project has a Band 1 fee. Details of our different fee bands can be found on our website (View Website).


Speer, S. A. & McPhillips, R. (2018). Initiating discussions about weight in a non-weight specific setting: What can we learn about the interactional consequences of different communication practices from an examination of clinical consultations? British Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/bjhp.12322

Speer, S.A. (2017). Flirting: A designedly ambiguous action? Research on Language & Social Interaction. 50(2): 128-150. DOI: 10.1080/08351813.2017.1301297.

Speer, S. A. and Stokoe, E. (2014). Ethics in action: Consent-gaining interactions and implications for research practice. British Journal of Social Psychology, 53 (1), 54-73.[Reprinted in B. Gough (Ed.) Qualitative research in psychology. Volume five: Contemporary issues and innovations. London: Sage].

Speer, S. A. and McPhillips, R. (2013) Patients’ perspectives on psychiatric consultations in the Gender Identity Clinic: Implications for patient-centered communication. Patient Education and Counseling, 91(3), 385-391.

Speer, S. A. (2013). Talking about sex in the Gender Identity Clinic: Implications for training and practice. Health, 17(6), 622–639.

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