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Getting stuck in: how can medical students be enabled to get more involved in patient care?

Project Description

Medical students are finding it increasingly difficult to get involved in patient care, making them less prepared to begin work as doctors. Why? This educational PhD provides an exciting opportunity to investigate how medical students can be enabled to play a greater role in patient care. The research is underpinned by Experience based learning, (ExBL) a recently published model of how medical students learn in clinical workplaces. The PhD student will explore the factors that enable and impede ExBL in practice, before developing and implementing an intervention to improve medical student participation.

The student will be encouraged to lead and shape the project, under close and supportive supervision provided by experts in the fields of health professions research, undergraduate education, and clinical medicine.

The work plan for this PhD is as follows:

• Literature review to explore what is known about factors enabling and impeding students’ participation in practice.
• Ethnographic research into how medical students participate in practice, using observations, interviews and textual analysis, based on the concepts of institutional ethnography.
• Design-based research of a pilot intervention to improve medical students’ opportunities to participate in practice.

This work will bring benefits for both Foundation doctors and patients, by making graduates better prepared to begin work.


Candidates should have or expect to obtain a 2:1 or higher Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant biomedical or life sciences subject.

English Language

Candidates applying from countries where the first language is not English should produce evidence of their competence through a qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL score.

The minimum recommended score for the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Science is:
• IELTS score of 6.0 with not less than 5.5 in each of the four component elements of listening, reading, speaking and writing taken within the last 2 years;
• TOEFL score of 80+ (internet basted test), taken within the last 2 years, with minimum component scores of; Listening 17, Reading 18, Speaking 20, Writing 17);
• A valid Certificate of Proficiency in English grade A or B;
• A valid Certificate of Advanced English grade A; or
• A first or upper second class honours degree from a university based in the UK, Republic of Ireland or other suitably quality assured location in a country deemed by the UK Border Agency to be majority English speaking.

For a list of English Language qualifications also accepted by the School and University please see the following link:

INTO Queen’s English Language Courses offers both pre-sessional and in-sessional courses in English for academic purposes and study skills. Courses vary in length and full information can be obtained at:

Funding Notes

*FUNDING CONFIRMED – Department for the Economy (DfE) Award*

Eligibility for both fees (£4,327 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) and maintenance (£15,009 for 2019/20, 2020/21 TBC) depends on the applicants being either an ordinary UK resident or those EU residents who have lived permanently in the UK for the 3 years immediately preceding the start of the studentship.

Non UK residents who hold EU residency may also apply but if successful may receive fees only.

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on the following link: View Website


Please visit the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences website for further details:

When applying, please choose 'MEDICINE' as your subject area/School.

Related Subjects

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