School of Nursing and Midwifery

PhD Published Works in Nursing and Midwifery

This degree programme is aimed at eligible candidates who have not previously been able to register for a higher degree, but have been research active and publishing - or making research available - in the public domain, to submit a collection of works with a health-related focus for consideration for the award of a PhD.

The submission must evidence that the candidate has personally made a systematic study; that they have shown independent, critical and original powers; and that they have made a distinct contribution to knowledge. The submission as a whole must be framed as a single coherent research project and meet the QAA Framework for Higher Education Qualifications Descriptor for Doctoral level (Level 8) work.

Course details

  • Programme overview
  • Prior to acceptance onto the programme, an applicant will be asked to produce a report providing an overview of the publications/contributions they have made (hereafter referred to as the prima facie case). This will be independently reviewed to ensure the applicant broadly has an appropriate background and experience for acceptance onto the programme.

    Once accepted onto the programme,which is part-time with a maximum duration of 12 months, candidates will work towards producing a research portfolio that will evidence they have: personally made a systematic study; shown independent, critical and original powers; and made a distinct contribution to knowledge. In addition to the research outputs, the research portfolio must also include an integrative summary written by the candidate of between 7500-15000 words. The purpose of the integrative summary is to provide a critical overview and synthesis of the research outputs submitted and their contribution to the discipline. 

    In preparing the research portfolio, the candidate will be advised and assisted by a Director of Studies (DoS) who is experienced in the subject area, and who has successfully supervised at least two doctoral level degrees to completion.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

EU applicants should refer to our dedicated Brexit webpage for details of the implications of the UK’s plans to leave the European Union. 

There are no restrictions on who may apply for this degree programme, should they believe they are able to meet the requirements above. Students subject to immigration control should be aware that there may be additional restrictions on their progression. Please visit our advice for international students pages for information about current Tier 4 requirements.

For further details of the requirements that you will need to meet for this programme can be requested from the Doctoral College.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

The application process comprises two phases:

  • Phase 1: Expression of Interest (no fee)
  • Phase 2: Full prima facie application (fee payable) 

Phase 1: Expression of Interest
Applicants must first submit an Expression of Interest to the University’s Doctoral College - - comprising:

  • an abstract of their research (of no more than 300 words)
  • a list of the works on which the submission is likely to be based, and
  • a curriculum vitae (no longer than 5 pages)
There is no fee attached to this phase of application.

The Doctoral College will, having consulted with relevant Faculties, send the application for consideration by the appropriate School within the University.

The purpose of this stage is to enable the University to determine whether resources and expertise are available to support the applicant to completion of the degree within this area of study.

Phase 2: Full prima facie application

If, under Phase 1 (above), a Faculty confirms that it has the resources and expertise to support the research content to completion, candidates must submit a full application within three months of the Phase 1 outcome. The purpose of Phase 2 is to satisfy the University that a prima facie case can be made for candidature. 

An application ‘reading fee’ is payable for this phase.

The Faculty Doctoral Committee will determine whether a prima facie case exists and if accepted then the applicant will be permitted to enrol for the degree and to prepare their submission for examination.

The successful candidate will be assigned a supervisory team and have a maximum of 12 months from the time of approval of the prima facie case to prepare their final submission for examination.


Find out about ongoing research within the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research - transformation in life course, ageing, methodologies, eHealth, technology and interventions in health, social care, lifestyle and wellbeing.

You may also be interested in the  South West Clinical Schools collaboration which links research with practice to improve patient outcomes across the region.