Become a leading researcher and contribute positive changes to health care, health policy, and our communities through your PhD in Nursing & Midwifery.
PhD in Nursing & Midwifery at VU
Studying towards a doctoral degree in nursing and midwifery lets you explore, in-depth, an area that interests you. You’ll learn best-practice research methods, and complete an original thesis at the forefront of its field.
In the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) assessment, our nursing research was ranked ‘well above’ world standard. We support PhD research in the community, clinical practice, education and policy. We have connections with community, medical and government organisations – for real-world research opportunities.
You’ll graduate with the high-level skills to collect and analyse evidence. You’ll learn to present your findings clearly and effectively – in your thesis, journals and public presentations. Career opportunities include working in healthcare management, academia, government or community settings.
Your PhD in nursing and midwifery will be part of a collaborative research community, with several interdisciplinary research focus areas.
Our healthy populations research programs give you a wide selection of nursing and midwifery study topics. Nursing academics offer expert guidance in these areas:
- chronic disease prevention and management
- health policy in Australia
- clinical and community health
- lifestyle diseases.
We offer fantastic opportunities through our research institutes and collaborations with healthcare and community organisations.
The Institute of Health & Sport incorporates and builds upon some of the research undertaken at VU by:
- Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention and Management – focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities, particularly in Melbourne’s west.
- Australian Health Policy Collaboration – supports government policy aimed at preventing chronic diseases.
- Western Centre for Health Research & Education (Western CHRE) – collaborates in health research with Western Health and the University of Melbourne.
- Clinical and Community Health research unit – addresses healthcare challenges, care, and cultural inclusion in mental health, pregnancy and illness.
Our Western Centre for Health Research and Education (Western CHRE) is an innovative research precinct in western Melbourne. Its state-of-the art teaching and research facilities include:
- auditorium, lecture theatre and tutorial teaching spaces
- learning commons
- simulation area with operating theatre, intensive care unit, four-bed ward
There are also clinical trials area with:
- consulting rooms
- gait and balance gym
- falls and fracture clinic
- bone and muscle imaging (DXA and pQCT)
- metabolic testing.
VU supports our PhD students with international industry contacts, research collaborations and a Dean’s lecture series by leaders in the health profession.
Our nursing and midwifery students study at St Albans campus. It’s a relaxed, friendly place, with a children’s centre, a gym, award-winning architecture, and lovely grounds.
VU Research gives you opportunities to:
- connect with other researchers
- participate in research festivals and competitions
- develop your research skills
- get funding for your research
- publish and promote your findings.
We offer support for graduate researchers including:
- an orientation program
- a specialised Office for Researcher Training, Quality & Integrity
- study spaces
- units to help you conceptualise and contextualise your research
- research ambassadors and student association.
Find out more about graduate opportunities at VU.
Our research centre enables world-class nursing and midwifery research
VU's hospital partnerships allow for real-world research opportunities
Careers in nursing and midwifery practice and policy
Following your PhD, you’ll be ready for a management or research career in health care, government or community, or to become an academic. There are currently large demands for nurse educators and managers (HealthTimes).
Possible job titles following this PhD include:
- nursing manager
- nursing educator
- clinical nurse specialist
- policy adviser.
The following are average salaries from the government site, Job Outlook:
The PhD is a research based degree with a maximum duration of 4 years (full time) and 8 years (part time).
As well as enrolling in Research Thesis units Doctor of Philosophy (Science) students will be required to complete two coursework units, ROP8001 and ROP8002.
An average result of 70% is required in the compulsory coursework units in order to proceed to candidature confirmation. Ongoing progression is subject to policy and procedures for candidature management as per the VU HDR Policy.
On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
|1.||expert understanding of a substantial body of theory and its practical application at the frontier of a field of work or learning, including substantial expert knowledge of ethical research principles and methods applicable to the field.|
|2.||intellectual independence and cognitive skills to undertake a systematic investigation, reflect critically on theory and practice and evaluate existing knowledge and ideas, including identifying, evaluating and critically analysing the validity of research studies and their applicability to a research problem.|
|3.||expert cognitive, technical and creative skills to: design, develop and implement a research project/s to systematically investigate a research problem; develop, adapt and implement research methodologies to extend and redefine existing knowledge; manage, analyse, evaluate and interpret data, synthesising key ideas and theorising within the context of key literature.|
|4.||expert communication skills to explain and critique theoretical propositions, methodologies and conclusions; to disseminate and promote new insights; and to cogently present a complex investigation of originality, or original research, both for external examination and to specialist (eg researcher peers) and non-specialist (industry and/or community) audiences through informal interaction, scholarly publications, reports and formal presentations.|
|5.||capacity to reflect on, develop and evaluate strategies for achieving their own learning and career goals.|
|6.||intellectual independence, initiative and creativity in new situations and/or for further learning.|
|7.||ethical practice and full responsibility and accountability for personal outputs.|
|8.||autonomy, authoritative judgement, adaptability and responsibility as an expert and independent scholar.|
What's a unit?
A unit or 'subject' is the actual class you'll attend in the process of completing a course.
Most courses have a mixture of compulsory 'core' units that you need to take, and optional \'elective\' units that you can choose to take based on your area of interest, expertise or experience.
Each unit is worth a set amount of study credits based on the amount of time you study. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 1 hour of study per week.
Admission & pathways
Meeting the minimum admission requirements does not guarantee you entry into this course.
Some courses receive more applications than the number of places available. In this situation we will also assess your education, work and other relevant experience.
- Bachelor/Honours degree: Completed a relevant Masters degree or four year undergraduate degree with Honours or its equivalent at a high standard.
If you have completed study with another university or institution and believe you are eligible to receive credit for skills and past study, you can apply for advanced standing.
Applications for advanced standing can be made after a discussion with your course coordinator or academic adviser.