The School has developed a model of scholarship based largely on the work of Ernest Boyer (1990). Four main areas of scholarship are advanced by School staff.

Scholarship Model (Boyer)

"Traditional" research and theoretical development is contained within the Discovery field. Application covers the application of knowledge and expertise to practice settings and wider communities. Integration refers to scholarship engaging with other professions, cultures or institutions at local, national or international levels. Learning and Teaching provides opportunity to incorporate the range of scholarship that relates to, for example, curriculum development, creative and innovative learning approaches or accreditation.

These four areas of scholarship inform Nursing and Midwifery Education and Practice in ways that result in outcome or impact that can be articulated. A programme of monthly "SHARE" seminars supports sharing of our scholarship within and beyond the School. Details of staff scholarly activities can be found on their individual profiles in the staff tab.


The School of Nursing and Midwifery at RGU is involved in taking forward research in a range of education and practice areas.

The main generic areas of substantive interest are:

  • Evaluation research relating to educational practices
  • Mental health education and practice
  • Analysis of policy to practice developments
  • Midwifery education and practice
  • Community nursing
  • Bereavement and bereavement care

Additionally, the School has particular research expertise in the following areas:

  • Arts, humanities and ethics in the caring context
  • Diabetes and long term conditions
  • Haemoglobinopathies
  • Childhood asthma
  • Healthcare associated infections

Many of these areas feed in to the programmes of research being taken forward by the Institute for Health and Wellbeing Research(IHWR). A number of school staff contribute to the IHWR as active members, with several also collaborating in projects being taken forward by RGU's other two research institutes (IDEAS and IMAGES).

School staff also supervise students undertaking research degrees, working closely with the Faculty's Graduate School. Two examples of topics that are currently being researched by doctoral students are:

  • An analysis of policy to practice developments in NMHAPs in Scotland (Ziying Shuai)
  • Development and external pilot of a controlled evaluation of a self care intervention to enhance the health and well being of informal caregivers of relatives with bipolar disorder (Lee Boag)

Our staff are happy to discuss research ideas and answer questions. Please feel free to initially contact Dr. Colin Macduff.


Application involves the application of knowledge and expertise to practice settings and the wider community.

School staff and clinical colleagues are involved in a range of these activities, seeking to develop practice on the basis of best evidence.

One such example is in the field of bereavement, where staff undertook a literature review, consultation and mapping of bereavement care in Scotland that has informed a national framework for practice with a wide range of colleagues involved in care delivery. Six of the school staff contributed to a recent book informed by this work: Grief, Loss and Bereavement (2011) eds. Wimpenny, P and Costello, J. London: Routledge.

School staff have also authored or contributed to books on clinical skills, children's nursing, community nursing, advanced skills in practice teaching, and numerous other applied topics. Additionally, they actively contribute to national nursing and midwifery developments, for example with NHS Education for Scotland and Queen's Nursing Institute Scotland.


Integration features the extent to which integration occurs with, for example, other professions and/or policy groups.

School staff are very active in developing and studying inter-professional education within the ambit of the Aberdeen Interprofessional Health and Social Care Education initiative. A recent example of innovation with integrated scholarship, involved final year nursing and medical students being trained and supported to teach basic life support skills to a range of other health and social care undergraduates.

Another area where scholarship is integral to collaborative working is in the School's international partnership working. In addition to affiliations with higher education institutions in the USA and Australia, the School has nine established European link areas participating in the ERASMUS student and staff exchange programme. Within this context a doctoral study is currently comparing student nurses' cultural competencies.

Learning & Teaching

Learning and Teaching relates to the range of staff scholarship that underpins curriculum development, creative and innovative learning approaches and accreditation activities.

Examples of current scholarly activities in this area include:

  • Study of volunteer patients' experiences of giving feedback to students,
  • Study of the use of action learning sets with new lecturers,
  • Engaging students - making the most of feedback by drawing on lessons from the use of online resources.

Staff are also leading nationally commissioned evaluation studies looking at:

  • A structured evaluation of selection processes and related outcomes for pre-registration nursing in Robert Gordon University,
  • An evaluation of the introduction of the Robert Gordon University Student Review Record in three Scottish Schools of Nursing and Midwifery,
  • Evaluation of face-to-face interviewing and related selection processes as valid and reliable selection tools for the recruitment of student nurses and midwives, and
  • The Development, Implementation and Evaluation of Demonstration Projects of New Approaches to Providing Practice Placements in Pre-registration Nursing Programmes - a whole course hub and spoke approach in mental health nursing.