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Education and Health Sciences research programmes

 

Social, Education and Healthcare

Advance the wellbeing of people

The Faculty of Education & Health Sciences (EHS) boasts a vibrant research community. Research, alongside teaching, is a core activity. The aim is to advance the wellbeing
of people by graduating effective and critically reflective scientists, education and healthcare professionals and creating and disseminating knowledge, through research and scholarship that impacts on the social, educational and healthcare needs of people locally, nationally and globally.

The multidisciplinary structure and expertise of the faculty provide research agendas around active management of lifelong ageing, biomedical sciences, clinical therapies, education, food & health, health sciences, physical activity, sport and sport sciences, professional preparation and development, social issues and political identity – all areas of national challenge.

Departments include

  • School of Allied Health
  • School of Education
  • Graduate Entry Medical School (GEMS)
  • Nursing & Midwifery (N&M)
  • Physical Education & Sport Sciences (PESS)
  • Psychology (Psych)

There are currently 207 research students in the Faculty of EHS. EHS provides a number of high-quality taught postgraduate programmes, including Structured PhD programmes, Professional Doctorates and Masters courses. Our postgraduate students are members of a wider research community – involving research-active academic staff and research specialists – within the faculty. Research interests and productivity are reflected in the increased number of EHS-housed research centres, units and groups that are national research leaders in their field. In addition, EHS has strong links with the new multi disciplinary Health Research Institute.

Find your course

I commenced my PhD studies in October 2009, immediately after completion of my undergraduate degree. This research is supervised by Dr. Drew Harrison in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences and was supported by funding from the Irish Research Council. When this funding finished in 2012, I received further support from Plassey Campus Centre to continue my studies. Biomechanics and research modules were always my favourite part of my undergraduate degree, during which I had spent 8 months working with the Sports Biomechanics research group at Cardiff Metropolitan University. This experience on a number of different sports and engineering-related research projects confirmed to me that research postgraduate study in this area was something I was definitely interested in pursuing.

I work as part of the Biomechanics Research Unit on a method of assessing plantarflexor (calf muscle) function in a test condition which simulates hopping. My first year was primarily focused on review of the literature to identify suitable research questions, running pilot studies to determine the feasibility of the proposed methods and completion of ethics applications. I also spent a period of time at the University of Bath and Manchester Metropolitan University in the UK to acquire training in measurement methods not used in Ireland. That initial year laid the foundations for subsequent data collection and analysis.

Throughout my PhD, I have also been involved in teaching on a number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, which has greatly enhanced my CV and puts me in good stead for future employability. Since 2010 I have travelled to and presented my findings at conferences in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Hong Kong and Taiwan, each of them invaluable experiences in terms of networking and dissemination of my research. Without a doubt, however, one of the highlights of my PhD to date was the publication of the first journal article from the thesis in early 2013.

Laura-Anne Furlong