The Bloomsbury Colleges | PhD Studentships | Studentships 2012 | Insights from veterinary interprofessional interactions:implications for interprofessional education (IPE) in the veterinary curricula
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Insights from veterinary interprofessional interactions: implications for interprofessional education (IPE) in the veterinary curricula

Lead supervisor: Professor David Guile (Institute of Education)

Co-Supervisor: Professor Stephen May (Royal Veterinary College)

In parallel with other healthcare fields, the world of veterinary work is undergoing significant changes that pose new challenges for undergraduate and continuing education of veterinarians and veterinary nurses. Over the past year, as veterinary nursing undergoes the process of being recognised as a profession by the veterinary governing body (RCVS), a new relationship between veterinarians and veterinary nurses and the emergence of the concept of the “veterinary team” (like in medicine) is likely to change the old hierarchical status, generate issues of professionalism, and bring into light the need for an understanding of future working relationships and effective interprofessional interactions.Conventional wisdom in healthcare, but not fully explored in veterinary education, has been to address the shift to interprofessional work (IPW) by introducing an Interprofessional Educational (IPE) dimension into curricula.The aim of this proposal is to understand the nature of veterinary interprofessional interactions and to consider their implications for veterinary IPE. The project will include the following stages:

  • Review of literature on the growth of IPW to locate the research within a wider professional context, and facilitate cross-profession generalisations.
  • Investigation of a base line by quantitatively mapping interprofessional interactions within different types of veterinary practice through methods such as Social Network Analysis (SNA) and surveys; helping to demonstrate the growing importance of this type of work to the professions involved, and inform the selection of Case Studies (CSs).
  • Observation of IPW amongst the veterinary team and their clients in different work contexts with semi-structured interviews to develop CSs.
  • Triangulation of data sources enabling recommendations to colleges, practices and governing bodies to be formulated regarding training the undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary team.


The candidate is required to have a Masters in a related subject and a demonstrable interest in interprofessional education. Experience of qualitative research, especially within veterinary education would be advantageous. The student will receive training in the creation of Case Studies through the IoE.

Key References

Baxter, P., & Jack, S. (2008) Qualitative case study methodology: Study design and implementation for novice researchers. The Qualitative Report, 13(4), 544-559.

Guile, D. (forthcoming) Interprofessional working and learning: lessons from ‘project work’ for programmes of initial professional formation, in Fenwick, T., Jensen, K. & Nerland, M. edited Special Edition on Professional Learning. The Journal of Education and Work.

Guile, D. & Ahamed, F. (2011) Modernising the Pharmacy Curriculum: A report for the Modernising Pharmacy Careers Pharmacist Undergraduate education and Pre-registration training review team London: Department of Health

Kinnison, T., Lumbis, R., Orpet, H., Welsh, P., Gregory, S., Baillie, S. (2011) Piloting Interprofessional Education Interventions with Veterinary and Veterinary Nursing Students. Journal of Veterinary Medical Education, 38(3), 311-318.

World Health Organisation (2010) Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education & Collaborative Practice. Health Professions Network Nursing and Midwifery Office, Department of Human Resources for Health. Accessed on 12th October 2011 from

Further details about the project can be obtained from:

Lead Supervisor: Professor David Guile,,

Co-Supervisor: Professor Stephen May,,

Furthur information about PhDs at the Institute of Education is available from:

This studentship will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.