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PhD Studentship: A mixed methods approach to exploring individual, organisational and environmental factors influencing the decision making process of pregnant women considering a vaginal birth after caesarean section

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,000
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th March 2019
Closes: 5th May 2019

Funding amount: £15,000 maintenance grant per annum

Lead Supervisor name: Susan Way

Used appropriately, caesarean section (CS) can be lifesaving; however it is also associated with increased morbidity. Women with uncomplicated pregnancies who choose CS rather than vaginal birth are at risk of cardiac arrest, chronic pain and/or hysterectomy, while infants are more likely to be admitted to intensive care [1]. One of the greatest contributors to the overall CS rate is elective repeat CS. To help reduce this rate, promoting vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC) is offered and seen as the safest way forward for women who have had one prior CS for a non-repeating cause and who have no other complications [1]. However, women may be more likely to choose a repeat elective CS if their health care providers lack the skills and confidence in supporting VBAC [2]. Other factors include the culture of the birth environment, particularly in an obstetric-led unit where hierarchy of health professionals and competing philosophies of birth have an impact [3]. National statistics [1] show the majority of women (75%) who attempt a VBAC will achieve a vaginal birth. This figure is reflected regionally across Wessex. However, the uptake varies considerably from 65% to 43% across the NHS Trusts in Wessex. The reason for this is not fully understood.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,000 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 48 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for funded PhD studentship must demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years.

Studentship candidates must demonstrate outstanding academic potential with a 1st class honours degree and/or a Master’s degree with distinction. An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6 in each component) is essential for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Additional Eligibility:

To apply for this Studentship you MUST be a midwife registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (UK) . Please note interviews will be held at the University Hospitals Southampton NHS Foundation Trust in May and that your clinical placement time (2 days a week) will be spent at UHS.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 5 May 2019.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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