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From Law to International Relations to Politics!


Hi everyone! My name’s Moises Vieira. I’m currently doing a PhD in the Department of Politics. In my research, I’m looking at the intersection of migration and healthcare. In a nutshell, I’m interested in the (legal and ethical) challenges around providing healthcare for migrants, in the UK. I have been a student at Manchester since September 2018, where I’ve had the opportunity to discuss my work with world-class researchers, professors and fellow colleagues in the field of International Relations.

In addition to being a researcher, I am also a graduate teaching assistant in the Faculty of Humanities. So far, I have taught a module on the ‘Politics of Globalization’ where the students and I discussed different aspects of living in a globalised world, and how that impacts on social, economic and political life. Furthermore, I have also taught online modules addressing a range of issues within the field of International Relations and beyond: creating a sustainable world, security and trust, cybercrimes, partnerships for development, among others. 

As you can see, life as a university student goes way beyond simply attending classes and hitting the books. There are always a lot of extra activities you can engage with, according to your interests, academic background and previous training.

In Depth…

I went to Law School as an undergraduate student, and decided to pursue an academic career following my Master’s degree in International Relations. I undertook my studies in Brazil, so doing my PhD at Manchester has been an incredible experience both on the academic and personal levels. Most of my activities take place on campus, such as attending seminars, lectures, workshops and specific training events for career advancement. Doing a PhD in Politics is a great opportunity to move around and explore the world, too: as a researcher, I have attended academic events in a range of cities in the UK, and international conferences in a few countries, such as Switzerland and Denmark. These have been invaluable experiences in order to further my research, but also to meet new people and explore new places.

Back to my main research interest: What does it mean to be looking at the intersection of migration and healthcare? Let’s say an immigrant (with unlawful residence in the UK) falls ill, and is denied access to the NHS. In my research, I analyse issues like that, and ask questions such as: Is it ethical to deny healthcare for migrants on the grounds of immigration status? What are the human rights implications of refusing healthcare for non-citizens? By addressing these questions, I seek to raise people’s awareness of these important issues around public health and migration, which are very relevant for both migrants and UK citizens alike. 

Going Further…

A short guide for healthcare provision for migrants by the charity ‘Doctors of the World’:

The British Medical Association (BMA) opinion on refusing migrants’ access to the NHS:

Some reflections on charging migrants for healthcare:

Some context on the extension of ‘hostile environment’ into a range of areas, including healthcare:

A special focus on pregnancy and migrant women:

A report on the health of migrants in the UK, by the Migration Observatory, at the University of Oxford:


Artificial wombs: an ethical exploration

by YPU Admin on February 1, 2019, Comments. Tags: healthcare, Humanities, and Law

My name is Chloe and I’m a second year PhD student, funded by the Wellcome Trust, in Bioethics and Medical Law at the University of Manchester. I finished my A Levels in Physics, Biology and Chemistry in 2011, but having decided science wasn’t for me I took a gap year to think about what I wanted to do next. During my time off I decided to go in a completely different direction and applied to the University of Manchester to study Law. I started my degree in 2012 and I loved it! I was still interested in some of the ethical issues surrounding science and so during my degree I took modules in Medical Law and Mental Health Law and I wrote my dissertation about Caesarean Sections.

After my undergraduate degree I received a scholarship from Manchester to take my Masters in Healthcare Law and Ethics in 2015. In 2017 I started my PhD also in the School of Law at Manchester. My PhD is about artificial wombs and the impact of this technology on the law and ethics of reproduction and pregnancy.


Artificial womb technology is currently being developed as a replacement for conventional neonatal intensive care. Current methods of intensive care for premature babies cannot aid babies born before 22 weeks because their lungs are not developed enough for assisted ventilation. Intensive care also cannot always prevent premature neonates from developing life-threatening infections during treatment or serious long-term health problems as a result of being born premature. Artificial wombs might be the future solution to mortality and morbidity amongst premature babies. Artificial wombs are designed to mimic the conditions of the womb and effectively  ‘take over’ the process of gestation. An artificial womb treats a premature baby as if it had never been born. Artificial wombs should ‘sidestep’ the common complications caused by, or not prevented by, conventional methods of care. In 2017 there was a successful animal trial of an experimental artificial womb-like device; the ‘biobag.’ The scientists that invented this device have suggested they are only years away from considering human trials of the biobag.

My PhD is by publication, which means that rather than writing a traditional thesis I am writing and publishing a series of articles on my subject that I’ll put together into a thesis at the end. In reproduction science and medicine there are often rapid advances in technology and the law struggles to keep up. Academic research plays a really important role in highlighting the insufficiencies of the law at addressing ethical issues with these new technologies. Writing for publication gives me so much flexibility, and publishing helps me get stuck into, and generate, academic debate right now and help ensure my research has impact. I’m very lucky!

Most days, I spend my time reading and writing in our postgrad research office. I try to write a little something every day so I don’t get out of the habit. I’m also a teaching assistant in the school of law: so one day a week I spend teaching first year students criminal and contract law. I’m hoping to stay in academic when I’ve finished my PhD because I really enjoy both teaching and research.


If you are interested in my research you can read this blog post about some of my work on the Journal of Medical Ethics Blog:

You can also read my first research paper (it’s free because it is open access) here:

For a brief summary of the science behind artificial wombs:

You can also follow my research on my Twitter:

For more information about Bioethics, Health and the Law at Manchester:


Research after University


My name is Alice Heaney and I graduated this summer from The University of Manchester with a first class degree in Psychology. Having studied Psychology at A level and being fascinated by the subject, I was eager to learn more about the mind and behaviour. During my undergraduate degree, I developed an interest in health psychology, whilst my enthusiasm for statistics and research methods continued to grow. The enjoyment gained from these modules helped me realise that a career in research was something I wished to pursue. Being fortunate enough to find a position that incorporates my areas of interest, I now work as a research assistant for Galen Research Ltd.

In Depth

When I tell people that I’m a research assistant, they tend to picture me working in a laboratory, wearing a white lab coat and handling chemicals. However the picture is quite the opposite in reality! To provide some background into the company I work for, at Galen Research we develop disease-specific, patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures. In other words, we design questionnaires that assess patient’s views on how they feel their medical condition and the treatment they receive affect their quality of life. The content of our measures is derived from in-depth qualitative interviews with patients to ensure they capture issues important to them.  Our measures serve as valuable tools for the pharmaceutical industry and health services worldwide, such as the NHS, in assessing the impact of specific conditions and their treatments.

As a research assistant, I am involved in supporting the senior researchers with the development, translation and validation of our measures. My responsibilities range from transcribing interviews and performing statistical analyses to helping with the writing of research articles for publication in academic journals. My undergraduate degree equipped me with an abundance of transferable skills which have proven to be of great help to my current role. The obvious one to mention would be the research skills I learned during my Psychology course, gained through experience of designing research questions and studies as well as collecting and analysing both quantitative and qualitative data. The opportunity to undertake an independent project in third year not only helped to develop project management skills but also allowed me to build upon problem-solving, critical evaluation and interpersonal skills, amongst many more.  The ability to communicate information clearly to a variety of audiences is another skill which I have brought with me, exercising effective communication on a regular basis in the form of academic writing, meetings and oral presentations.

I hope that I’ve been able to provide some insight into what my role as a research assistant entails. In the near future I will be applying for a research passport which would allow me to conduct interviews with patients. Something else to look forward to is the international travel my work involves. This month I am heading to Portugal to carry out a linguistic and cultural adaptation of one of our measures. In terms of my aspirations, progressing to the role of senior research associate as well as studying for a PhD are long term goals which I am working towards. For now though I plan to continue to gain valuable experience at Galen Research.


Going further

If you would like to know more about the research we carry out, please visit our website:

For more information on studying Psychology at The University of Manchester:

To keep up to date with current research developments in the field of psychology, please refer to the ‘Research Digest’ section of The British Psychological Society’s website. The site also provides useful information about careers and accredited courses in Psychology:


Focus On...Audiology

by YPU Admin on August 13, 2013, Comments. Tags: Audiology, careers, healthcare, Life Science, pathways, and study


Considering becoming an audiologist?

Not sure what an audiologist is? Well, if you like interacting with people, want to improve somebody’s quality of life and want a career that is people focused but also has elements of science and technology, then a degree in audiology could be just for you.

What is audiology?

Audiology is the branch of science that studies hearing, hearing related disorders, and balance. Audiologists work with people who have hearing and balance conditions, so you will get to work with people of all ages, from new-born babies to adults. Audiologists are also responsible for the patient’s management, which may include counselling and fitting of hearing aids. As the world gets more crowded, and ‘louder’, and people get older, more and more people will need help from audiologists. Just check out the figures: there are more than 10 million people in the UK with some form of hearing loss. That’s one in six of the population. There are more than 45,000 deaf children in the UK and, on average, it takes around ten years for people to seek help about hearing problems. By 2031, it is estimated that there will be 14.5 million people with hearing loss in the UK. Hearing problems are only going to get more common and that means the world needs more audiologists!

Studying audiology

There are lots of different training and education options if you want a career in audiology. You could work alongside an audiologist as an assistant, or work as a Hearing Aid Dispenser in which you would need to do a foundation degree (see If you are not really sure where you want to work, but would like to see patients then you may want to study an audiology degree. Here at The University of Manchester we offer both undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, which combine the practical, theoretical and clinical aspects of audiology. These courses are part of the Audiology and Deafness Group at Manchester, which is the oldest audiology department in the UK, dating back to 1919. In addition we have strong links with the NHS, where some of our courses provide placements in NHS clinics. Click here to find out the many different courses we offer. Also why not find out what one of our first years has to say about the course….here

Career Paths

Completing either an undergraduate or postgraduate degree at The University of Manchester prepares you for a career in the NHS or the independent sector. Audiologists are part of a big team and work with: speech and language therapists; teachers of the deaf; ear, nose and throat specialists; and social services. But if working in the NHS doesn’t appeal to you, there are loads more options. Graduates from our courses have found work with companies that create and dispense hearing aids or have become lecturers at universities, undertaking their own research. Others now work for hearing charities or at schools that specialise in teaching children with hearing problems. The career opportunities as an audiologist are very good and, with an ageing population, the demand for audiologists will only increase.

Our Research

One example of a research project being carried out at The University of Manchester is investigating the changes in brain activity after wearing an earplug in one ear for a short period of time. Our brains are able to compensate for a change in hearing. If you have a hearing loss, the brain will increase its activity to compensate for less sound reaching the brain. However, in some people, the brain activity will increase too much and this can lead to tinnitus, a condition where the person hears a high-pitched ringing noise (this is why the condition is also known as ‘ringing in the ears’). Little is known about what causes the brain to overcompensate and where and when these changes occur. We hope to understand more about the changes in brain activity and how it can lead to tinnitus by simulating hearing loss, which involves wearing an earplug and measuring the changes in brain activity. If we can understand more about the changes in brain activity, this could lead to a better understanding of tinnitus. If you would like to know more about our other research projects, visit our website.

Find out more about audiology

Have a look at our website for more information about Audiology at The University of Manchester.

For up-to-date news about what we do in our department and school, check out our blog.

Check out our very own Professor Chris Plack, explaining how the ear works using only the thousand most used words in the English Language.

The British Society of Audiology supports audiology across the UK and you can find out about the latest news and events from their website.

Check out The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) that supports Audiologists and provides advice on careers in Audiology.