Dr Susan Walker

Senior Research Fellow

Faculty:Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care

School:Nursing and Midwifery

Location: Chelmsford

Areas of Expertise: Health and wellbeing

Research Supervision:Yes

Susan's specialist areas are contraception and sexual health, and teaching clinical assessment skills.



Susan qualified in medicine from Queens' University in Belfast in 1990. She specialised in general practice in 1993, became a Diplomate of the Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health, and developed an interest in the intersection of gender and medicine. She undertook a BA (Hons) in Women's Studies and Sociology at Anglia Ruskin University and was awarded a PhD in Sociology at the University of Cambridge in 2010. Her PhD title was The Effect of Gendered Body Image upon Contraceptive Outcomes.

Susan is a member of both the British Medical Association and the British Sociological Association. She continues to work at the intersection of medicine and sociology, with a particular interest in gender.

Research interests

  • Contraception
  • Sexual health
  • Health behaviours, attitudes and experiences
  • Social factors affecting health 
  • Experiences of primary care

Susan's research interests lie at the intersection of sociology and health. She is particularly interested in the effects of gender and sexuality upon health behaviours. She has researched attitudes, knowledge and beliefs about the body and towards contraception. She has also led projects which examined the impacts of education and training upon the healthcare workforce.

Areas of research supervision

Susan would be pleased to consider supervising doctoral students with the following research interests/topics:

  • Contraception
  • Sexual health
  • Health behaviours, attitudes and experiences
  • Social factors affecting health
  • Experiences of primary care


Susan teaches two modules related to contraception and sexual health at post-registration level. She also contributes to a number of other modules at pre- and post-registration level where she teaches on contraception and sexual health, screening and health promotion. She contributes to the teaching and examining of advanced clinical assessment skills for nurses and other allied health professionals.


  • 2010. PhD conferred by University of Cambridge. Thesis: The effect of gendered body Image upon Contraceptive Outcomes Funded by an ESRC Studentship: PTA 030-2004-00642
  • 2010. SEDA certificate in Supporting Learning with Technology. Staff and Educational Development Association
  • 2005. M.Phil. conferred by University of Cambridge Dissertation: A Thematic and Discursive Analysis of Contraceptive Texts; using Semi-structured Interviews and Information Leaflets
  • 2004. BA (Hons.) First Class. Women’s Studies & Sociology. Anglia Ruskin University
  • 1998. Diploma of Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Health (DFRSH)
  • 1993. Membership examination of Royal College of General Practitioners (MRCGP), Edinburgh
  • 1990. MB BCH BAO. Queen’s University Belfast

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Member of British Medical Association
  • Registered with General Medial Council (UK)
  • Member of British Sociological Association
  • Diplomate of Faculty of Sexual & Reproductive Health
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • The feasibility of the provision of contraceptive advice and treatment by midwives, to post-natal women in their care. April 2019-June 2020 - £86,834
  • The impact of extended nursing roles such as Advanced Nurse Practitioners and Advanced Clinical Practitioners in both acute and primary care contexts. May 2018-March 2019  -    £89,783
  • An evaluation of preceptorship programmes for General Practice nurses. March 2018-November 2018 -   £42,076
  • ‘Acceptability of intrauterine Contraception in General Practice’ Co-investigator (with Open University) - Bayer pharmaceuticals - £131,119 (ARU £22.333 )
  • ‘Impact of CPD upon the clinical workforce in Cambridgeshire & Peterborough’ Mixed method study- Lead researcher – Sept 13-14 - £50,000
  • ‘Impact of CPD upon the clinical workforce in Essex’ Mixed method study- Lead researcher - Nov 12-July13 - £39,681
  • ‘Seeking the views of final year midwifery students on how to teach sexual health and contraception within a midwifery curriculum’ – Mixed method case study – Co-researcher 2011-12 - £3000
  • ESRC research seminar series 2012 £13,513 Co-investigator (in collaboration with Greenwich university, Cardiff University, Kings College, London, Institute of Education, London)
  • Construction of a Patient Reported Experience measure (PREM) – qualitative analysis of data in collaboration with Prof. Sharon Andrew (ARU), Prof. Mike Roberts (Barts), & Mr Matthew Hodson (Homerton UH)- Co-researcher 2011 - £11,500
  • ‘Self perceived educational needs of school nurses involved in delivering sex and relationships’ education – Questionnaire survey of school nurses training – Co researcher 2010-11
  • PhD research project – University of Cambridge – 2005-2010 ‘ The effect of gendered Body image upon Contraceptive Outcomes’ Supervisor: Prof. Juliet Mitchell

Selected recent publications

  • Rowlands, S., & Walker, S. 2019. Reproductive control by others: means, perpetrators and effects. BMJ Sex Reprod Health, 45, 61–67. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2018-200156
  • Hoggart L, Walker S, Newton VL, Parker, M. 2018. Provider-based barriers to provision of intrauterine contraception in general practice. BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, 44(2), pp. 82-89. http://dx.doi.org.10.1136/bmjsrh-2017-101805
  • Walker, S., Newton, V. L., Hoggart, L., Parker, M. 2018. I think maybe 10 years seems a bit long; Beliefs and attitudes of women who had never used intrauterine contraception. BMJ Sexual & Reproductive Health, 44(2), pp. 90-96. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjsrh-2017-101798
  • Walker, S., Andrew, S., Hodson, M., Roberts, C.M. 2017.Stage 1 development of a patient-reported experience measure (PREM) for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). npj Primary Care Respiratory Medicine. July 2017. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41533-017-0047-5
  • Gillin, N., Taylor, R., Walker, S. 2017.Exploring the concept of “caring cultures” A critical examination of the conceptual, methodological and validity issues with the “caring cultures” construct. Journal of Clinical Nursing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jocn.13858
  • Walker, S., Newton, V.L., Hoggart, L. and Parker, M. (2016) Predictors of Non-Use of Intrauterine Contraception among women aged 18-49 years in a General Practice setting in the UK. Open Access Journal of Contraception. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/oajc.s116994

Walker, S., 2013. The Impact of CPD upon the Clinical Workforce in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough – Quantitative findings.[Unpublished Report]

Walker, S., Davis, K., Andrew, S., & Page, P. 2013. The Impact of CPD upon the Clinical Workforce in Essex.[Unpublished Report]

Peer reviewed papers:

Walker, S.H. & Davis, G., 2014. Knowledge and Reported Confidence of Final Year Midwifery Students Regarding Giving Advice on Contraception and Sexual Health. Midwifery, 30, e169-e176.

Walker, S., & Davis, G. 2013. Learning at work and university: Midwifery students and sexual health advice, Practitioner Research in Higher Education Journal, 7(1), October.

Walker, S. & Davis, G., 2013. “Seeking the views of midwifery students on teaching contraception and sexual health within a Midwifery curriculum”. Networks, 16, pp.85-88

Walker, S. 2013. “Clinicians should consider the effect of bodily metaphors when discussing contraceptive options.”[Letter] Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care;39:152 doi:10.1136/jfprhc-2012-100561

Hodson, M., Andrew, S., Walker, S. and Roberts, M. 2012. “Coming and going: COPD patients’ experiences of hospital admission and discharge”. Thorax: An International Journal of Respiratory Medicine, 67(Suppl 2) A1-204, pp. A98.

Walker, S. 2012. "Mechanistic and ‘Natural’ Body Metaphors and their effects on attitudes to hormonal contraception". Women & Health.[online]

Andrew, S. & Walker, S.H. 2012. [Report] Developing a Patient Reported Experience Measure for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (PREMCOPD).

Walker, SH. 2011. Attitudes towards a Male contraceptive Pill in a group of UK Contraceptive Users in the UK. Journal of Men's Health ,8(4),p.267-273, Dec 2011 (online) DOI information: 10.1016/j.jomh.2011.04.003

Walker, SH & Thurston, C 2011. Experiences and training in delivering sexual healthcare. British Journal of School Nursing.6 (6), pp.289-293.