Dr Nicola Cunningham

Lecturer (MacMillan Cancer Support)

Health Sciences Stirling Stirling,

Dr Nicola Cunningham

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About me

About me

My background begins with welfare rights and advice within the social care sector, prior to returning to Stirling University to complete BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (1st Class), MSc Applied Social Research (with distinction) and PhD. I have a strong interest in welfare, health and wellbeing, social justice and human rights. My current research explores (i) the experiences of people living with dementia, cancer and wider multimorbidities and (ii) the education, training and social support needs of the social and community care workforce providing care at home. The right to live well underpins these current research and practice initiatives. I link to the strategic University theme of Living Well. This requires theoretical and conceptual work alongside a continued key focus on professional practice development and on understanding the lives and experiences of people living with dementia, cancer and multimorbidities.


BA (Hons) Health and Wellbeing, Edgehill University
Edge Hill University

Professional qualification

Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (Advance HE)

Research (2)

Wellbeing, welfare, ageing, social justice and human rights. My research interests are currently focused the experiences of people living with dementia, cancer and multimorbidities and the training, education and support requirements of the health and social care workforce providing support services at home and in the community. My research is driven by collaboration and participatory co-design. I currently collaborate with key third sector and private homecare providers to drive this research agenda forward.

As Principal Investigator, I have recently completed a Chief Scientist Office funded study: Understanding the needs of homecare workers supporting people with dementia and cancer.

Completed Project: Regenerative Medicine: Stroke Survivor and Carer Views and Motivations Towards a Proposed Stem Cell Trial. Completed 2017.

Theoretical and conceptual work explores issues around welfare and wellbeing, human rights and the significance of social isolation and social deprivation. Current forthcoming work and in progress challenges current frameworks of understanding with particular reference to dementia and the right to home-care.

Wider research interests include:

Cancer care: connecting research and practice Patient-centred supportive care Health and Illness transitions Funeral and Food Poverty Wellbeing Health and Welfare: Integrating health and social care services Disability and welfare reform

Outputs (21)



McCann LA, Cunningham N, Wengstrom Y, Hubbard G & Kearney N (2010) Transitional experiences of women with breast cancer within the first year following diagnosis. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 19 (13-14), pp. 1969-1976. http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?partnerID=yv4JPVwI&eid=2-s2.0-77955951404&md5=543244b4d272b1fdc6bfe893ad2ffcd2; https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2702.2009.03134.x

Research Report

Cunningham N, Hubbard G & Stoddart K (2009) Employment following cancer diagnosis: A narrative summary of the evidence. Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives (SCHWL). Cancer Care Research Centre / University of Stirling. http://www.knowledge.scot.nhs.uk/media/CLT/ResourceUploads/12232/EmploymentandCancer.pdf



Chief Subject Examiner (Health Sciences) Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) Macmillan Lecturer Graduate Certificate (Welfare and Benefits Advice): With a background in welfare advice, sociology, social policy and cancer care, I am an experienced UG and PG teacher and lead, successfully developing and delivering an innovative online Graduate Certificate (Welfare and Benefits Advice) programme: understanding welfare and policy, employment law and welfare benefits for health, social care and allied professionals supporting people affected by cancer and long term conditions. I have a strong interest in developing teaching and learning opportunities with a focus on the social care sector. Supporting academic transition and widening access to university education and accreditation is a strong driver. EDUCATION BA (Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (1st class) MSc Applied Social Research (with Distinction) PhD EXAMINING BA (Hons) Health and Wellbeing, University of Edgehill, Lancaster. OTHER ACTIVITIES Macmillan Cancer Support Professional