Melanie Coward

Professor Melaine Coward

Head of School of Health Sciences
+44 (0)1483 682507
33 HSM 01
Personal assistant: Jane Atkins
+44(0) 1483 686693



Since qualifying as a Registered Nurse I have worked in the field of Oncology and Haemato-oncology nursing. I have worked in a variety of areas including London teaching hospitals and a specialist cancer hospital. I was a successful Nurse Manager in Cancer Care managing a department which was granted the Charter Mark award for excellence twice, as well as being awarded ISO 9002 status.

I have worked in healthcare education since 1999 and at the University of Surrey in a variety of roles since 2001. I currently teach on a range of modules and programmes relating to health care management / leadership, professionalism and reflection in practice. I have a keen interest in enabling students to utilise their previous knowledge and experiences in Higher Education to further develop themselves. This aspect of my teaching practice aligns to my pedagogical research around approaches taken to teaching reflection in nurse education.

Research interests

2017 Educational Doctorate (Kingston University)

2006 Dissertation research for MA Clinical Education (an Action Research Enquiry into the motivation of students undertaking required CPD).

1999 Responsible for the creation of a clinical trials unit in the Sussex Oncology Centre and its management. Negotiation of contracts to undertake National Clinical Trials, management of the team and ensuring standards of practice through the regional ethics committee.


Reflective PracticeReflective LearningAction Research ApproachesSupervision of Undergraduate, Postgraduate Taught Dissertation Projects and Post Graduate Research

Departmental duties

Head of School of Health Sciences

My publications


Peer Reviewed Publications

2018 Coward, M. and Rhodes, A. Reflecting for patient care improvement. Nursing Management, Accepted for publication, July 2018.

2018, Coward, M. Reflection and personal learning.  Nursing Management, Published, July 2018.

2018 Coward, M. Encouraging reflection in professional learning.  Nursing Management. Published, June 2018. 

2018 Coward, M. A Case Study to Explore Nurse Educators Approaches to Teaching Reflection. Submitted March 2018 to Nurse Education Today: under review.

2017 Coward, M.  An enquiry into nurse educators’ beliefs, understandings and approaches to teaching the concepts of reflection to adult student nurses in UK Higher Education Institutes.  Thesis submitted for Doctor of Education, awarded by Kingston University, Available at:

2017 Bolger, S., Rhodes, A. and Coward, M. Impact of a maternal sepsis training package on maternity staff compliance with Trust guidelines. British Journal of Midwifery, 25 (2): 116-121

2016 Coward, M., Crombie, A., Joy, M., Ream, E., Tremblay, M. and Wilson, P.  Primary Care Strategic Workforce Planning Programme. Researchgate, Available at:

2011 Coward, M. Does the Use of Reflective Models restrict critical thinking and therefore learning in nurse education. What have we done? Nurse Education Today, 31: 883–886

Book Chapters

2018 Coward, M. and Rhodes, A. Utilising Interprofessional learning to engender employability IN Enhancing Employability in Higher Education through Work Based Learning, Morley, D. (ED).  London: Palgrave Macmillan.