Home > Research > Researchers > Sarah Brearley

Current Postgraduate Research Students

Sarah Brearley supervises 11 postgraduate research students. If these students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

Show all »

View graph of relations

Professor Sarah Brearley SFHEA

Professor of Palliative Care

Sarah Brearley

Faculty Of Health And Medicine



Tel: +44 1524 592574

Research overview

My research expertise is in supportive and palliative care (cancer and non malignant conditions), focusing on three broad areas: i) systems of palliative care in hospital, primary and community settings, including family/patient experiences of care; ii) symptoms (including patients' experiences of symptoms) and the outcome measures used to assess these; iii) health inequalities in palliative and end of life care. Current or recent projects include evaluating the effect, effectiveness and experiences of enhanced 7-day palliative care services (2018-2020), an evaluation of the Manchester Macmillan Supportive and Palliative Care Programme (2019-2021) and a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment in order to identify palliative care need (2021-2023).

I have an interest in research methods, and recently co-edited a handbook on Research Methods in Health Research.

Alongside my disciplinary and methodological interests i am interested in pedagogical scholarly work focusing on two areas: i) learner typologies and ii) mesocultures as a mechanism of sustaining excellence in teaching. 


Current Research

Current and recently completed projects include:

  • IMPACT: a mixed methods study mapping illness trajectories for people with advanced cancer receiving immunotherapy treatment to identify palliative care need (Noth West  Cancer Research)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Macmillan 7-day Advice and Assessment Programme (Macmillan Cancer Support)
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the Manchester Macmillan Supportive and Palliative Care Service  (Macmillan Cancer Support)
  • Hidden lives and deaths: the last months of life of older people with learning disabilities living in long term care settings for older people in England and Wales (The Dunhill Medical Trust) 
  • TERSC-  A randomised controlled trial of thoracic epidural analgesia versus rectus sheath catheters for open midline incisions in major abdominal surgery within an Enhanced Recovery Program (RfPB)
  • I also supervise PhD students pursuing both traditional route PhDs and the PhD in Palliative Care Programme.

Potential projects include those which focus on:

  • Experiences of supportive and palliative care and care systems in hospital, primary and community settings.
  • Experiences of symptoms, particularly for people with life limiting conditions receiving novel treatments such as immunotherapies.
  • Complex interventions for symptom management
  • Paediatric and AYA palliative care
  • Spiritual care
  • Health inequalities for people with long terms life limiting conditions (particularly people with Intellectual disabilities). 

Current Teaching

In addition to supervising PhD students i have played a leading role in developing and teaching a number of modules including DHR 516, DHR 517, DHR 403, DHR 523 and the annual academies. I currently teach on DHR 517 Palliative Care: history, policy, practice, as well as ad hoc sessions to our blended learning programme. 

I have an active interest in developing teaching excellence and my own teaching practice.  i co-lead Teach-Learm-Share a cross University initiative Teach-Learn-Share for sharing food practice about teaching and learning, involving all ffour faculties, and part of the Institute for Curriculum Enhancement

I led and developed the PhD in Palliative Care, completing 5 years as Director of Studies. I have successfully supervised to completion 15 PhD students and 1 DClinPsy, and currently supervise 11 PhD students.

View all (81) »

View all (2) »