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DPhil Supervision

Sue is a medical sociologist with particular interest in how people use the internet in relation to their health. Most of her work uses social science informed qualitative methods.  She is currently a co-supervisor for Charlotte Albury's study using Conversation Analysis to study brief advice in primary care, James Duffy's mixed methods study to develop a core outcome set for pre-eclampsia research and Louise Pealing's work on blood pressure self monitoring in pregnancy.



Sue Ziebland

Professor of Medical Sociology and Director of HERG

  • Director of HERG (Health Experiences Research Group)
  • Programme Director for NIHR Research for Patient Benefit programme

Sue Ziebland is Professor of Medical Sociology and Director of the Health Experiences Research Group (HERG), in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences. 

Sue chairs the department's Better Workplace group and is the department lead for Athena SWAN.

She is also a senior research fellow at Green Templeton College and in 2013 she was appointed as an NIHR Senior Investigator (renewed 2017).

In May 2017 Sue was appointed as Programme Director for NIHR Research for Patient Benefit.

Sue’s background is in medical sociology, with increasing focus on qualitative research approaches.   Sue has worked as a researcher in the academic, NHS and voluntary sectors and has published over 200 papers and chapters in social science and health publications. Sue was invited (by Ann McPherson) to be involved in the DIPEx (now Healthtalk ) project in 1999 when it was still at the kitchen table stage. She spent a considerable (and perhaps not surprising) amount of 1999 getting the projects through a national research ethics committee. Since then Sue has worked closely with colleagues in HERG  and the  DIPEx charity to develop the methods used in the projects and raise funding for the research.

Healthtalk has been emulated worldwide within the DIPEx International Collaboration, which currently includes Japan, Korea, Australia, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Spain, Canada, Israel, USA and Switzerland.

HERG specialise in qualitative methods of understanding health experiences and using the understanding for experience- based health information, clinical education and service improvements. Sue's other current research interests include how the internet is changing health care, through access to health information, through the opportunity to comment on services and how the web is  changing patients' relationships with health professionals, including how they consult with GPs.  

Sue edited (with Angela Coulter, Louise Locock and Joseph Calabrese ) 'Understanding and using health Experiences: improving patient care' which was  published by Oxford University Press in 2013.