Andrew Stanners, PHD Applied Ethics (Philosophy) student

Andrew Stanners

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

I’m a hospital doctor specialising in older people. I also teach medical students and junior doctors. I teach Healthcare Ethics at the Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied Centre and in various settings in the NHS. I’m chair of my hospital’s Clinical Ethics Committee and a trustee for the UK Clinical Ethics Network. I wouldn’t have the confidence to carry out these roles if I hadn’t done my course. More importantly, my decision-making in difficult clinical cases and the way I communicate these has been greatly enhanced as a result of my studies.

What made you want to apply to your course and to Leeds?

I’d previously studied part-time for the MA in Healthcare Ethics in Leeds and found it enjoyable and very relevant to my professional role. I wanted to continue studying Healthcare Ethics, and applied to a part-time PhD in the same centre (Inter-disciplinary Ethics Applied).

What is it that makes you passionate about your area of study?

I’m passionate about my area of study because it’s a fundamental and rewarding aspect of my professional life, especially with regards to end-of-life care. 

What aspects of the course did you enjoy the most?  

I enjoyed developing the analytic and writing skills that enabled me to produce my dissertation. These skills also transferred very well into my medical role. I also enjoyed studying alongside my peers and teaching in the Centre.

What has been the most surprising thing about coming to Leeds?

I hadn’t realised how far applied ethics/philosophy at Leeds reaches into public life. For example, “Philosophy and Film” at Hyde Park Picture House, in partnership with the University of Leeds, explores philosophical questions raised by a range of films.

What would you say about the learning facilities in your School and at the University in general?

The facilities were excellent: good research space, fantastic library, and good supported remote access to IT systems. There was also reassuring support from Organisational Development and Professional Learning, as well as specific support for part-time study.

What would you say to anyone thinking of applying to your course?

The course was great: challenging, but very rewarding, especially in relation to my professional and teaching roles.