Head of School and an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing & Human Sciences

Professor Anne Matthews, is the current Head of School and an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing & Human Sciences.
Professor Mathews graduated from University College Dublin with a B.Soc.Sc. (Social Policy, Library & Information Studies) in 1995 and with a M.Sc. (Econ.) in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1996.


She worked in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work in UCD, the Centre for Social Research of the University of Malawi, and as Chief Officer for the Council for Children’s Hospitals’ Care until taking up a research position at DCU in July 2001 as Research Fellow, on a research project about the empowerment of nurses and midwives.
Professor Matthews obtained her PhD from DCU in 2006 with a thesis entitled “Past and present perspectives on power and empowerment in midwifery in Ireland”.
Her current research interests are in the areas of Global Health, health workforce planning & development and in midwifery.
Professor Matthews is a qualified Registered General Nurse and Registered Midwife.
For list of Research Publications click here

3U recently met with Professor Anne Matthews and asked her to tell us about a typical day at work in DCU and about her job as Head of School and Associate Professor at the School of Nursing & Human Sciences at DCU as well as some more personal questions.

Briefly describe a day at work for you?
Today I started my day at DCU, moved to Beaumont Hospital to work on some workforce planning ideas with nursing colleagues and spent the afternoon in RCSI discussing research plans with 3U colleagues in the Population Health Sciences Division. We are currently working together in a community systems strengthening project in Malawi, focused on improving maternal, newborn and child health equity. That sums up a great 3U day for me!


Briefly describe what your current job entails?
I am currently the Head of the School of Nursing & Human Sciences, the largest School at DCU. There we offer undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in nursing, psychology, ‘health & society’, sexuality studies, psychotherapy, homeless prevention and intervention and a range of professional development modules. I am an Associate Professor, and have been at DCU since 2001, a very positive sign for someone like me who moved around jobs and the globe a lot before that.


Why did you choose this particular career?
After nursing and midwifery I undertook a full-time Social Science degree at UCD and then a Masters in Social Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE). The LSE motto ‘to know the cause of things’ underlined why I had moved from clinical work to social science – now I want ‘to know the causes of the causes of things’. I then worked in UCD Social Policy and then as a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Research of the University of Malawi, on a volunteer programme for two years. This was the most daunting move of my life and ultimately the most rewarding in all ways possible. I am now attached to southern Africa forever. I love to bring that into my maternity care research, as well as systematic reviewing, especially for the Cochrane collaboration. I came to DCU in 2001 to take up a research job and undertook my PhD there examining empowerment for midwives in Ireland. I love teaching on our BSc Health & Society degree, where I teach about scarcity and health and global health challenges.


What career might you have chosen if you weren’t in your current one?
If I was not where I am now I might have been a librarian as I studied Information Studies for my UCD degree, including modules on rare books, history of the book, cataloguing and classification. I loved these subjects so much- I love books and organising things! I had a part-time job in the RCSI library in Beaumont Hospital while at UCD, bringing strands of my experience nicely together.


What public figure do you most admire and why?
I have no heroes but I admire all those people who have the courage of their convictions to speak up against injustices against anyone, anywhere, at any time.


What kind of music do you like?
I love reggae music and am prone to bad karaoke singing at any opportunity. I had karaoke parties for my 30th and 40th birthdays so far.


If you could go anywhere in the world where would you go?
My favourite part of the world is anywhere south of the Equator on the African continent. I am very lucky to be able to be involved in research and teaching in in Malawi and South Africa and to have an extended family in Zimbabwe, a beautiful country.

Head of School and an Associate Professor at the School of Nursing & Human Sciences