Dr Paul Snelling

Dr Paul Snelling

Principal Lecturer; MPhil & PhD Course Lead for Nursing and Midwifery; Research Group Lead: 'Philosophy and Ethics of Professional Practice'

Department of Pre-Registration Nursing

Contact Details

email: p.snelling@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 542615

  • Registered General Nurse (1990)
  • BSc (Hons) in Health Studies (Coventry) (1997)
  • MA in Ethics of Health Care (Swansea) (2003)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (UWE) (2003)
  • Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Social Research, (UWE) (2004)
  • PhD in Bioethics and Medical Jurisprudence (University of Manchester) (2014)

Teaching & Research


In the undergraduate curriculum, Paul teaches on the second-year module Evidence Based Practice for Health and Care, within the nursing and nursing associate courses. He also supervises undergraduate and postgraduate dissertations and supports students in a range of practice environments.


Paul’s PhD, completed at the University of Manchester in 2014, concerned the nature and extent of personal responsibility for health. His research is in the field of professional ethics, principally as lead of the Philosophy and Ethics of Professional Practice (PEPP) research group. He has published papers on public health ethics and the nature of professional regulation and Codes of ethics and conduct.

Research supervision:

Paul welcomes enquiries from students interested in research into any aspect of professional ethics or professional regulation.

In addition, as course lead for the MPhil/PhD in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Paul welcomes any enquiry about doctoral study in nursing and midwifery, and is happy to discuss potential projects with any applicant.

Paul is currently a supervisor for Chris Thomas whose funded studentship concerns team resilience in the NHS. Recent completions include Dr Wendy Webb whose thesis concerned the preferences of homeless people concerning their end of life.


Professional experience

After completing his training at the East Surrey School of Nursing in 1990, Paul worked as a staff nurse and then charge nurse in intensive and coronary care units, before becoming ward manager of a general medical ward. He contributed to establishing a clinical skills training programme at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital before starting a career in higher education.


Recent publications

For a full list of publications and conference presentations, please refer to my page on Worcester Research and Publications

Webb, W. A., Mitchell, T., Snelling, P.C. and Nyatanga, B (2020) Life’s hard and then you die. International Journal of Palliative Nursing, 26 (3). pp. 120-132.

Snelling, P.C. (2020) The meta-ethics of psychotherapy codes of practice. In the Oxford Handbook of Psychotherapy Ethics (forthcoming)

Snelling, P.C. (2018) Why you cannot regulate for virtuous compassion. In Carr, D (2018)   Cultivating Moral Character and Virtue in Professional Practice   London: Routledge, Chapter 1,

Snelling, P.C. (2017) The subversion of Mill and the ultimate aim of nursing. Nursing Philosophy. e12201. https://doi.org/10.1111/nup.12201

Snelling, P.C. (2016) The metaethics of nursing codes of ethics and conduct. Nursing Philosophy 17(4) 229-249.

Snelling, P.C. (2015) Can the revised UK Code direct practice? Can the revised UK Code direct practice?     Nursing Ethics. 24(4), 392-407. https://doi.org/10.1177/0969733015610802

Snelling, P.C. (2015) Who can blame who for what and how in responsibility for health? Nursing Philosophy. 16(1), 3-18

Snelling, P. C. (2014). What’s wrong with tombstoning and what does this tell us about responsibility for health? Public Health Ethics, 7(2), 144-157.

Snelling, P.C. (2014). Challenging the moral status of blood donation Health Care Analysis, 22, 340-365.

Snelling P.C. (2013).   Ethical and professional concerns in research utilisation: Intentional rounding in the United Kingdom. Nursing Ethics 20(7), 784-797

Snelling, P.C. (2012). Saying something interesting about responsibility for health . Nursing Philosophy 13, 161-178.

External Responsibilities

Paul’s external responsibilities include

  • External examiner at University College, Cork
  • Peer reviewer for several publications, including Nursing Ethics and Nursing Philosophy
  • Member of the editorial board, Nursing Philosophy
  • International member of the advisory board, unit for Philosophical Nursing Research (uNPR), University of Alberta, Canada
  • Interim chair of Internal ethics committee, West Mercia Police