The Midwifery Peer Assisted Learning and Support (My PALS) Project
: A mixed method evaluation of the impact of peer support in undergraduate midwifery education in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Jean Carragher

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctorate in Midwifery Practice


The transition to undergraduate higher education (HE) can be a challenging and stressful time for all students, but particularly for students of healthcare programmes. Peer mentoring (PM) has been found to be a useful support structure for first year undergraduate students in negotiating the transition to HE. This research study evaluated the impact of a peer support programme in undergraduate midwifery education using a qualitatively driven Mixed Methods Research (MMR) approach within a constructivist-pragmatic paradigm. Within this framework, a sequential explanatory design (SED) was implemented. Participants included in this study were 20 first year students (mentees) and 18 second year students (mentors) who were enrolled on a four-year undergraduate honours degree programme in midwifery education in the Republic of Ireland.

The findings revealed that My PALS was a useful intervention for undergraduate students entering midwifery education, supporting their transition to HE and to the profession of midwifery. Positive benefits for both mentors and mentees included enhanced relationships and friendships and the opportunity to develop valuable interpersonal skills and learn in a collaborative way in a caring environment. Overall, there was evidence of a strengthening of collegiality for the participants and an enhanced sense of belonging to the HEI and to the profession of midwifery.
Date of AwardJul 2021
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsDundalk Institute of Technology
SupervisorFiona Lynn (Supervisor) & Jennifer McNeill (Supervisor)


  • Peer support
  • mentor
  • mentee
  • midwifery education
  • undergraduate
  • student

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