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University of Exeter Medical School

Professor Nicky Britten

Professor Nicky Britten

Professor of Applied Health Care Research



Nicky Britten was Professor of Applied Health Care Research at Peninsula Medical School and then the University of Exeter Medical School from 2002-2020. She is now Professor Emerita. She is a medical sociologist with particular interests in communication about, and use of, prescribed medicines; qualitative research and the synthesis of qualitative research; and patient and public involvement in research. She has published well over 200 peer reviewed articles about a wide range of topics in sociology, primary care, and health services research as well as several books. She is one of the top 2% most highly cited authors in the field of public health internationally. Nicky Britten’s book ‘Medicines and Society: patients, professionals and the dominance of pharmaceuticals’ (Palgrave 2008) argued that patients and the public are insufficiently involved at all stages of the life cycle of prescription medicines. 

Nicky Britten is an honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners and is a former resident at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center in Italy. She was appointed visiting professor at the University of Gothenburg Centre for Person Centred Care from 2018-2020.

Nicky Britten is currently an affiliate of Exeter University's Global Systems Institute. She trained as a Climate Cafe facilitator with the Climate Psychology Alliance, and helps to facilitate Climate Cafes in the city and the university. 


  • BA Mathematics, Oxford University, 1975
  • MSc Management Science, Imperial College London, 1976
  • PhD Sociology, London University, 1996

Research group links

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Research projects


  • 2012-2017 - NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research. £1,999,896
    “REACH-HF: Rehabilitation Enablement in Chronic Heart Failure” (H Dalal, R Taylor, Geach L, Abraham C, Greaves C, Green C, Austin J, Wingham, J, Packard J, Jolly K, Doherty P, Williams R, Lewin B, van Lingen R, Davis R, Singh S, Britten N)

  • 2013-2018 - NIHR Programme Grant for Applied Research £1,997,562
    “PARTNERS2: development and pilot trial of primary care based collaborative care for people with serious mental illness” (M Birchwood, R Byng, A Roalfe, E England, L Davies, L Gask, M Birchwood, M Calvert, M Clark, N Britten, P Jones, P Huxley, P Lewis, S Love, S Reilly, V Pinfold)

  • 2014-2018 - University of Gothenburg Centre for Person-Centred Care   1,998,000 SEK
    “The Challenges of Translating Person-Centred Care from Theory into Practice” (N Britten, L Moore, M Elam, D Lydahl, A Wolf)

  • 2013-2019 – NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Health Research and Care in the Southwest Peninsula (PenCLAHRC) £7,618,000
    (S Logan, K Stein, C Abraham, R Byng, N Britten, D Richards, C Hyde)

  • 2015-2021 Medical Research Council £3,281,876
    “MRC ABPI STratification and Extreme Response Mechanism IN Diabetes: MASTERMIND” (A Hattersley, E Pearson, M Walker, N Sattar, M Weedon, R Holman, A Farmer, B Shields, JK Cruickshank, B Delaney, W Henley, N Britten, A Jones, R Lindsay)


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External Engagement and Impact


Resident, Bellagio Study and Conference Center, Rockefeller Foundation, Italy 2006

Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners 2004

British Academy Senior Research Fellow 2000-2001

Committee/panel activities

Editorial responsibilities

Invited lectures

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