Dr. Michelle Howarth

School of Health and Society

Photo of Dr. Michelle Howarth

Contact Details

Mary Seacole MS1.65

Please email for an appointment.


Current positions

Senior Lecturer


Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Nursing at the University of Salford and Deputy Director for Post Graduate Research. Michelle has a specialist interest in social prescribing and the use of nature based, person centred approaches to promote health and wellbeing. Michelle has significant research expertise in evaluating the impact of nature-based interventions and has led over 8 funded projects. Michelle leads the National Social Prescribing Network Special Interest Group for Nursing through which she is actively campaigning to raise awareness of social prescribing amongst nurses through research, curriculum development and placement opportunities.

As an experienced researcher, she has supervised 5 PhD students to completion and holds a senior position as Deputy Director of Postgraduate within her university with responsibility for contributing to strategic development of PGR training and development and leading the Social Prescribing portfolio. As a lead in the field of social prescribing, Michelle’s previous nursing experience working with older people provides a unique insight into the health, social and wellbeing needs of the individuals. Michelle has expertise in evaluation methods needed to capture relevant, meaningful and impactful data about services, and interventions that benefit health and wellbeing.

Areas of research

Social Prescribing, Person Centred Care, Therapeutic Horticulture, Nature Based Interventions, Partnership Working Grounded Theory


  • Programme leader MSc Nursing
  • Module leader Project Management
  • Teach across a range of disciplines and academic levels
  • Modules include research methods, family & carers, evidence based practice, project management.
  • Supervise PhD candidates
  • Supervise MSc Dissertation students
Teaching interests
  • Research Methods
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Project Management
  • Salutogenics & Public Health

Research Interests

Michelle’s research has explored partnership, person centred care and inter-professional working. More recently Michelle is working to develop person centred approaches to care through the use of nature based activities within a social prescribing movement. Michelle is joint lead for the pan-University 'Creative Wellbeing' research group. She is an experienced healthcare practitioner and is best known for her significant experience and expertise in engagement with community groups for example in leading research evaluations of the impact of therapeutic horticulture. She also has significant knowledge of applied ethics. Michelle was awarded the University’s Harold Riley award for community engagement in 2016 for her work with service users and carers and is currently working with local community groups to help develop & establish a Natural Health Service Green Network. The main focus of Michelle's research is on the development of methodologies that can evaluate the impact of green space on the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Postgraduate Research
  • Explicating the value and impact of VCSE-led transformation in Salford of Social Prescribing systems on community and individual wellbeing.
  • Providing a comprehensive overview of the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector in Greater Manchester.
  • Evaluation of the RHS Therapeutic Programme
  • Evaluation of the Mental Health Recovery Programme using Therapeutic Horticulture

Qualifications and Memberships


  • RGN
  • MSc
  • PGDip
  • PhD


  • Trustess on the Board of Directors for Social Farms & Gardens
  • Trustee on the RCN Self Care Forum Board Chair of the National Social Prescribing Special Interest group
  • RCN
  • Member of the GM Natural Capitol Group
  • Member of the RHS Horticulture Roundtable