Susan McGarvie (PhD)

With over 20 years of experience, spanning training, coaching and mentoring and writing, Susan knows how to bring out the best in students.

Beyond education and training, Susan has also been involved in numerous management roles within the healthcare and NPO sectors, giving her a uniquely integrated perspective.

Susan McGarvie

Quick facts

  • Methodology: Qualitative (primary) and mixed methods (secondary)
  • Data collection methods: Interviews, focus groups, questionnaires and surveys
  • Data analysis methods: Content analysis, narrative analysis, thematic analysis, template analysis
  • Typical research areas: Social sciences, psychology, management, health care, palliative care, nursing science


In the academic world, Susan has been involved as a lecturer (psychology), and in course and exam design and assessment, both online and offline. She has coached numerous students through their dissertations and theses, and has even published her own book, De-Stress your Dissertation: A Mindful Approach to Mediating the Rigours of Post-Grad Research.

In the business world, Susan has worked as a Clinical Study Coordinator at the Wits Health Consortium, as a Palliative Care Development Officer, and subsequently as the District Technical Advisor at the HPCA (in partnership with USAID). She has also been extensively involved in her own private coaching and counselling practice where she has provided holistic, person-centred coaching and counselling, based on current positive psychology, adult learning and mindfulness principles.

Susan’s unique blend of academic and business experience means that she can add tremendous value to students undertaking both traditional academic and more applied degrees, across both the private and public sector.


Susan completed her BCur Nursing Science at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, followed by an Honours in Psychology at UNISA. She then went on to complete her M.Phil (Palliative Medicine) at the University of Cape Town, followed by her PhD (Psychology) at Rhodes University. Additionally, she completed the University of Witwatersrand’s Management Advancement Programme.

Susan’s eclectic mix of studies across multiple institutions, combined with extensive management experience, provides her with a unique cross-functional perspective.