Dr Helen Frank
Head of Department, Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy, Nutritional Therapy
Senior Management Team
tel: 01905 542585
I am the Head of Department for Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Nutritional Therapy teams, within the School of Allied Health and Community. I manage and work within a team of dedicated, motivated and excellent academic and support staff who deliver outstanding courses in health professions at undergraduate and post-graduate level. I am a Physiotherapist, motivated to join this fantastic profession through swimming and personal injuries; I was an international swimmer, and competed in the Olympics in 1988. I graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University in 1993 and moved to Birmingham after an inspirational elective placement at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I specialised in musculo-skeletal physiotherapy with children and young adults, both in in-patients and out-patients, and was lucky enough to work in elite sport alongside my NHS career.
Following my Master’s degree in Learning and Teaching in 2001, I became a lecturer in physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham. In 2013, I took the opportunity to lead the new Physiotherapy course here, and enjoyed working collaboratively with my OT colleagues to develop a truly shared and inter-professional learning opportunity for our future professionals. I completed my Doctorate in 2017, carrying out research into the learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students, and firmly support opportunities for learning for all disabled students.
BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy, Leeds Metropolitan University 1993
MSc Health Sciences (Learning and Teaching), University of Birmingham 2002
PGCert Learning and Teaching in Higher and Further Education, University of Birmingham 2005
EdD Learning and Learning Contexts, University of Birmingham 2017
Teaching & Research
I enjoy all aspects of higher education, and teach at all levels, predominantly at Level 4 and 5. My teaching style is interactive, inclusive and student-centred, and aims to make theory relevant and applied to practice in all teaching sessions. I also love to work across professional boundaries, teaching on Occupational Therapy, Advancing Practice and Physicians Associate programmes in the School.
My Doctoral research explored the “The learning experiences of student physiotherapists with visual impairments”. My other research interests include the experiences of disabled students, inter-professional education, student experience and academic support.
Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (MCSP number 052997)
Health and Care Professions Council registered (PH46376)
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
Kyte, Rachel and Frank, Helen and Thomas, Yvonne (2018) Physiotherapy Students’ Experiences of Role Emerging Placements; a Qualitative Study. International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care (2): 1-13. Available online: http://e-learning.coventry.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/pblh/article/view/505
Frank, H., (2017) Exploring the learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students. VictarNews. Available online https://victarnews.wordpress.com/2017/12/06/exploring-the-learning-experiences-of-visually-impaired-physiotherapy-students/
Frank, H., McLinden, M., Douglas, G. (2014) Investigating the learning experiences of physiotherapy students with visual impairments: an exploratory study. British Journal of Visual Impairment 32: 223
Thomas, Y., Frank, H., Mauro-Bracken, L., Goodall, D., Thackeray, K., Jones, R. (2014). The value of writing groups and the barriers to writing: A response. International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 21(6), 259
N. Metje; H. L. Frank; P. Croft (2007) Can't do maths--understanding students' maths anxiety Teaching Mathematics and its Applications 26: 79-88
Oct 2018 Physiotherapy UK 2018. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Annual Conference; Birmingham, UK. Poster presentation: Role Emerging Placements in Physiotherapy: Student Experiences and Practical Considerations
June 2016 University of Worcester Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Conference Platform presentation: Accessing the curriculum; university-based learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students
Oct 2015 Physiotherapy UK 2015. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Annual Conference; Liverpool. Poster presentation: Barriers and enablers experienced by visually impaired physiotherapy students in university physiotherapy education.
June 2015 Research in Education Across Boundaries. Bristol Doctoral Conference, Bristol University. Platform presentation: Becoming a physiotherapist; university-based learning experiences of visually impaired physiotherapy students.
Oct 2014. Physiotherapy UK. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy’s Annual Conference; Birmingham, UK. Poster presentation: Evaluation of the impact of Action Learning Sets in an undergraduate physiotherapy education programme.
Oct 2014 Physiotherapy UK. Proceedings of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy Annual Conference; Birmingham, UK. Poster presentation: Evaluation of a novel continuous practice placement model in a newly developed undergraduate physiotherapy education programme.
4-6 Sept 2012 Nurse Education Today Conference, University of Cambridge, UK. Theme Paper Platform presentation: The learning experiences of student physiotherapists with visual impairments – an exploratory study.
Panel member Course Re-approval St. Georges, University of London, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy 2019
Panel member Course Re-approval Bournemouth University, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy 2018
External Examiner University of Essex 2015 - current
Panel Member Course Re-approval University of East London, BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy 2017
CSP Education Representative University of Lincoln 2017 onwards
Panel Member for Edexel Pearson A Level PE Review 2012-2015
External Examiner Leeds Metropolitan University 2010-2014
OCNWMR panel Member for Validation and Approval of Access to Higher Education Diploma 2014
International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
British Journal of Visual Impairment
International Journal of Practice-based Learning in Health and Social Care