Dr Sophie Knight

Sophie Smith (4)

Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

Department of Allied Health

Contact Details

email: Sophie.Knight@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 543016

Sophie qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1997 and worked in a variety of settings in practice, predominantly in Adult Social Care. In 2009 Sophie made the move to working in higher education and was a lecturer and Placement Education Tutor at Bournemouth University until October 2018 when she moved to the University of Worcester. She is now a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy, Joint Course Lead and Admissions Tutor for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy degree. Sophie recently completed her PhD part time whilst working full time, the focus of the research is the role and meaning of food for older people. Sophie loves working with students and says that they have taught her a lot over her years of university life. Occupational Therapy is one of the most rewarding and exciting professions and being part of the journey for new generations of Occupational Therapists is a privilege.


PhD Understanding the role and meaning of food for older people through participant-driven photo-elicitation (2022)

PG Cert Higher Education (2010)     

MA Design Research for Disability (2009)    

BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy (1997)

Teaching and Research


Sophie teaches in modules throughout the three years of the undergraduate Occupational Therapy degree. Currently Sophie is modules lead for:

Promoting Health and Wellbeing Through Occupation (First Year)

Factors Affecting Occupation (Second Year)
Employability (Third Year)

Sophie also has input into other modules throughout the year and supports with Placement Contacts, Personal Academic Tutees, Dissertation students and is First Year Progression Lead.

Research Interests

Older people and food

Creative research methods

Identity as researcher vs occupational therapist

Product and environmental design for disability (Universal / Inclusive Design)

External Responsibilities

Representation at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists Admissions Tutor Forum

Professional and Regulatory Bodies

Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy – Since 2011

Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Member since 1997

Health and Care Professions Council – Registered since 1997


Drury, D Smith S Occupational Therapist, Researcher, Academic; Transferable skills or blurred boundaries June 2019 – Royal College of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference Presentation 2019, awaiting publication

Cooke B, Smith S 2017 Custom made rehab: Considering whether engaging with regional festivals could provide rehab opportunities. Dorset Knob Throwing - therapeutic potential or one hurl too far? Poster RCOT Conference June 2017

Heaslip V, Smith S 2016 Working with people from diverse cultures: Cultural competence, a knowledge domain, or a way of being? INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF THERAPY AND REHABILITATION 23(11):2-3

Akers L, Smith S 2014. Friend or foe? Occupational therapists' relationships with independent providers of activity-based projects BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 77:120-121

Tilbury S, Smith S 2014 A university and practice reflection on "unified" working to support quality placements BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 77:61

Smith S 2013. "Is it time for dinner yet?" Food routine: a concern for occupational therapy? BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 76:46

Smith S 2011. The commode: a test case exploring the conflict between form and function BRITISH JOURNAL OF OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY 74:119

Images of Research 2019 – Judges Runner Up Award

Royal College of Occupational Therapists Conference 3 Minute Thesis Competition winner 2019

Pint of Science Seminar with members of the public (linked to PhD work) 2019

Research Seminar Presentation University of Worcester: “…I often eat outside if the weather's right…” Exploring the connections between older people’s food occupations and their natural environments through participant-driven photo-elicitation (June 2022)