Staff profile

Helen Brown

Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care





Following my first degree, I enjoyed a successful 10-year career in sales and marketing. In 2005, I embarked upon a career change, studying Occupational Therapy at Sheffield Hallam University, graduating with a BSc (Hons) first class. Subsequently, I worked at Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council with responsibility for managing and delivering Occupational Therapy services for customers in need of housing-related support. I gained considerable experience of working with people from all age groups who have complex housing and social needs. After seven years I moved into a strategic role with a service development remit to deliver an innovative therapy resource across adult care, specifically for reablement and single point of access. In January 2017 I completed MSc Professional Health and Care Studies at York St John’s University, gaining a distinction. I enjoyed the research element of this course and decided to return to academia in October 2017 to undertake a 1+3 PhD in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the University of Sheffield. I completed MA in Social Research in 2018 and continued onto the PhD.

Teaching responsibilities

Programme Lead for MSc (pre-reg) in Occupational Therapy.  I am FHEA accredited and teach at the University of Derby across the Pre-reg BSc and MSc Occupational Therapy programmes, along with the Advanced MSc Occupational Therapy programme.

Professional interests

Research interests

September 2017 to present: University of Sheffield - Doctoral Researcher

Research - service integration, community-based practice, housing, ageing, interdisciplinary collaboration, including non-academic partners

Membership of professional bodies


Place Qualification Award Date
University of Sheffield, Sheffield MA Social Research Merit 09/2017 - 09/2018
York St John University, York MSc Professional Health and Social Care Studies Distinction 09/2013 - 01/2017
Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy I 09/2005 - 02/2010
Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield BSc (Hons) Industrial Studies IIii 09/1990 - 06/1994
Sherburn High School, Sherburn-in-Elmet Three 'A' Levels and ten GCSEs at grade C or above - including Mathematics, English and Science 09/1983 - 07/1990

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

June 2017 to June 2018: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council – Change Leader

May 2010 to June 2017: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council –

Housing Occupational Therapy Manager

Additional interests and activities

To keep physically and mentally well I enjoy participating in sport, especially running and swimming. I often volunteer to marshal at local running events when I am not racing. I am a keen walker and can often be found in the Peak District with friends or family on a weekend.

I am a dog lover and I volunteer for the Cinnamon Trust, a charity that arranges walkers and short stays for the pets of older people and people with disabilities.

In the media

A home for life? Understanding liminal space as a place to “just be” in later life - Blogs - Housing LIN

Recent publications

Brown, H., & Howlett, F. (2017). A critical evaluation of the “short stay project”–service users’ perspectives. Housing, Care and Support, 20(2), 71-84