Staff profile

Sian Burgess


Assistant Head of Department


Occupational Therapy


College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Allied Health and Social Care


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am an assistant Head of Department for the Hand therapy, Occupational therapy, Prosthetic and Orthotic programmes. 

I have held a number of leadership roles including programme lead for undergraduate and post-graduate programmes and placement lead tutor. 

I am a senior lecturer and a member of the Occupational Therapy subject team which delivers both pre-registration occupational therapy programmes and masters levels programmes.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently teach on our Occupational Therapy programmes -  BSc (Hons) in Occupational Therapy and MSc (pre reg) Occupational Therapy.  

Professional interests

Before starting my academic career I was an Occupational Therapist working in children's services in the east midlands area of the UK. I help in leadership roles including head of service for occupational therapy and physiotherapy children's teams. As part of my clinical experience, I developed an interest in children's neurological and developmental disorders, specialist seating and postural management. 

I have an interest in the area of safeguarding and have been a foster carer for looked-after children. I volunteer in children's services. 

I previously worked in private practice within the specialist area of children's medico-legal practice. 

Research interests

My master's research was in the area of students' perception of continuing professional development. CPD is still an area of interest for both qualified, non-qualified and students. 

I am part of a research team looking at how students retain key occupational concepts when moving from being a student into their professional careers. 

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the following professional and regulatory bodies:


I hold the following qualifications:

Recent conferences

I attend the European Network of Occupational Therapists in Higher Education conference and annual general meeting. 

Experience in industry

Prior to working in education, I worked in a number of NHS children's services. I also have experience with adult and children's learning disabilities, neurological and developmental disorders. 

I had a private practice for 5 years which provided interventions to children and their families and produced medico-legal reports for court.  

Black and white image of a man with glasses wearing a facemask

The impact of Covid-19 is leaving people with symptoms that can endure for weeks or even months. The role of occupational therapists to help understand the impact this can have on their lives will be crucial.

Two people sat at a table talking

Sian Burgess, Programme Leader for the BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby, discusses the role of an Occupational Therapist and the power of meaningful occupations.

Group of people standing on a stairway wearing pajamas.

Sian Burgess, Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at the University of Derby, discusses how PJ paralysis in long term patients can be tackled.