Karen Wilson


Programme Role:

Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy

How long have you worked at YSJU?

7 years

What did you do before then?

I worked as an occupational therapist working in orthopaedics, elderly medical, neurosciences, intermediate care and longer-term rehabilitation.  I predominately worked in elderly care and vocational rehabilitation for persons with severe and enduring mental illness.

What are your professional and academic interests?

  • Transition for students entering Higher Education.
  • Vocational rehabilitation in mental health
  • Assistance dogs for enabling people with disabilities to engage in occupations.

What roles and responsibilities have you held (e.g. University/ Academic/ Professional)?

  • University/Academic
  • 3rd year co-ordinator (current)
  • Professional lead for the “What works programme: student retention and success” Higher Education Authority. Responsible for the development 1st year induction programme and academic tutoring to support student’s personal and professional development in their transition through the undergraduate programme.


  • Professional representative for YSJ for the British Association of Occupational Therapist: Northern and Yorkshire Regional Group

What topics do you mainly teach on?

  • Professional skills and reasoning
  • Health, well-being and participation
  • Cases and contexts of practice
  • Contributing to the evidence base.
  • Key moving and handling training facilitated throughout the programme

What are your research interests?

  • Vocational rehabilitation for individuals with severe and enduring mental illness.
  • Evidence base of occupational therapy mental health interventions.
  • The use of assistance dogs for enabling individuals to participate in daily occupations.

Outside work, what occupations do you enjoy participating in?

I love walking my dog Finlay-a working cocker spaniel.  My favourite place is the beach as it reminds me of my home on the west coast of Scotland.  I volunteer for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People as a speaker.  In the past I have been a weekend socialiser for dogs in training.  Recently I have taken on a role as a volunteer for the Island charity mentoring children.  I find this role extremely rewarding.  I enjoy the outdoors, culture, cooking and socialising with my friends.

University Links: York St John Profile