Dr Melrose Stewart PhD, MEd, FHEA, MCSP, HCPC, Cert Ed.

Dr Melrose Stewart

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Contact details

+44 (0)121 415 8605
+44 (0) 121 414 6893
School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Mel Stewart is a lecturer and  lead for quality and fitness to practise in the School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences for Physiotherapy. She is also a Vice President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.

Mel's PhD focused on the topic of cultural competence in undergraduate physiotherapy education. She lectures in the topic at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and  has a keen interest in the development of physiotherapy education and professional practice and works closely with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. She has taught widely across curricula and  recent activity includes module lead in Developing as a Health Professional, Exercise in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation, Patient Management and teaching electrotherapy.


  • PhD in Cultural Competence
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy 2007
  • Masters in Education 1991
  • Certificate in Education 1980
  • Diploma in Education 1980
  • Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy 1976
  • Health and Care Professions Council (reg)


Mel Stewart qualified as a Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) in Bristol in 1976. She studied for a Certificate in Education and Diploma in Teaching Physiotherapy in 1980 at the University of Wolverhampton and successfully completed a Masters in Education at the University of Birmingham in 1991.

Following achievement of Membership of the CSP, she began her clinical career at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and eighteen months later achieved a senior position at Heartlands Hospital. Less than a year later she was invited to apply for a teaching position and was successful in achieving a position at the Queen Elizabeth School of Physiotherapy as student teacher. This position marked the start of a lifelong contribution to physiotherapy education and she achieved senior teacher status in 1995.

Mel was programme director for the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham in 2004-8 and has taught across the curriculum but more recently her teaching has been in Developing as Health Care Professional,  Society, Policy and Practice, Patient Centred Practice and Patient Management modules. In recognition of current changes in health care and the health service, Mel has newly introduced a third year option module within the undergraduate physiotherapy curriculum exploring ‘Exercise in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation ’ It examines the position of physiotherapy alongside that of the fitness industry.

The focus of her PhD thesis on cultural competence has been a major feature of her teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and she has received a number of invitations to speak nationally on the topic.

Mel is a Health and Care Professionals Council registered practitioner and Council Member of the CSP. She is a regular contributor to a variety of activities within the Society including diversity/inclusion and public health activities. She actively blends these developments with the undergraduate physiotherapy curriculum to assist students to achieve the uniqueness and distinctiveness of studying physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham.

In 2013, Mel was elected as a VicePresident of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy.



  • Developing as a Health Professional (undergraduate)
  • Patient Management (undergraduate)
  • Patient Centred Practice (undergraduate)
  • Exercise in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation (undergraduate)
  • Developing Evidence-based Neuromusculoskeletal Practice (pre-registration)
  • Context of Practice (pre-registration)
  • Developing Evidence Based Practice (post-registration)

Postgraduate supervision

Mel supervises postgraduate students at master’s level in physiotherapy related topics.

Doctoral research

PhD title

Exploration of Cultural Competence in an Undergraduate Physiotherapy Programme


Mel’s areas of interest in research are closely linked to developing professionalism and cultural competence.

Her most recent contribution was to "A systematic review and observational study of the epidemiology and natural history of progressive neurological disease, targeting user priorities and modelling the impact on care services” in Primary Care at the University of Birmingham

Poster Presentation

2015 Evans, S. and Stewart M. (2015) Healthy lifestyles and behaviour change in nursing and physiotherapy students. Poster presentation World Confederation for Physical Therapy. Singapore 

Other activities

  • Council Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy
  • Ministry of Justice Tribunals Judiciary – Panel Member for Disability Appeals and Employment Tribunals


Williams, R, Hewison, A, Stewart, M, et al. (2012). 'We are doing our best': African and African-Caribbean fatherhood, health and preventive primary care services, in England. Health and social care in the community, 20(2), 216-23.

Hoppitt, T, Shah, S, Bradburn, P, Gill, P, Calvert, M, Pall, H, Stewart, M, Fazil, and Sackley, C (2011) Reaching the ‘hard to reach’: strategies to recruit black and minority ethnic service users with rare long-term neurological conditions. International Journal of Social Research Methodology. pp. 1-11. ISSN 1364-5579

Stewart, M (2003) Environmental, Policy, and Cultural Factors Physiotherapy, Volume 89, Issue 8, 2003, p508-509 

Stewart, M (2003) Culture in Clinical Care. Physiotherapy, Vol. 89, Issue. 2, p134

Stewart M (2002) Cultural Competence in Undergraduate Healthcare: A Review of the issues Physiotherapy Vol. 88 No. 10. p 620-29

Stewart, M (1998) Advanced Practice in Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy, Vol. 84, No.4, p184-86.

Stewart, M (1997) Sickle Cell Disease and Physiotherapy, Physiotherapy, Vol.83, No.7, p 333-339.

Stewart, M (1996)Researches into the Effectiveness of Physiotherapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis of the Hand, Physiotherapy, Vol. 82, No.12, p666-672.

Contributor to: The Mosby’s Medical Pocket Dictionary Anderson, K N, Anderson L.E (Eds)1994.The C.V.Mosby Company

Stewart, M (1993) Equal Opportunity in Physiotherapy Education, Physiotherapy, Vol.79, No. 8, p583.