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

Dr Melrose Stewart

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Melrose Stewart is a lecturer in the School of Sports, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, TEDx speaker and Chartered Physiotherapist. One of her recent and most ambitious project was her expert role in the remarkably successful Channel 4 television programme, ‘Old people’s Home for 4 year Olds’ in 2017.  Based on her involvement in the programme, she delivered a TEDx talk in 2017 entitled ‘Connecting Generations for Healthy Ageing’. Melrose is ex Vice President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Distinguished Service Award from the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for her services in the area of equality and diversity. 

Melrose’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 the subject within physiotherapy education and professional practice.

In other areas of curricula, she is on the international expert panel of academics for the Electrophysical Forum, and interactive platform for the use of electro physical modalities. She has taught widely across curricula and continues to champion her interest in public health both locally and within the media.


  • PhD in Cultural Competence 2012
  • 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)


Melrose 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 and a PhD in 2012.

Following achievement of Membership of the CSP, she began her clinical career at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham 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.

Melrose was programme director for the BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy at the University of Birmingham in 2004-8 and has taught widely across curricula.  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.

Melrose is a Health and Care Professionals Council registered practitioner and a previous Council Member of the CSP. She is a regular contributor to a variety of activities within the Society including diversity/inclusion and public health. 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. She is an academic on the international panel of experts with the Electrophysical Forum http://www.electrophysicalforum.org/academics and continues to assist students to develop critical analysis of physiotherapy practice within this and other fields.

In 2013, Melrose was elected as a Vice President of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and was re-elected in 2015.

Melrose was invited to be one of three experts on the phenomenally successful Channel 4 TV programme 'Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds' in 2017. She plans to continue to build on her work in health promotion to ensure that communities and individuals do not become isolated and to further inclusion as a goal.

Other recent activities include a TEDx talk entitled ‘Connecting Generations for Healthy Ageing’ and talks at the Thrive 2020 conference in Guernsey https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xePqSAo-Zhg and Exercise is Medicine Symposia, Wales 2018.

Melrose received a Distinguished Service Award from the CSP in 2017 in recognition for her services, in particular in the areas of equality and diversity



  • Foundations of Physiology and pathology for Practice
  • Sociology in Practice
  • Therapeutic Rehabilitation
  • Work Based Continuing Professional Development
  • Context of Practice
  • Research in Practice
  • Widening Perspective in Practice
  • Professional and Service Development
  • Dissertation

Postgraduate supervision

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

Doctoral research

PhD title

Exploration of Cultural Competence in an Undergraduate Physiotherapy Programme


Melrose’s interests in research are closely linked to health promotion, equity and inclusion.

Her most recent contribution was the co-authored paper  ‘What happened when we introduced four-year olds to an old people’s home’ - Stewart, M., Johnson, M (2017) Old People’s Home for 4 year Olds. The Conversation (online) https://theconversation.com/what-happened-when-we-introduced-four-year-olds-to-an-old-peoples-home-82164  

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

  • Ministry of Justice Tribunals Judiciary – Panel Member for Disability Appeals and Employment Tribunals
  • Public Engagement


Stewart, M., Johnson, M (2017) Old People’s Home for 4 year Olds. The Conversation (online) https://theconversation.com/what-happened-when-we-introduced-four-year-olds-to-an-old-peoples-home-82164 accessed 4/9/17

Evans, S., Stewart, M. (2015) ‘Healthy lifestyles and behaviour change in nursing and physiotherapy students’, World Confederation for Physical Therapy Congress 2015, Singapore. Physiotherapy Volume 101, Supplement 1, pp e368–e369.

Stewart, M. (2015) Challenges faced by undergraduate physiotherapy students in delivering equitable care for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups. Poster. BT Convention Centre, Liverpool, 16-17 October 2015 Physiotherapy UK.

Stewart, M. (ed.) (2015) Disability, research and culturally competent practice in Disability and Culture: An Inter-professional (Interdisciplinary) perspective eds Smith, P. Common Ground Publishing Illinois USA.

Stewart, M. (2012) Exploration of cultural competence in undergraduate physiotherapy programme. University of Birmingham. Thesis. http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/3666/1/Stewart12PhD.pdf (Accessed 29 February 2016).

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.

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