Dr Qulsom Fazil

Dr Qulsom Fazil

Institute of Applied Health Research
Lecturer in Disability Studies and Behavioural Science

Contact details

Institute of Applied Health Research
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Qulsom is a social psychologist with an interest in all things human. She is particularly interested in the social and cultural factors that influence psychological illness and mental wellbeing both in terms of the role they play in triggering mental illness and also in terms of presentation of illness whilst working with families with disabled children.

In 2000 and 2001, she developed both an academic and personal interest in the way people with disabilities are viewed and treated by the society at large. This has since turned into a passion for disability awareness training and education within health care.    

As well as being a lecturer at the University of Birmingham from 2002, Dr Fazil was also a non-Executive Director at Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust from 2002-2012 and is currently an external examiner at the National University of Ireland in Galway for their BA in Disability and Health programme.


  • PhD: University of Birmingham
  • BSc (2:1): The Open University


Qulsom entered higher education as a mature student and did her first degree in psychology as a distance learning programme with the Open University, whilst still working full-time with Birmingham City Council. She then came to the University of Birmingham as a part-time student and continued to work full-time at Birmingham City Council. She did her PhD under the supervision of Professor Raymond Cochrane in the School of Psychology. Her PhD explored Cultural and Social origins of Depression in Pakistani women living in the UK.

She then changed careers from working in local government to being an academic and took up a research fellowship post at Coventry University researching and working with families with disabled children and then 18 months later at University of Manchester. In Manchester she led a large study exploring prevalence and origins of depression in the Pakistani population. In 2002 she took up the post of Lecturer at the University of Birmingham. In the same year she was also appointed as a Non-Executive Director for East Birmingham Primary Care Trust. She has been reappointed as Non-Executive Director of Birmingham East and North Primary Care Trust.

She was an External Examiner at University of Lincoln for 5 years and has newly been appointed as External Examiner at St Angela's College, National University of Ireland, Galway.


  • Programme lead on the MSc in Intellectual (Learning) Disabilities Programme.
  • Module Lead for the Distance Learning Research Methods Module (Masters Level)
  • Special study module on Migration and Mental Health.
  • Joint Module Co-ordinator of 2nd year Disability, Chronic illness and Health Services Module.
  • Supervision of BMedSci students on research projects.
  • Supervision of Elective projects

Postgraduate supervision

Qulsom is happy to supervise postgraduate research in the areas of ethnicity and health care. Disability and ethnicity and social and cultural aspects of mental well-being and illness.


Dr Fazil’s research has been in the area of ethnicity, disability and health. She has carried out research on the needs of Pakistani and Bangladeshi families with disabled children. The role of advocacy services in disability health provision and cancer care provision for people from diverse ethnic backgrounds. The health and social care needs and service provision of people from minority communities such as high attenders in primary care who are from a Pushtuun background and family members affected by close relatives drug problems. 

Representing communities: Developing the creative power of people to improve their health and well-being

Dr Fazil  is Co-Investigator on the above project. This project is funded as the part of Connected Communities, a cross-Council programme led by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) designed to help us understand the changing nature of communities in their historical and cultural contexts and the role of communities in sustaining and enhancing our quality of life.  This project is led by Cardiff University with a number of partners: the Glasgow Centre for Population Health; University of South Wales; University of Birmingham; University of Leeds and the University of the Highlands and Islands. The funding across all these UK partners from the AHRC is £1.5m for a three year study which started on 1st July. This post was funded for 2 years and 6 months starting on 1st January 2014.

The overarching aim of this project is to establish how community representations produced through creative arts practices can be used as forms of evidence to inform health-related policy and service development.

Further information can be found here: http://sites.cardiff.ac.uk/representingcommunities/


Fazil,Q., Bywaters, P., Ali Z., Wallace, L., Singh, G. (2002) Disadvantage and Discrimination Compounded: The experience of Pakistani and Bangladeshi families of disabled children in the U.K. Disability and Society. Vol. 17, No. 3, pp 237-253.

Ali, Z., Bywaters, P., Fazil, Q., Wallace, L., Singh, G. (2003) Attitudes towards disability amongst Muslim parents of disabled children in the UK: Considerations for service providers and the disability movement.  Health and Social Care in the Community, 11, 6, 502-509.

Fazil, Q., Cochrane R (2003) Social and Cultural Origins of Depression in Pakistani women Pakistani Journal of Women’s Studies. Vol. 10 No. 1. pp21-30.

Fazil, Q., Wallace, L., Singh, G., Ali. Z., Bywaters, P. (2004) Empowerment and Advocacy – Reflections on action research with Bangladeshi and Pakistani families with severely disabled children. Health and Social Care in the Community, 12, 5, 385-397.

Mann, C., Fazil Q. (2006) Mental illness in Asylum Seekers and Refugees. Primary Care Mental Health Journal.  Vol 4. 1, pp 57-66.

Fazil Q., Wallace, L., Hussain A. (2006) An exploration of the explanatory models of illness amongst Pushtuun families who are high attenders in General Practice living in the U.K. Diversity in Health and Social Care 3,3. pp 171-181 .

Orford, J. Copello, A. Simon, A. Waheed, H. Fazil, Q. Graham, H. Mahmood, M. McNeil S. Roberts, G. (2010) Offering a service to BME family members affected by close relatives’ drug problems. (In) Responding to Drug Misuse: Research and Policy Priorities in Health and Social Care.( Eds) Macgregor, S. Rouledge.

Fazil, Q.,  P Bywaters, P., Ali, Z., Wallace, L., Singh.G. (2010). Disadvantage and discrimination compounded; The experience of Pakistani and Bangladeshi families with disabled children, chapter no 13 (In Inclusive Education: Learners and Learning Context 2, M Nind, K Sheehy, K Simmons (Editors), London, David Fulton, 137-151, ISBN 978-0-415 58424-1. , M Nind, K Sheehy, K Simmons (Editors), London, David Fulton, 137-151, ISBN 978-0-415 58424-1.

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