Dr Carolyn Roskell PhD, MSc, MCSP, Cert(Ed), DipTP, FHEA

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy
Programme Director MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration)

Contact details

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

Carolyn Roskell is a lecturer in Physiotherapy in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences. She is programme director for the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme which offers post-graduate education for those wishing to practise as a physiotherapist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.  

Carolyn is committed to providing educational opportunities which enable individuals to maximise their personal and professional potential. She is interested in role and skills development which enhance performance in the workplace and has undertaken research focused on how such role and skills development occur in cardio-respiratory physiotherapy. She has subsequently become interested in evolving professional identity and is exploring optimal conditions for supporting development of professional identity in physiotherapy clinical education. Having an identity which reflects contemporary healthcare need is an ongoing focus with research work continuing in exploring how patient-centred care is understood and addressed in nursing and physiotherapy education.    


  • PGDip Counselling Psychology, Keel University, 2015
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2007
  • PhD in Physiotherapy, University of Birmingham, 2006
  • Registered with the Health Profession’s Council, 2001-
  • MSc in Human Movement Science, University of Liverpool, 1995
  • Certificate in Education, Wolverhampton Polytechnic, 1989
  • Membership of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Manchester, 1982


Carolyn Roskell qualified as a physiotherapist from Withington Hospital School of Physiotherapy, Manchester in 1982. She worked for a year at St Thomas’ Hospital London before moving to Cape Town, South Africa where she worked for 2 and a half years. Here she ignited her interest in caring for those with cardio-respiratory problems, gaining experience of trauma, critical care, cardiothoracic surgery including transplantation, and chronic medical conditions. Further experience in critical care and surgery was gained in Birmingham before entering physiotherapy education in 1988. An interest in cognitive science, applied to learning, was stimulated during study for an MSc in Human Movement Science, which was completed in 1995 leading to research and publications in ‘Attention limitation and learning in physiotherapy’ and ‘Clinical reasoning in professional development’.

Ongoing interest in teaching and learning approaches saw involvement in the introduction of innovative approaches to learning in the BSc (hons) Physiotherapy programme, including inter-professional learning and problem-based learning. Further research was undertaken for PhD examining how physiotherapists developed their roles and skills in cardio-respiratory care which was widely disseminated at professional, national and international conferences and through professional publications. Outcomes of this work prompted a critical examination of the professional identity of physiotherapy and a consideration of whether it was evolving in line with contemporary healthcare need, particularly whether physiotherapy was essentially ‘patient-centred’. Work advancing innovations in the curriculum, in terms of preparing students for patient-centred care, have been developed such as the introduction of community-based volunteering placements with disadvantaged minority groups, and facilitating service user involvement in the curriculum. Research work is ongoing which seeks to evaluate the impact of such innovations.        


Postgraduate supervision

Carolyn is interested in supervising doctoral research students in the following areas:

  • Patient-centred care
  • Professional identity
  • Professional socialisation
  • Professional development and educational interventions for healthcare practitioners

If you are interesting in studying any of these subject areas please contact Carolyn on the contact details above, or for any general doctoral research enquiries, please email: dr@contacts.bham.ac.uk or call +44 (0)121 414 5005.

For a full list of available Doctoral Research opportunities, please visit our Doctoral Research programme listings.   



Qualitative research; Education for healthcare practitioners 


Research interests focus on the professional development of healthcare professionals at both pre-registration and post-registration stages. Previous studies of post-registration physiotherapists have included an exploration of the professional identity of cardio-respiratory physiotherapy. Current work is exploring the education of undergraduate nursing and physiotherapy students to deliver patient-centred care. Further work has begun exploring whether there is a relationship between physiotherapy clinical placement type and quality of clinical education.


Hole E, Stubbs B, Roskell C, Soundy A (2014) "The patient’s experience of the psychosocial process that influences identity following stroke rehabilitation: a meta-ethnography," The Scientific World Journal, Volume 2014, Article ID 349151, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/349151

Soundy A, Roskell C, Stubbs B, Vancampfort D  (2013)  Selection, Use and Psychometric Properties of Physical Activity Measures to Assess Individuals with Severe Mental Illness; a Narrative Synthesis, Archives of Psychiatric Nursing, 28:2, 135-51

Soundy A., Roskell C, Stubbs B, Collett J, Dawes H, Smith B. (2014). Do you hear what your patient is telling you? Understanding the meaning behind the narrative, Wayahead,, 18:10-13

Morris A, Liles C, Roskell C (2014) Why are patients disappearing from dietitian services? British Journal of Renal Medicine, 19: 1, 30-1

Soundy A, Stubbs B, Freeman P, Coffee P, Roskell C (2014) Factors Influencing Patients’ Hope in Stroke and Spinal Cord Injury: A Narrative Review, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 21:5, 210-18

Soundy A, Sayers J, Stubbs B, Roskell C (2014) Editorial. Don't Take My Hope Away: Understanding the Patients Hope in Neurological Rehabilitation, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation,  36:1, 257-8

Soundy A, Liles C, Stubbs B, Roskell C (2014) Identifying a Framework for hope in order to establish the importance of generalised hopes for individuals who have suffered a stroke, Advances in Medicine, vol. 2014, Article ID 471874, 8 pages, doi:10.1155/2014/471874

Danridge T, Stubbs B, Roskell C, Soundy A (2014) A survey of UK physiotherapy students' educational experiences, personal experiences and attitudes towards treating individuals with mental illness, International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 21(7):324-330

Soundy A, Stubbs B, Roskell C (2014) The experience of Parkinson’s disease; a systematic review and meta-ethnography, The Scientific World Journal, Volume 2014, Article ID  613592, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/613592

Morris A, Liles C, Roskell C (2014) Changing clinical practice by challenging our preconceptions of service users, Journal of Renal Care, 40(4), 229  DOI: 10.1111/jorc.12102 

Byrne A, Soundy A, Roskell C (2014) Physiotherapy Student Experiences of Developing Therapeutic Relationships whilst volunteering with the Action after Stroke Charity. Journal of Novel Physiotherapy and Physical Rehabilitation 1(3): 112, http://www.peertechz.com/Novel-Physiotherapy-Physical-Rehabilitation/JNPPR-1-112.pdf

Morris, A, Liles, C, Roskell, C (2015) How are dietitians perceived? Dietetics Today (April edition) IN PRESS 

Soundy A, Stubbs B, Roskell C, Williams S, Fox A, Vancampfort D (submitted 13.8.14) Identifying the facilitators and processes which influence recovery in individuals with schizophrenia; a systematic review and thematic synthesis, Journal of Mental Health, Early Online: 1–8, DOI: 10.3109/09638237.2014.998811

Soundy A, Freeman P, Stubbs B, Probst M, Roskell C, Vancampfort D (2015) "The psychosocial consequences of sports participation for individuals with severe mental illness: a meta-synthesis review." Advances in Psychiatry, Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 261642, 8 pages http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/261642

Soundy A, Stubbs B, Roskell C, Probst M, Vancampfort D (Submitted 9.7.14) Investigating the benefits of sports participation for individuals with schizophrenia: a systematic review, Psychiatria Danubina, 2015; Vol. 27, No. 1, pp 2-13

Book Chapter:

Rosewilliam S, Roskell CA, Pandyan AD. (2014) Rehabilitation Goal Setting: Theory, Practice and Evidence, In Goal-setting in stroke rehabilitation: Theory, Practice and Future Directions, Siegert R and Levack W (Eds) CRC Press, Print ISBN: 978-1-4398-6329-9  eBook ISBN: 978-1-4398-6330-5