Nicola Spalding


  • 2.08 Queens Building

Personal profile


Professor of Occupational Therapy and Professional Lead for Occupational Therapy



  • Doctor of Education, UEA.
  • Master of Arts, UEA.
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons), Anglia Polytechnic University.
  • Diploma of the College of Occupational Therapists, London.         



Academic Background

  • Deputy Head of Schools: Rehabilitation Sciences and Nursing Sciences
  • Deputy Head of School of Allied Health Professions
  • Associate Dean for Learning Teaching and Quality, Faculty of Health
  • Teaching Director, School of Allied Health Professions
  • MSc Occupational Therapy Course Director, UEA
  • BSc Occupational Therapy Course Director, UEA
  • Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
  • Admissions Officer, Occupational Therapy
  • Lecturer in Occupational Therapy
  • Senior I Occupational Therapist, Orthopaedics and Palliative Care James Paget Hospital
  • Senior II Occupational Therapist, Orthopaedics, James Paget Hospital
  • Basic Grade Occupational Therapist, Medicine and Orthopaedics, James Paget Hospital
  • Basic Grade Occupational Therapist, Care of the Elderly, West Norwich Hospital

Administrative Posts

  • Deputy Head of School, School of Rehabilitation Sciences and Nursing Sciences, UEA. 2012 to date
  • UEA Senate member

Areas of Expertise

Preoperative education Patient education Professional learning

Teaching Interests

Undergraduate (BSc Honours Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy)

Teaching: Learning processes, Health Promotion; Dissertation Supervision.

Other key duties include marking assignments and visiting tutor for students on placements.

Postgraduate (MSc in Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy pre-registration)

Teaching: PBL/EBL facilitation, Learning Processes, Occupational Therapy Practice; Professional Development, Anatomy; Research project supervision.

Postgraduate (post-registration)

  • Teaching - MClinEd Teaching and Learning in Health Care Settings and Practice Based Teaching
  • Personal Advisor - MClinEd, MSc Clinical Research
  • Dissertation Supervision -  MClinEd, MSc Clinical Research
  • Marking

Postgraduate (PhD)

  • PhD supervision

Postgraduate (short courses)

  • Continuing Professional Development workshops
  • Improving Presentation Skills study days
  • Patient Education study days


PhD Supervision

  • Mark Gilham, ProfDHaSC 2021 –

    Caroline Aldridge ProfDHaSC 2020 -

    Roelien Funchal, PhD 2020 – intercalating

    Lesley Deacon ProfDhaSC 2019 -

    Stephen Bond ProfDHaSC 2019 –

    Rosie Doy EdD 2014 – 2022 Completed

    Hannah Schutt PhD 2010 – 2016 Completed

Nicola is willing to supervise PGR students in the following areas:

  • Patient education
  • Preoperative education
  • Patient empowerment
  • Professional learning

Key Research Interests

  • Preoperative education
  • Patient education
  • Professional learning
  • Patient empowerment

My research into preoperative education initially focussed on education programmes for patients awaiting total hip and total knee replacement surgery. Recognition from this work led to subsequent research funding to continue my research into patient education with other patient groups:

Vasculitis £48,553 from the Arthritis Research Council: ‘What are the educational needs of patients with primary systemic vasculitis? Development of an educational programme.’ Qualitative research.

Colorectal surgery £210,000 from Research for Patients Benefit. ‘Improving preoperative education for colorectal surgery patients’. Action research



Awarding body

Grant Holder(s)

Start and end dates

Brief title of Research

Amount  (£)






Janice Mooney, Richard Watts, Fiona Poland, Nicola Spalding


What are the barriers to education on rare conditions


In process


Debashis Biswas, Nicola Spalding, Fiona Poland, Gaurav Kapur, Jane McCulloch, Penny Vicary.

1.7.13 – 31.3.16

PEACHES - Patient Education in Adjuvant Chemotherapy Study


In process


Kevin Sargen, Nicola Spalding, Fiona Poland, Jane McCulloch, Penny Vicary.

1.1.10 – 30.3.12

Improving Preoperative Education for Colorectal Surgery Patients



Arthritis UK (formally, Arthritis Research Council)

Janice Mooney, Richard Watts, Fiona Poland, Nicola Spalding, David Scott

1.4.07 – 30.6.09

Investigating Vasculitis Information and Education



External positions

Non Executive Director, James Paget University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

1 Apr 201631 Dec 2021