Assistant Lecturer


Emma Laird is an Assistant Lecturer in Occupational Therapy in the OTAT Division of Queen Margaret University. Emma is also a Senior Occupational Therapist in NHS Tayside.

  • Overview
  • Research Overview
  • Teaching & Learning

Emma has worked within NHS Tayside since graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2003. She initially commenced employment as a rotational occupational therapist within different clinical areas, before undertaken specialist positions within acute stroke and then community paediatrics/specialist school provision. Emma has a strong interest in building on her professional development needs and has undertaken a number of professional training and accreditation to undertake occupational therapy assessment and approaches. For example; Cognitive Orientation to daily Occupational Performance (COOP), Occupational Performance Coaching (OPC), Behavioural Assessment of the Dysexectutive Syndome (BADS). Emma is an experienced practice educator and has been supporting and mentoring staff within the clinical setting. Emma is also chair of the Scottish Children and Young Peoples (CYPF) Group and works in collaboration with leads from the occupational therapy Scottish management group to provide a specialist network. Emma is also part of Mind the Gap which is a community of practice group focusing on implementing occupation-centred, evidence informed research into occupational therapy practice for children and young people.

Emma has recently joined the QMU occupational therapy lecturing team on secondment from NHS Tayside on a part-time basis whilst retaining her clinical role in working with children and young people. She is teaching and supporting students on the undergraduate occupational therapy program, whilst also undertaking her own studies.


Affiliations (including memberships) to other organisations:

  • Health Care Professions Council and Royal College of Occupational Therapists
  • Member of CYPF Specialist Section Royal College Occupational Therapist

Active research interests:

  • Children and Young People
  • Goal Setting
  • Student Education
  • Impact of communities on children’s mental health
  • Universal, targeted and specialist input


Research Methods:

  • Focus group methodology
  • Phenomenology

Emma teaches across the Bachelor of Science and integrated Masters programme in Occupational Therapy. Emma’s teaching is focused on supporting students to build on professional skills of assessment, goal setting and analysis to underpin decision making skills and application to practice. Emma bridges the gap between theory and application by bringing examples from her clinical practice into her teaching role.

As an occupational therapist, Emma has a clinical and research interest in acute stroke and working with children, young people and their families to support participation and engagement in meaningful occupations. Furthermore, Emma is passionate about supporting students to reach their full potential and will embrace a range of methods within her teaching practice.