Lecturer in Public Health


Karen Hicks is a Lecturer in Public Health in the Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography Division.

Initially training as a nurse, Karen left clinical practice on completion of her health studies degree where she studied the health impacts of inequities and disempowered communities. Committed to empowerment she worked in social care and public health roles, including managing homes for people with mental health issues and addictions, working with street homeless clients and coordinating a Healthy Living Centre. In 2008 following her Masters in Health Promotion she moved to Aotearoa New Zealand to gain international work experience. Here she initially worked as a Population Health Advisor at the District Health Board with a focus on improving youth health outcomes. Committed to developing an effective health promotion workforce she then worked as a Senior Health Promotion Strategist at the Health Promotion Forum. This national workforce development role involved supporting the implementation of health promotion competencies, training the health promotion workforce and representing Aotearoa New Zealand on the International Union for Health Promotion and Education’s Competencies and Workforce Development Group. 

Committed to further developing an effective health workforce Karen moved into academia as a Senior Health Promotion Lecturer on a Bachelor of Health and Social Development degree at Unitec Institute of Technology and as Professional Teaching Fellow at the University of Auckland where she coordinated the drug and alcohol curriculum of the undergraduate medical programme.
In 2015 she competed her Masters in Public Health resulting in both a theoretical and practical appreciation of the importance of culture within public health. To move closer to family and friends Karen returned to the UK in September 2019 to commence the new lecturer in Public Health role at Queen Margaret University.    

Karen is an early career researcher, her main research consists of her Masters in Public Health research which undertook a cross country analysis of health promotion competency frameworks. To date Karen has also contributed to a small number of publications on a range of topics with colleagues including nutrition, youth development, tertiary wellbeing and pedagogy in health promotion.

Research Methods:

  •  Qualitative (focus groups/ interviews)

Within a new Lecturer in Public Health role I will work within the School of Health Sciences crossing the division of Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography to position public health within the health curriculums.