Senior Lecturer


Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Elaine Ballantyne (Dip, BSc, MSc, Prof Doc Student, Senior Fellow HEA) is a Senior Lecturer in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division.

My name is Elaine Ballantyne and I am a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy within the School of Health Sciences and a Senior Fellow of the HEA. I worked as a clinician and manager in Mental Health Services and Social Work for twenty years before being employed as a Lecturer here at Queen Margaret University in 2002. I am primarily involved with the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre reg) programme. I was the Programme Leader for this course from 2007 until 2016 and 2019-2020.  

My main areas of academic interest are: Critical Perspectives of Mental Health, Critical Occupational Therapy, Social Justice, Social Inclusion, Mad Studies, Mad people's History, Narratives, Participatory Approaches, Visual methodologies including Photovoice, Working with Marginalized Groups, Disability Studies, Service user Involvement in education and research, Anti-Oppressive Practice and Value Based Practice.

I have worked as an External Examiner at Trinity College Dublin, Derby University and I am currently employed with the University College Cork. Within the University, I have represented my Division on the School Academic Board, Senate, the Equality and Diversity Committee, Lothian Allied Health Workforce Committee and the Student Mental Health group. I have an active interest in education and equality and have been involved in enhancement themes work and the Higher Education Academy Equalities Group. I have been a member of the HEA Fellowship panel here at QMU. Currently I am a member of the 8’s Colleges and Universities group, the Student Mental Health Group and QMU Tackling Sexual Harassment and Violence Working Group.

I have a clinical background in working with communities and marginalized groups. This has continued as an Educator and Researcher. Most recently working with CAPS Independent Advocacy and the Carers Council. Forging partnerships and knowledge exchange have been part of my activities in developing Mad Studies within the University.

I have been invited to teach Internationally in Australia, Ireland and Denmark and have presented at a variety of National and International conferences.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:


Active Research Interests:

  • Participatory Action Research,
  • Mad Studies,
  • Social Justice
  • Disability Studies
  • Older People and ageism
  • Mental Health,
  • Occupational Science
  • Occupational Justice
  • Equality and Diversity
  • Activism

Research Methods:

  • Dialogical methods
  • Photo voice
  • PAR
  • Service user led research


  • 2002-present- Supervision of part time MSc Students Dissertations and group supervision of full time MSc Students Dissertations.

Research Activities:

  • 2019- Doctoral Research: Doing Mad Studies: A Participatory Action Research project to explore the experiences and impacts of being part of a Mad people's History and Identity course and the relationship between critical education, activism and emancipation.
  • 2016-present - Member of the Public Sociology Research Group
  • 2015-Member of Centre for Dialogue and Public Engagement
  • 2012- Application for Promoting Mental health in Colleges and Universities Small Grant (£300)
  • 2012- Application for cross university HEA grant Learning & Teaching research (staff from Caps & Business)
  • 2007-2011 - Research with OT student population. Does contact with older people impact positively on the attitudes of OT students?
  • 2010 - Member of the Social Justice research group
  • 2007- Research proposal group with nursing staff on the Care Nap
  • 2006-2012 - Member of Edinburgh University Biographical Narrative Interest group
  • 2005-2006 - Member of the Children’s Health Research group
  • 2003- Ageism: What are the attitudes of Occupational Therapy students towards older people? (MSc Dissertation)


Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Knowledge exchange project (2012-2023) Development and evaluation of a short course in Mad People’s History and Identity. Partnership between QMU, CAPS Independent Advocacy and NHS Lothian Mental Health and Well Being Programme. The project was shortlisted for the Herald Higher Education awards for widening participation.

I have been involved with teaching and learning since 2001 here at QMU. My teaching has spanned both undergraduate and post graduate students. The main focus of my teaching has been interpersonal skills, mental health, policy and practice contexts, critical perspectives, mad studies, social justice, social inclusion, value based practice, anti oppressive practice, occupational justice, political and critical occupational therapy, working with marginalized groups and service user involvement in the curriculum.

I have been the course leader for an innovative course since 2012 called Mad People’s History and Identity. This is a partnership with CAPS Independent Advocacy and NHS Lothian’s Mental Health and Well Being Programme. The course privileges the lived experiences and history of people who have been identified as Mad. A widening participation module is co-produced, delivered and evaluated by people with lived experience of madness.

Academic Awards:

2019- Doctorate in Health and Social Sciences 

2015- Senior Fellow HEA

2012- Senior Lecturer

2003- MSc Education

2002- BSc Occupational Therapy

1988- Diploma in the Understanding and Treatment of Disturbed Behaviour in  
Childhood and Adolescence (BAOT Approved)

1983- Diploma in Occupational Therapy


Validation Panels:

2016-Member of Revalidation BSC and MSc pre reg Occupational Therapy

2014- External Panel member of validation of BSc and MSc Occupational Therapy at Bournemouth University

2014-15- Member of Revalidation MSc in Professional and Higher Education

2010- Leading Validation PgDip/MSc Occupational Therapy (pre reg)

2009- Member Revalidation Panel MSc Social, Environmental and Gender Justice

2005- Member Revalidation Panel BSc (Hons) Occupational Therapy

2005- Member Revalidation Panel Business Management BSc (Hons)


Edited Books:

Ballantyne E & Muir A (2008). In Practice from the Viewpoint of an Occupational Therapist IN Swain J & French S Disability on Equal Terms.

Ballantyne, E., Maclean, K., Collie, S., Deeming, L. and Fraser, E., (2019). Mad People’s History and Identity In: M., Breeze, and E.
Scandrett eds. Public Sociology Education. University of Bristol: The Policy Press.

Scandrett, E. and Ballantyne, E. 2019 Public sociology and social movements: incorporation or a war of position? In: M. Breeze, C. Costa
and Y. Taylor eds. Time and Space in the Neoliberal University. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.


Conference Presentations:

2007- Lothian OT conference. Ageism and Occupational Therapy (paper)

2011- HEA SIG Embedding equality and Diversity into the curriculum (workshop case study)

2011 - 2019
1. Abstract accepted Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress Thailand: Ballantyne E, Ageism and Occupational Therapy Education (paper)

2. Abstract accepted Play Therapy Conference Tallinn (2012) Ballantyne E, The importance of play and playfulness in working with people with Dementia (paper)

3. COTEC congress Stockholm (2012):
 Ballantyne E & Harrison M, How do we prepare Occupational Therapy students to practice effectively in multicultural contexts? (workshop)

4. COT Glasgow (2012)
(a) Ballantyne E & Rae S, The role of Occupational Therapy with refugees and people seeking asylum (workshop)
(b) Ballantyne E & Harrison M, How are we preparing Occupational Therapy students to work in multicultural contexts? (poster)

5. QAA Enhancement Themes Conference Edinburgh (2012)
(a) Ballantyne E & Mc Goldrick R, ‘The added value of problem based learning approaches in degrees which encompass both academic and professional awards’ (paper)
(b)  Mathews R, Bradshaw C & Ballantyne E, The outcomes from the SFC funded Equality and Diversity in the Curriculum Project (workshop)

6. Abstract accepted Fourth Scottish Caring & Dementia Congress Edinburgh 2012.
Ballantyne E & Stoker K, ‘Challenging ageism: A clinical practice/academic collaboration to prepare Occupational Therapy students to recognise and challenge discrimination and promote anti oppressive practice within Dementia services’ (poster)

7.  Lothian OT conference 2012: Ballantyne E & Hunter H. “Embracing Change at a time of uncertainty (workshop)

8.  ENOTHE conference Lithuania (2012) L O’Connell & E Ballantyne. A Critical Review of Interventions to reduce falls among older adults (poster)

9.   COHERHE conference Kuopio Finland (2013) Mad People’s History and Identity:  The development of a module by students with lived experience of mental health issues

10.   Abstract accepted ECARTE conference Paris (2013) Ballantyne E and Harrison M. How do we prepare allied health students to develop cultural humility through the use of reflexive practice?

11.  COT Glasgow (2013):
(a) O’Connor C and Ballantyne E. The relevance of creativity in occupational therapy practice in mental health (poster presented)
(b) Keeping C(Canada),Peter A (USA), Moore C (USA) Dikeakos K (Canada), Leung S (Canada),Kara Winlaw (Canada),Mususa T (Zimbabwe) and Ballantyne E. The Experiences of International Occupational Therapy Students in Scotland (poster presented)

12.  International Conference on Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education Glasgow (2013) Moreland S and Ballantyne E. Disclosure and Mental Health: the student experience

13. ENOTHE Conference Netherlands (2013) Dillingham C & Ballantyne E. Adult AD (H) D: Opportunities for Occupational Therapy to advance non-pharmacological Occupation Focused Practice.

14. Lothian Sense of Belonging Conference (2013) Ballantyne E and McLean K. Mad people; s History and Identity (workshop)

15.  WFOT Japan (2014) Renton L, Kantartzis S, McMillan I, Hunter H and Ballantyne E. A Vision for Occupational Therapy in 21st Century; outcomes from a Scottish “Think Tank”.

16. COT Brighton (2014). Budge C and Ballantyne E. Do occupational therapists have a role with people who are bereaved? A literature review (poster)

17. Lothian Sense of Belonging Conference (2014) Ballantyne E and McLean K. Mad people’s History and Identity (paper)

18. Mad Studies Conference Durham University (2015) Bain M., Ballantyne E., Bell C., and Collie S.A., and Fullerton L. Doing Mad Studies: Experiences, influences and impacts. How was it for us?

19. Critical Perspectives Conference Cork (2018) Ballantyne E., Collie, S., Deeming, L. P., Stafford and Fraser, E. Doing Mad Studies: Co-producing a Participatory Action Research Project.   An evaluation of the experiences and impacts of being part of a Mad People’s History and Identity course and exploration of experiencing PAR