Lecturer and Academic Link Person for MSc Play Therapy


Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Jane Burns (PhD, MSc AT, PG.Dip, AT, BA (Hons) and Dip. Education) is a Lecturer and Academic Link Person for MSc Play Therapy in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division.

Qualified modern languages teacher in German and subsidiary French. Senior support worker. Scottish Society for Autism. Worked with children and young adults on the autistic spectrum. Managed day and night teams, supervised and trained care staff as well as working with families and external support agencies.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Registered Member of Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

My research interest is in Art(s) Therapy with the older person, in particular the person who has dementia. My PhD study mapped how arts therapists in the UK work with older people who have dementia. Subsequent research I’ve undertaken with colleagues has focused on the role the arts can play in supporting wellbeing during life transitions such as retirement.

I am also interested in art therapy with children and young adults on the autistic spectrum.

Active Research Interests:

  • Art Therapy
  • Arts Therapies
  • Dementia
  • Older Person
  • Life Transitions (children and adults)
  • Children and adolescents on the autistic spectrum

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Burns, J.; Karkou, V.; Oliver, S. (2008) RBS COPA IOP award of £15,000 to study the relationship between creativity and wellbeing in recently retired older adults


Other funding:

Hoey, J.,Richards. B., Blunsdell, S., Burns, J. (2009)  $2500 MSR Prize for Distinguished Contribution Award for  best paper - ePAD: Engaging Platform for Art Development (working title). Paper presented by J Hoey at Assisted Cognition Workshop in Pasadena, California.


Developed (2015), with art therapy colleagues, British Association of Art Therapy Practice Guidelines for art therapists working with people who have early to moderate stage dementia. BAAT Guidelines.

Grant Fund Reviewer (2015) Austrian Scientific Fund

Grant Fund Reviewer (2012) for National Institute for Health Research

Dementia Strategy for Scotland (2010) Workstream 1 member

AHP Dementia Expert Group (ongoing)