Senior Lecturer, Occupational Therapy

Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

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

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

My name is Elaine Ballantyne and I am a Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy within the School of Health Sciences. 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.  

My main areas of academic interest are: Social Justice, Social Inclusion, Mad Studies, Participatory Approaches, Working with Marginalized Groups, Disability Studies, Service user Involvement in education and research, Anti-Oppressive Practice and Value Based Practice.

I have ten years experience working as an External Examiner at Trinity College Dublin and at Derby University. Within the University I have represented my Division on the School Academic Board, Senate and the Equality and Diversity Committee. 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.

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 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


  • 2005-2011 PgDip students Systematic reviews, MSc student research proposals and Dissertations (Home and International students’ pre and post reg)
  • 2010-2011 Organising staff group into supervision groups to allow mentoring of staff in supervising MSc students.
  • 2010-present- Supervision of part time MSc Students Dissertations and group supervision of full time MSc Students Dissertations.

Research Activities:

  • 2016- Participatory Action Research with Mad Identified students
  • 2011-2016 Professional Doctorate Student
  • 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)



Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

Knowledge exchange project (2012-2017) 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. Fifty students have completed this course. 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, mad studies, social justice, value based practice, anti oppressive practice, occupational justice, 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. It is a widening participation module that is co-produced, delivered and evaluated by people with lived experience of madness.


Academic awards:

2015- Senior Fellow HEA

2012- Senior Lecturer


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)