Who am I?
Why do I teach?
I am a Physiotherapist with extensive experience in neurological rehabilitation. I have always had a passion for teaching and learning and developing the professionals of the future. I teach because I love what I do and I love my profession. I want to see Physiotherapy continue to grow and I want to be a part of developing the professionals of the future. I have continued to pursue my clinical career alongside my academic work at the University as I feel it enables my teaching to be current and evidence based, and allows me to use real examples in the classroom.
Words of wisdom
There is always more to learn, more to see, more to do... there will never be enough hours in the day but make the most of the ones that you do have.
How I’ll teach you
I will enable you to find solutions to problems, answers where there are answers to be found and support you to be the best you can be.
Academic and professional qualifications
Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Post graduate Certificate in Academic Practice
I am a physiotherapist with a specialist interest in neurological rehabilitation. I worked as the Senior physiotherapist at Salford Royal Foundation Trust on the Stroke unit from 2001 and have extensive clinical experience in treating patients with a range of neurological disorders. I started my academic career as a Lecturer Practitioner in 2007 and have been a Senior Lecturer at MMU since 2009.
Teaching & Research Supervision
Why study Neurology?
Is there anything more fascinating than the brain? How we think, feel, understand and move is what makes us individual and unique. But what happens when things go wrong? Understanding neurology and the systems that comprise the nervous system is a key component of physiotherapy practice and underpins the way that humans move and function.
I am the Joint Programme leader for the MSc (Pre-registration) Physiotherapy Programme. I teach across both pre- and post-registration Physiotherapy programmes with a role in delivering neurology focused units. I have a role in supporting practice education both within our home programmes and as a facilitator for our delivery at the Mediterranean College, Athens. I am also part of the programme team for the BSc (Hons) Acupuncture programme taking responsibility as examinations officer.
I am joint unit leader of Evidence based approach to Acute Stroke Management, a level 7, multi-prfessional 20 credit module. Within the physiotherapy programmes, I teach on Approaches to Neurological Rehabilitation, a level 7 20 credit module.
I am in the process of developing a second stroke focused module, Multi-Professional Approaches to Stroke Rehabilitation, which will sit within the Advanced Physiotherapy Programme.
I have developed and taught a masters level module at Bern University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland which included topics such as interprofessional working in neurololgical rehabilitation. I continue to collaborate with colleagues in Bern to develop further Masters level teaching.
Research Expertise, Publications & Grants
Research interests include:
- Neurological rehabilitation
- Recovery of the upper limb post stroke
- Virtual reality systems in stroke rehabilitation
- Patient experiences of stroke survival and rehabilitation
- Technology enhanced learning and teaching.
- International collaborations in teaching and learning
Currently working with BASIC (Brain and Spinal Injury Charity), Salford on a range of projects including service evaluation and a pilot study considering virtual reality systems for the upper limb post stroke.
Currently working with Turku University of Applied Sciences in an international collaborative student centred project that involves developing resources in an online platform. Students have been working together to increase their knowledge around the management of patients with Parkinsons Disease using a variety of shared resources and student centred tutorials.
RC. Stockley, DA. O'Connor, P. Smith, S. Moss, L. Allsop, et al. (2017). A Mixed Methods Small Pilot Study to Describe the Effects of Upper Limb Training Using a Virtual Reality Gaming System in People with Chronic Stroke. Rehabilitation research and practice. 2017,
Chapters in books
C. Hamshire, K. Jack (2019). Collaborative and reflective spaces for developing professional practitioners. In: Reframing Space for Learning. IOE press,
DA. O'Connor, RC. Stockley, P. Smith, S. Moss, P. Edge (2016). Using virtual reality for upper limb recovery post stroke: a pilot study. Venice, 13/4/2016.
DA. O'Connor, C. Hamshire (2014). Engaging staff in Pedagogical Change: using mobile video technologies to enhance student learning. Manchester, 11/9/2014.
DA. O'Connor, C. Hamshire (2012). Putting the Patient at The Heart of Physiotherapy Student Education: Supporting Development and Life Long Learning Using Eportfolios. In: Supporting Development and Life Long learning using e-Portfolios. E-Portfolio and Identity Conference. London, UK, 9/7/2012.
O'Connor, D.A. (2014) Engaging staff in pedagogical change: using mobile video technologies to enhance student learning,Inaugural RAISE Conference, Manchester, 11-12 September
O'Connor, D. A. & Hamshire, C. (2011) "I hate reflection, I can't do it and I won't do it!" - Engaging students in reflection: A journey to student success, Inaugural RAISE Conference, Nottingham, 15-16 September.
Engagement & Knowledge Exchange
Projects and initiatives
Working with BASIC on a number of projects and awaiting the results of a series of bids and grant applications to further develop the research collaborations.
Private Physiotherapy Practitioner working independently in the community across the North of Greater Manchester.
Community, charity and NGO links
Strong links with BASIC supporting research projects and developing links with the community.
Awards, Honours & Distinctions
Membership of professional associations
Member of the Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Neurology