Christopher McKenna

Christopher McKenna


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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Chris is a senior lecturer and the course leader for the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration). He joined the team in April 2002 having previously lectured at Coventry University.

Chris qualified as an occupational therapist in 1989 from the Welsh School of Occupational Therapy and developed his clinical expertise in learning disabilities services. He worked within large institutions and also supported individuals living in the community at home, and at day placements in school or at work. He was involved in a project with Hull University to develop additional access and living facilities on campus within the teaching and the student accommodation areas. He was also involved in the writing of a Professional Development Masters Course at Humberside University. Prior to the move to education at Coventry University, Chris managed an occupational therapy department and helped oversee the resettlement of individuals with learning disabilities into smaller community homes. Chris completed a BSc (Hons) in Health Sciences and a PgDip in Health Professional Education whilst working in practice.

Chris moved to Coventry University in 1995 and as a senior lecturer taught on both pre and post registration courses in occupational therapy.  He was awarded development funding to build a virtual reality house in which students were able to test out home adaptations.  Chris was course leader for the BSc (Hons) route. At Coventry he successfully completed the MSc in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Chris has taught at Teesside University since 2002.  He has been course leader for the MSc Occupational Therapy (pre registration) throughout this time. He teaches occupational therapy theory and professional development, although he still retains an interest in learning disabilities. He also supports a variety of research projects at all levels.  Chris has been awarded Business Enterprise funding for work with a local school supporting children with behavioural, social and emotional needs.  This involved the assessment of sensory processing of the students and developing strategies to support their learning. Chris has presented at a number of national and international conferences and co-authored several books and chapters.  He has also been published in a number of academic journals. Chris was conferred a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy in 2016.

Chris has been involved in the development of international partnerships with a number of universities across Europe and which has afforded students and staff the opportunity to participate in international collaborative events in Switzerland, Sweden and the Netherlands.

His current areas of interest are issues which impact on individuals' motivation and how our sensory processing affects our lives. He is also interested in supporting local occupational therapists to audit and apply appropriate models of practice at work.


External Roles and Professional Activities

Academic Assessor - Chevening Reading Committee 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Accreditor for the College of Occupational Therapists review of new and existing pre registration programmes 

Assessor for the Royal College of Occupational Therapists – Endorsement awards.

External examiner since 2008

Reviewer World Federation of Occupational Therapists publications.


Education/Academic qualification

Master, Coventry University

Award Date: 6 Sep 2002

Master, University of Huddersfield

Award Date: 9 Aug 1996

Bachelor, Leeds Polytechnic

Award Date: 19 Jul 1992

Welsh School of Occupational Therapy

Award Date: 1 Jun 1989


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