After qualifying as a Physiotherapist I worked within the NHS in a broad range of settings, although most of my experience is in musculoskeletal physiotherapy. I then moved to work full time in professional rugby league and rugby union as a Sports Physiotherapist. I always enjoyed supervising students as a clinician and decided to move into a full time teaching role at the University of Cumbria in 2014.  I initially worked as part of the teaching team on the Sports Rehabilitation programme at the University.  I completed my PgC in Academic Practice at the University in 2016 before moving to the role of Senior Lecturer in Physiotherapy in September 2018.  I am also Programme Leader for the MSc Physiotherapy (pre-registration) programme.   

Qualifications and memberships

PgCert Academic Practice - University of Cumbria

PgDip Sports Physioptherapy - University of Bath

MSc Physiotherapy (Pre-registration) - Teesside University

BSc Sport & Exercise Science - York St. John

Professional Memberships

Higher Education Authority (HEA)

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Academic and research interests

I am currently undertaking research looking at landing mechanics in professional rugby union players.  I recently presented a poster on my initial project at the International Sports Science and Sports Medicine Conference in September 2018.


Rowell, Stephen and Relph, Nicola (2018) The landing error scoring system (LESS) and lower limb power profiles in elite rugby union players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 52 (Suppl3). A2-A3.

Recent external roles

I still work clinically alongside my full-time role at the University supporting Cumbrian-based, Newcastle Falcons Academy players and players attached to the Developmental Player Pathway for Cumbria Rugby Union.  I am also a faculty member for the RFU's Level 2 Pre-Hospital Immediate Care in Sport Course and the Physiotherapist for England Students Rugby Union Team.