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Get to know … Samita Kirve

Get to know … Samita Kirve

  • Date02 May 2024

Samita Kirve, Senior Lecturer and Course Director, MSc (Pre-reg) Occupational Therapy is looking forward to welcoming the first cohort of students to Royal Holloway in September.

Samita Kirve, Health Studies Royal Holloway

  1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your role in the Department of Health Studies?

“I am a Course Director for the MSc (pre-reg) Occupational Therapy course in the Department of Health Studies, a new course we’re opening for September 2024.”

  1. What are your main research or teaching interests?

“My primary research interests include long-term neurological conditions, dementia, and inclusivity in higher education especially in occupational therapy curriculum. My teaching philosophy revolves around active learning, experiential education, and collaborative engagement with students. I believe that learning should be inclusive and dynamic, fostering critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity which is essential for students to excel in their academic and professional endeavours.”

  1. What inspires or motivates you in the field of Occupational Therapy?

“As an Occupational Therapist, I feel incredibly passionate about the work that I do. Occupational therapy (OT) is a health profession that revolves around promoting health and well-being through occupation. It is a global profession that offers a wide range of opportunities to work with people of all ages in various physical and mental health settings and across all sectors. I find it inspiring that this profession offers me so many different avenues to explore.

Over the last 28 years, my career as an occupational therapist has been highly rewarding, as I have been able to support people in enhancing their ability to engage in the occupations they want, need, or are expected to do. Whether it's through modifying their occupation or environment to better support their occupational engagement, this profession is incredibly holistic and focuses on ‘what matters to you’ rather than ‘what is the matter with you.’ “

  1. You recently completed a study highlighting the importance of dementia education, please tell us more about this?

“I'm currently working towards my PhD in Dementia Studies, and my research focuses on identifying gaps in dementia education in occupational therapy curriculums at UK Higher Education Institutions. Last year, I conducted a research project at my previous university to determine what was currently being taught in the occupational therapy curriculum and to identify areas where dementia education for OT students could be improved. This study highlighted the importance of dementia education for OT students and recommended innovative teaching methods and content to enhance competencies for dementia care. I'm pleased to share that two of my papers on this topic have been accepted by the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, and another paper has been accepted for presentation at the 1st Occupational Therapy Europe Congress in Poland in October 2024. I'm excited about this success and can't wait to present my study at the congress.”

  1. What do you find most rewarding in your role in Health Studies?

“I am delighted to be designing and developing a new MSc (pre-registration) course in Occupational Therapy for the Department of Health Studies. The new degree is a unique two-year course that will focus on disaster management and global health challenges, as well as local and national health needs. It plans to integrate occupational therapy principles with environmental, social, and economic factors to equip students with the necessary skills to address local and global health needs. Our graduates from this degree will be prepared to work as occupational therapists who can promote individual well-being and a sense of belonging, while also contributing to overall global health needs. I am excited about this project, as it is a dream come true to be able to bring contemporary approaches to the OT curriculum. Royal Holloway has given me this opportunity, and I am grateful for it.”

  1. What do you enjoy most about working at Royal Holloway?

“I am particularly inspired by the university's rich history, which highlights women's empowerment in higher education. In our department, I am inspired by educators who are passionate about planetary health, inclusion and diversity, sustainability, and solution-focused approaches. I feel honoured to be a part of the Royal Holloway family. Additionally, our beautiful Egham campus and its closer connection with nature bring positive vibes and energy throughout the year.”


Find out more here:  MSc (pre-reg) Occupational Therapy (new course under development for 2024 entry)

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