Stella Howden

+44 (0)1382 381999
Associate Dean for Learning & Teaching, Senior Lecturer in Medical Education


Stella is Senior Lecturer in Medical Education at the Centre for Medical Education (CME), School of Medicine, University of Dundee. Stella is the lead for quality assurance and enhancement for the Masters in Medical Education (MMEd) programme and contributes to learning, teaching and assessment across the MMEd programme. Stella’s career started in physiotherapy, working in the public and private sector, mainly in the musculoskeletal field. In 2000-2004 she undertook doctoral studies related to the experience and management of pain in rheumatoid arthritis. Following these studies, Stella moved into academia, working as a lecturer and then senior lecturer in physiotherapy at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh (2004–2014). Stella joined the Medical School in 2014.


Research interests include: exploration and evaluation of interprofessional education; healthcare students’ perspectives on professionalism and the relationship between emerging professional and digital identities; methods to support student engagement in curriculum development, evaluation, advancement of understandings of ‘quality’ in assessment and the use of network technologies to enhance learning.

Lectures and conferences

  • Howden, S., Cowan, H., Green, B., Reynolds, D. and Smith, S. (2013). Social media guidance, designed by students for students, is well-received and may prompt changes in online behaviour. In: Enhancement and Innovation in Higher Education Conference 11-13 June 2013.
  • Howden S, Bulley C, Flynn L, McMillan A and Santos D. (2010). Interprofessional education: integrating evaluation of learning from online discussions into a reflective written assignment. 7th Annual Enhancement Themes Conference: graduates for the 21st century. Herriot Watt University, Edinburgh, 2nd March 2010.
  • Howden, S., Scott, H. Peacock, S., Morrison, J., McMorran, D. (2009). Dissonance in healthcare students’ professional and personal digital identities in social networking sites and the potential role for professional and educational bodies. European Institute for E-learning, Learning Forum London 22-24th June 2009, City of London University.
  • Shiels, J. and Howden, S. (2009). Patients’ experiences and views of patient centred-goal setting during in-patient stroke rehabilitation. UK Stroke Forum Conference, 1-3rd December 2009, SSCC, Glasgow. International Journal of Stroke, December 2009 vol4 supplement 2 p.3.
  • Forsyth K, MacIver D, Howden S, Shepherd C, Owen C. (2007). Developmental coordination disorder - insights into therapy practice, children and family perspectives. Community Child Health Medical Group Conference. Chancellor's Building, Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh: 22 August 2007.
  • Howden, S., Bovill, C. and Nicol, M. (2007). Experiences of Undergraduate Interprofessional Education in Scotland: Emerging Views of Teamwork and Professional Identity. European Interprofessional Education Network: first international conference. Krakow, Poland, 12–14 June, 2007.
  • Howden, S., Curl, M., Fleming, S., O’Grady, H., Nicol, M. and Bovill, C. (2007). Healthcare Students’ Perceptions of Interprofessional Education (IPE): Implications for the Early Introduction of IPE in Undergraduate Programmes. Poster Presentation. World Physical Therapy Conference Vancouver, June 2007.
  • MacIver D, Owen C, Forsyth K, Howden S, Shepherd C. (2007). Listening to children: using research to inform child centered practice, College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section - Children, Young People and Families Annual Conference (Annual General Meeting and Conference) Edinburgh, UK.
  • Owen C, Forsyth K, Howden S, MacIver D and Shepherd C. (2007). Developing an allied health professional framework for children with developmental coordination disorder. DCD-UK Conference, University of Wales, 25–26 October 2007.


Masters in Medical Education

Stella is the lead for the MMEd module Curriculum Planning and Evaluation in Medical Education and deputy lead for Educational Support in the Health Professions. Stella is also a member of the teaching teams for Clinical Teaching and Medical Education Research. Stella also supervises MMEd, MD and PhD students.


Stella is an Undergraduate Medical e-Portfolio Supervisor (4th year).


Stella was delighted to become the first Higher Education Academy (HEA) Senior Fellow at the University of Dundee in 2014 and to be nominated: Most Inspirational Teaching of Postgraduates in the 2014/15 Student Led Teaching Awards.

Stella’s educational activities include teaching on the Certificate, Diploma & Masters in Medical Education courses. She is currently involved in the development of a new module on Educational Support.


  • Hunter, C., MacIver, D., Howden, S., Forsyth, K., Adamson, A. and Bremner, L. (2013). Identification of a common language describing paediatric physiotherapy practice for children with additional support needs to support communication with those outside the physiotherapy profession. Physiotherapy, 99, (1):84-91.
  • Howden, S. Cable, S., Al Harrasi, S., Dhomun, L., Duffy, B., Jessa, F., Lamont, J., McCormick, A., McLean, L. and Selfridge, A. (2011). Evaluating a strategy to assist undergraduate healthcare students to gain insights into the value of interprofessional education experiences from recently qualified healthcare professionals. Higher Education Academy: Health Sciences and Practice centre. 
  • MacIver, D. Owen, C. Flannery, K. Howden, S. Forsyth, K. Shepherd, C. and Rush, R. (2011). Services for children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD): the experiences of parents. Child: Care, Health and Development, 37 (3), 422–429.
  • Bulley, C., Salisbury, L., Whiteford, S., Donaghy, M., MacKay, E. and Howden, S. (2009). A prospective qualitative exploration of views about attending pulmonary rehabilitation. Physiotherapy Research International. 14, 3: 181-192.
  • Forsyth, K., MacIver, D., Howden, S., Owen, C. and Shepherd, C. (2008). Developmental Co-ordination Disorder: A synthesis of evidence to underpin an Allied Health Professions’ Framework. The International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, 55, (2): 153-172.
  • Forsyth, K., MacIver, D., Howden, S., Owen, C. and Shepherd, C. (2008). I still can’t tie my shoelaces: developmental co-ordination disorder: a review of evidence and models of practice employed by allied health professionals in Scotland. Discussion Paper. NHS Scotland, Edinburgh. Available from:
  • Glover, P., Bulley, C. and Howden, S. (2008). Influences on physiotherapists when deciding to study at Master's level: an exploratory study. Advances in Physiotherapy, 10 (1): 14-20.
  • Howden, S. Pain and rheumatoid arthritis. In: Twohig, P.L. and Kalitzkus, V. (2008) Social studies of health, illness and disease: perspectives from the social sciences and humanities. Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
  • Forsyth, K., Howden, S., MacIver, D., Owen, C. and Shepherd, C. (2007). Developmental Co-ordination Disorder: A Review of Evidence and Models of Practice Employed by Allied Health Professionals in Scotland. Produced for NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (QIS). Available from: