New Director joins Health Sciences


Dr Steve Atkins

Dr Steve Atkins has recently joined the School of Health Sciences as Director of Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy.

A Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), Steve’s former post was as Principal Lecturer in Sport Science at UCLan. He held earlier teaching posts at Liverpool Hope University and Newcastle College and in his early career acted as a medic in the Royal Air Force, most notably in the area of Search and Rescue.

Steve is particularly interested in research-informed teaching in sport and exercise physiology, training and conditioning, research methods, advanced sciences, health-related fitness, ethics and policy. As well as leading the Directorate, Steve will also continue his work as an external examiner in Medicine at Swansea University and in Sports Science at St. Mary’s University.

Steve regularly supervises PhD students and has also published extensively. Outside of work, he is a Sports Science Advisor to Wigan Warriors RLFC and organised the 2013 British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Annual Conference.

Steve said of his new role: “The Directorate encompasses a diverse range of academic and professional disciplines, including physiotherapy, sport and exercise science, sports rehabilitation, strength and conditioning, trauma and orthopaedics, and physical activity and health and its teaching is underpinned by internationally-recognised research, allied to staff with many years of professional practice expertise. This means it offers an excellent, applied, student experience, and an ability to meet the demands of our internal and external partners, including clinical providers, professional sports clubs and a number of industrial collaborators. We’re really well placed to support the development of Industrial Collaborative Zones, especially in the Health and Sport field and we aim to help ensure the University as a whole remains at the forefront of learning, research and innovation at such an exciting time for Salford.

He added: ‘My key drivers now for the Directorate are to build on the excellent work of my colleagues in learning, teaching and assessment, research, and knowledge transfer activities. We have an extremely strong profile in these areas, and I feel privileged to be working with my new colleagues on innovative and exciting future projects. Having been an academic for approaching twenty years, delivering a world-class student experience is key to me. I will work with the team to give our students the best possible experience so they are employment-ready when they graduate.”

Kay Hack, Dean of the School said: “We are extremely pleased to have Steve on board. He has a wealth of experience which will not only drive forward the sport and exercise agenda within the School, but as part of the School’s senior management team will be working with colleagues across the School and University to take forward the ICZ agenda for sport, health and well-being.  We are very much looking forward to working with Steve.”

Steve is based in Allerton and you can contact him at 

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