Research Profile

Helena O'Sullivan Dempsey


Helen O'Sullivan is an occupational therapist and joined the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy as the Director of Practice Education in 2007.

Following graduation at the London School of Occupational Therapy, Helen completed a mixed basic grade rotation, working with people with mental health difficulties, intellectual disabilities, older adults and children: spanning a range of hospital, community and school settings. During this time she also worked on a special re-housing project for people with learning difficulties.

Helen went on to work as a senior therapist with the West London Healthcare Trust, primarily working in schools with children with physical and learning difficulties. She returned to Ireland in 1998 to take up a position with the National Rehabilitation Board providing information and advice to people with disabilities, therapists and design professionals in relation to assistive technology, accessibility and independence.

The mainstreaming of services for people with disabilities brought new opportunities and Helen was successful in securing a position as an Area Executive with Comhairle (now the Citizens Information Board). This role involved responsibility for co-ordinating and supporting the provision of information, advice and advocacy services in her native Cork and included working with Boards of Management in relation to strategy, financial planning and recruitment. This experience prompted Helen to complete a Masters in the Organisational Behaviour and to go on to work as independent consultant with a particular focus on the provision of training in front-line management, team development, personal effectiveness and career management, with a range of clients in private, public and voluntary domains.

In her current position Helen has responsibility for the practice education programme and is module co-ordinator for five twenty credit modules in second, third and fourth year. She has a particular interest in the assessment of professional competency and the linkages with performance review in industry. Helen works closely with Health Service Managers, Practice Educators and Tutors and is a member of the Local Implementation Group for Practice Education.


























































Research Interests

Helen is completing a PHD on a part time basis. Helen's research topic is perceptions of managerial effectiveness in health services and she is using repertory grid interviews as her research method.

Professional Activities

Conference Contributions

(2009)The 4th Symposium of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning,
O¿Sullivan, H., & P. McGowan ; (2009) Enhancing Measurement of Competency in an Undergraduate Professional Programme. [Poster Presentation], The 4th Symposium of the National Academy for the Integration of Research, Teaching and Learning, University College Cork , 01-JAN-09 - 01-JAN-09. [Details]


 EmployerPositionFrom / To
Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, UCC Director of Practice Education08-JAN-07 / 01-JAN-20
Upskill Learning and Development Learning and Organisational Behaviour Consultant01-JAN-05 / 01-JAN-07
Comhairle Area Executive and Independent Living Advisor (Senior Occupational Therapist)01-JAN-98 / 01-JAN-05
Senior Paediatric Occupational Therapist West London Healthcare Trust01-JAN-97 / 01-JAN-98
Richmond, Twickenham & Roehampton Healthcare Trust, Queen Mary's Hospital Basic Grade and Acting Senior Occupational Therapist01-JAN-94 / 31-DEC-97


1994West London Institute, College of Brunel University DiplomaOccupational Therapy
2006Maynooth, National University of Ireland CertificateTraining and Continuing Education
2005Trinity College MASTERSManagement (Organisational Behaviour)

Teaching Activities

Teaching Interests

OT2003 Practice Education 1

OT3003 Practice Education 2

OT4003 Practice Education 3

OT3004 Independent Study in Practice Education

OT4004 Research Based Project

Contact details

  • Helena O'Sullivan Dempsey
    Practice Education Co-ordinator
  • Dept. of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy
    Ground Floor
    Brookfield Health Science Complex
    College Road, Cork.
  • +353-21-490-1583

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Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Eolaíocht Cheirde agus Teiripe Shaothair

Ground Floor, Brookfield Health Sciences Complex, College Road, Cork, Ireland.