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Dr Emma Cowley
PhD | MSc | BSc (Hons) | FCPodM | FFPM RCPS (Glasg) | CSci | FHEA


I qualified as a podiatrist from the University of Southampton in 1995, and worked during the first ten years of my career as a generalist podiatrist, then as musculoskeletal clinical lead in the NHS.  Having enjoyed mentoring undergraduates on clinical placement, I then undertook a role as a lecturer at Staffordshire University before moving to the University of Plymouth in 2003 to take up a role as a clinical academic. 

My research interests began with my MSc in Clinical Podiatric Biomechanics leading me firmly into the field of clinical biomechanics - both clinically and in research. My PhD followed from here and specialised in the effect of prolonged running on the biomechanics and function of the foot and ankle.  I have published in the peer-reviewed literature.  The main fields of my research include the effects of running on the biomechanics of the foot and ankle, and the effects of high heels on gait and posture.  In addition, I have numerous areas of clinical interest, including musculo-skeletal conditions management of the foot and lower limb, orthotic therapy and rehabilitation, as well as occupational health of the foot and lower limb.

Having qualified to PhD level in biomechanics and in corticosteroid injection therapy and advanced gait analysis in running and walking, I can bring a diversity and depth of practice to my patients young and old, seeking relief of pain or an increase in running performance.  

In my broader professional life I am an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the Arthritis and Musculo-skeletal Alliance (ARMA), Vice-Dean of the Directorate of Podiatric Medicine of the College of Podiatry and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (Podiatric Medicine), the College of Podiatry (Podiatric Medicine), and the Higher Education Academy.  I am also a Chartered Scientist, Regional Advisor to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and co-chair of MSK:UK, the largest special advisory group of the College of Podiatry.


Throughout the year I am regularly invited to speak at national and international conferences and am called on to advise Firefly Orthoses Ltd as a member of their Medical Advisory Board.  In 2017 I prepared evidence with colleagues from the College of Podiatry which informed the 'High Heels at Work' debate led by Helen Jones MP, and is recorded in Hansard.  The evidence was heard again in November 2017 as pressure continues to mount to modify the law on mandating the wear of high-heeled shoes in the workplace.

In my spare time I pick up my camera and head to somewhere with breathtaking views to focus on the incredible beauty around the South coast of England. 

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