Joanna Thurston

Dr Joanna Thurston

  • Deputy Head of Department Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences
  • BG301a (ALSE) / BG504 (Dept RSS)
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Joanna Thurston joined Bournemouth University in 2009, having started her academic teaching career at the University of Bath in 2007. Prior to this, Joanna was a successful Sports Rehabilitator working in the field of musculoskeletal performance enhancement, across the domains of elite sport and film.

Joanna has a strong teaching portfolio both in the Department of Sport and Physical Activity, where she established the successful Academy of Performance Coaching, and more recently in the Department of Rehabilitation and Sport Science, where she wrote and was Programme Lead for BU's Society of Sports Therapists accredited, BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy programme.

During her time at BU Joanna has been nominated for and received a number of awards for her innovative approaches to learning and was one of only 6 academic staff to be named as a BU Learning and Teaching Fellow in 2014.

Joanna's PhD research was an exploration of the experience of a diagnosis of premenopausal osteoporosis for a young, active female...



‘My Bones Won’t Break Me': A reflective topical autobiography exploring the experience of living with premenopausal osteoporosis.


Journal Articles

Internet Publications


  • Thurston, J., 2018. ‘My Bones Won’t Break Me.’ A reflective topical autobiography exploring the experience of living with premenopausal osteoporosis. PhD Thesis. Bournemouth University, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences.


PhD Students

  • Jo Taylor - MPhil student. What are the barriers that prevent family and friends involvement in end of life care in an acute hospital setting? Student Nurses perspectives.
  • Cian Dunne, 2021. Isometric Hip Strength in Elite Football Players: Comparison to a Normal Population and it’s behaviour throughout a Football Season (Completed)

Profile of Teaching UG

  • Foundations of Sports Therapy
  • Assessment of Sports Injuries 1
  • Early Career Professionalism
  • Exercise Prescription in Sports Therapy
  • Soft Tissue and Therapeutic Modalities
  • Assessment of Sports Injuries 1
  • Rehabilitation in Sports Therapy
  • Research Methodologies 1
  • Research Methodologies 2
  • Research Project
  • MSc Nutrition and Behaviour - Research Project


  • Isometric hip strength in elite professional football (AFC Bournemouth, 01 Aug 2019). Awarded

Internal Responsibilities

  • Mentor, Post Graduate Certificate in Education Practice
  • Active Member, Quality Assurance and Enhancement Group
  • Co-Lead, Fusion for Students - Students as Researchers Working Group
  • Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Sports Therapy, Human Sciences and Public Health

Journal Reviewing/Refereeing

  • International Sports Coaching Journal, 03 Feb 2020

Public Engagement & Outreach Activities

  • Widening participation activity for BTEC Health and Social Care students.
  • Asked to write and run a widening participation workshop to enthuse young learners in the profession of Sports Therapy

Conference Presentations

  • “Narrating Lives”: International Conference on Storytelling, (Auto)Biography and (Auto)Ethnography, Hall, J., and Thurston, J. Nourishment or Punishment? How I experience eating behaviours and meal times with children with autism spectrum disorder, 28 Aug 2020, Online due to Covid-19
  • BSA A/B Group: Past and Present Lives, ‘Auto/biography: A short film: “It’s not research, it’s just stories”: an exploration into the challenges and triumphs of biographic research’, 07 Dec 2018, Friends House, London, UK
  • BSA Auto/Biography Summer Conference, “Observing My Future Self”: Understanding the impact of aging family members, on one’s own anticipated progression through the ageing process., 19 Jul 2018, Oxford
  • Humanising Care Conference, Proposing a 'Biographical Echoes' approach to understand the ideographic nature of patient experiences and promote humanised health care practices., 21 Jun 2018, Bournemouth, UK
  • BSA Christmas Conference - Public and Private Lives, Transitioning Ones Private Experience into the Public Domain, 08 Dec 2017, Friends House, London
  • Enhancing Primary Care through Research and Innovation, Improving Primary Care Provision through Understanding the Experiences of ‘Strangers’ within Diagnostic Groups., 22 Nov 2017, Executive Business Centre, Bournemouth University
  • Humanising Care, Health and Wellbeing Conference, 'My Bones Won't Break Me:' My Experience of Living with Osteoporosis as a young active female., 29 Jun 2017, Bournemouth University

Consultancy Activities

  • AFCB Fitness Testing - Data Collection, Consultancy. AFC Bournemouth
  • Fitness Testing Analysis - AFC Bournemouth, Report writing for Fitness Testing Data for AFCB fitness data. AFC Bournemouth


  • PhD in Medical Sociology (Bournemouth University, 2018)
  • Level 1 in Accredited Anthropometrist in Kinanthropometry (International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry, 2012)
  • MSc in Sport Science & Medicine (Roehampton University, 2006)
  • BSc (Hons) in Sport Rehabilitation with Health and Human Biology (St Mary's University College, 2001)


  • BU Learning and Teaching Fellowship (2014)


  • British Association of Sport and Exercise Science, Member (2017-),
  • Higher Education Academy, Fellow (2014-),