Dr Sara Smith (PhD, BSc) is a Senior Lecturer in the Division for Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography. She is also an associate member of the Centre for Health, Activity and Rehabilitation Research.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

Sara initially joined QMU in 1998 as a visiting part time lecturer before taking up a full time Lecturing post in 2000. She became the Programme Leader for the UG BSc (Hons) Dietetics programme in 2002 and a Senior Lecturer in 2008. She continues to be responsible for the UG Programme as well as the UG Dietetic transnational programmes run collaboratively with AMC in Greece.

She completed her PhD in 2010 (part funded by the British Renal Society) which explored the effects of an intradialytic exercise programme on quality of life , functional and nutritional status of individuals receiving haemodialysis therapy.

Sara continues to work with the NHS in a number of capacities, through research collaborations with NHS Lothian, membership of NHS Education Scotland (NES) Advisory Forums and serving as Alternative Vice Chair for the South East of Scotland Ethics Committee.

She also continues to be actively engaged in the work of the British Dietetic Association, through membership of several British Dietetic Association (BDA) Committees and working groups.

Academically, she has undertaken an External Examining role for a number of Universities in England and continues to lecture on the annual BDA PENG clinical update course.

Sara is also an HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council) registrant , an HCPC Visitor and a level 3 ISAK (International Society for the Advancement of Kinathropometry) trained anthropometrist.

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the British Dietetic Association
  • HCPC Registered Dietitian

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Assessment of body composition, nutritional and functional status and quality of life. Self efficacy and person centred outcomes. Sarcopenia and dynapenia in long term conditions.

Improving supported self management and outcomes (in individuals living with or caring for someone) of long term conditions through targeted interventions such as diet, physical activity and reductions in sedentary behaviour.

Active Research Interests:

  • Use of advanced technologies for the assessment of body composition (eg 3D phototonic scanning)
  • Physical activity interventions for individuals living with chronic kidney disease
  • Visual identification of nutritional status
  • Use of telehealth as part of weight management interventions
  • Management of lipedema (self efficacy, quality of life)

Research Methods:

  • Nutritional and functional assessment eg diet, body composition and functional technologies
  • Quality of life questionaries’
  • Self efficacy questionnaires
  • Physical activity questionnaires, ActivPAL and app technologies


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Teach on all of the UG and PG programmes taught within the Dietetics, Nutrition and Biological Sciences area. Subjects areas taught include: Health and Society, communication and facilitation of change, therapeutic dietetics, professional studies for dietitians, techniques for nutritional research and sports nutrition

Program Leader:

UG Programme Leader- Dietetics

IBEX Award, British Dietetic Association 2016. Awarded to individuals who have made significant contributions to the profession either locally or in a specific specialty.