Mr Bernhard Haas

Mr Bernhard Haas

Associate Professor, Deputy Head of School - Health Professions

School of Health Professions (Faculty of Health & Human Sciences)


Bernhard is the Deputy Head of the School of Health Professions with specific responsibility for matters relating to learning and teaching.
Bernhard is also the lead physiotherapist for the University of Plymouth.


Bernhard Haas is a Chartered and Registered Physiotherapist. He qualified as a physiotherapist in 1984 in West Berlin. He moved to the UK in 1984, working in hospitals and trusts in Oxford and Buckinghamshire. It was at the National Spinal Injuries Centre at Stoke Mandeville where he developed his expertise in rehabilitation and patient management. He left full time work in the NHS in 1992 to take up his first teaching post at the University of Brighton. Bernhard joined Plymouth in 2003 in order to design the new physiotherapy programme and taking it to its initial approval and validation. He managed the programme on a day to day basis until his current appointment as Deputy Head of School.

Professional membership

Registered as a physiotherapist with the Health Profession Council (HPC)

Member of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Roles on external bodies

Bernhard represents physiotherapy at the University of Plymouth at a numbers of committies and professional bodies such as the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the Health Professions Council.

Teaching interests

Bernhard's clinical background is in the area of neurological physiotherapy and rehabilitation and therefore he is involved in modules related to this subject area. As an experienced academic and lecturer he has also developed a keen interest into how students learn and develop. It is therefore not surprising that he was keen to apply the principles of Problem Based Learning to the new physiotherapy programme at the university. Bernhard also represents the School of Health Professions on the Faculty Learning and Teaching Committee.

Staff serving as external examiners

Bernhard has been an approved external examiner for the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy for a number of years and has examined physiotherapy programmes at a number of UK universities, such as Brunel, Huddersfield, Hertfordshire, Coventry and Sheffield Hallam.

Research interests

His research interests are in the area of neurological rehabilitation, specifically related to activity, exercise and function in condictions such as Parkinson's disease and spinal cord injury. He is a previous receipient of a Wellfare Reserach grant from the Parkinson's Disease Society in 2000 to investigate cardiorespiratory and cardiovascular function in mild to moderate Parkinson's disease.

Grants & contracts

2001: Parkinson’s Disease Society - Welfare Research Grant: Cardiorespiratory and Cardiovascular function in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. Personal research grant form the Parkinson’s Disease Society (£18600) 2007: HEFCE Research informed Teaching Project Grant (with Achilles, T, and Stenhouse, L.) 2007: University of Plymouth, CEPPL Fellowship award. Gunn, H., Hunter, H. and Haas, B. An exploration of Clinical Educators perceptions of physiotherapy students who are studying on a problem based learning (PBL) undergraduate programme; £6820 2009: VC’s Community Research Award 09/10: Freeman, J and Haas, B. Evaluating the South West Community Peer Support Officer Service for Newly Injured People with Spinal Cord Injury. £8200 2011: Physiotherapy Research Society: An investigation of the risk factors associated with falls in people with multiple sclerosis; Gunn, H., Freeman, J. Marsden, J, and Haas, B. £19915.

Key publications are highlighted

Gunn HJ, Newell P, Haas B, Marsden JF & Freeman JA 2013 'Identification of risk factors for falls in multiple sclerosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis' Phys Ther 93, (4) 504-513 Author Site , DOI
Haas BM, Price L & Freeman JA 2012 'Qualitative evaluation of a Community Peer Support Service for people with spinal cord injury' Spinal Cord , DOI
Gunn HJ, Hunter H & Haas B 2011 'Problem Based Learning in physiotherapy education: a practice perspective' Physiotherapy , DOI
Folland JP, Haas B & Castle PC 2011 'Strength and activation of the knee musculature in Parkinson's disease: Effect of medication' NEUROREHABILITATION 29, (4) 405-411 Author Site , DOI
Irish SE, Millward AJ, Wride J, Haas BM & Shum GLK 2010 'The effect of closed-kinetic chain exercises and open-kinetic chain exercise on the muscle activity of vastus medialis oblique and vastus lateralis' J Strength Cond Res 24, (5) 1256-1262 Author Site , DOI
Haas BM, Trew M & Castle PC 2004 'Effects of respiratory muscle weakness on daily living function, quality of life, activity levels, and exercise capacity in mild to moderate Parkinson's disease' American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 83, (8) 601-607
Haas BM & Burden AM 2000 'Validity of weight distribution measurements of the Balance Performance Monitor' Physiotherapy Research International 5, (1) 19-32
Haas BM & Whitmarsh TE 1998 'Inter- and intra-tester reliability of the Balance Performance Monitor in a non-patient population' Physiotherapy Research International 3, (2) 135-147
Haas BM & Crow JL 1995 'Towards a clinical measurement of spasticity' Physiotherapy 81, (8) 474-479
Haas BM 1994 'Measuring spasticity: a survey of current practice amongst health-care professionals' British Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation 1, (2) 90-95
Haas BM, Bergstom E, Jamous A & Bennie A 0 'The Inter rater reliability of the original and the modified Ashworth scale for the assessment of spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury' Spinal Cord 34, (1996) 560-564
Haas BM & Austin A 2011 'Physical activity and exercise in neurological rehabilitation' in Stokes M; Stack E Physical Management for Neurological Conditions Churchill Livingstone
Matheson R & Haas B 2010 'Exploring the Foundations for Problem Based Learning' in Clouston T; Westcott L; Whitcombe SW Problem Based Learning in Health and Social Care Wiley-Blackwell
Haas B 2010 'Motor Control' in Everett T; Kell C Human Movement Edinburgh Churchill Livingstone 47-60
Haas BM 2005 'The neural control of human movement' in Trew M; MCSP TE Human movement Churchill Livingstone
Haas BM & Jones F 2004 'Physical activity and exercise in neurological rehabilitation' in Stokes M Physical management in neurological rehabilitation Mosby Inc 489-500
Crow JL & Haas BM 2001 'The neural control of human movement' in Trew M; Everett T Human movement Elsevier Health Sciences
Conference Papers
Gunn H, Freeman J, Marsden J, Haas B, Creanor S & Zajicek J 2012 'Risk factors associated with falls in people with multiple sclerosis' //0 //0 S19-S19
Haas BM, Trew M, Castle PC, Plant R & Doust JH 2001 'Respiratory muscle strength, quality of life, ADL function and mobility in individuals with Parkinson's disease - preliminary results' Multidisciplinary Care in Parkinson's disease and Parkinsonism - From Science to Practice. //0 //0 Royal Collage of Physicions, London
Gunn H, Hunter H & Haas BM 0 'An exploration of clinical educators’ perceptions of Physiotherapy students who are studying on a Problem Based Learning (PBL) undergraduate programme' Negotiating Problem Based Learning - 9th Finnish Problem-based Learning Conference Tempere, Finland 02/04/2009 03/04/2009
Folland JP, Haas B & Castle PC 0 'Strength and Neural Activation of the Knee Joint Musculature in Parkinson’s Disease: Effects of Medication' Physiological Society Conference King's College London 01/01/2009 //0 29-30 Publisher Site
Haas BM, Bergstrom E, Jamous A & Woolard A 0 'The inter-rater reliability of the Ashworth scale for spasticity in patients with spinal cord injury' Society for Research in Reahabilitation meeting Southampton 03/07/1995 04/07/1995 83-83