About Me

As a Senior Lecturer at the University of Derby, I research, teach, and supervise students across all levels. I am interested in many areas, but central to them all is a focus on positive psychology, behaviour change and well-being. My most recent projects have been around evaluating nature connectedness of parents pre-post ‘wild’ play with their children, exploring body image (and resilience) in women post-breast cancer (see publications and presentations) and the role of body esteem in non-dieting women. I am primarily a qualitative researcher, with a particular interest in ‘lived experience’, but I also embrace working collaboratively on mixed methods projects. I mostly supervise students who adopt a phenomenological approach. I work broadly within health psychology and behaviour change, but also collaborate with colleagues in many other fields. I also consult with outside agencies to help them evaluate behaviour change or well-being interventions. I am trained in Motivational Interviewing and lead workshops to support others in developing this tool to support behavioural change.

My own education started with an undergraduate degree and PGCE at Loughborough University where I studied PE, Sports Science and English. I then undertook a Masters degree at the University of Minnesota where I specialised in Sport Psychology. From there I worked in a variety of health promotion roles in Minnesota and North Carolina; I was  the Assistant Director of Wellness at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Director of Wellness at a large retirement community in Chapel Hill, Lead instructor at The Body Therapy Institute and I also had my own business specialising in wellness and massage therapy for 9 years. Within this, I worked with a diverse clientele including executives, athletes and people living with chronic pain.

I returned to the UK in 2006 to teach at the University of Derby. I gained my doctorate in 2012 which was a phenomenological study of HE lecturers’ working lives. I am a Senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy and I was the faculty Senior Teaching Fellow at the Buxton campus for 3 years. Over my 11 years at Derby, I have taught a range of well-being modules and helped to develop the MSc in Behaviour Change within the Psychology department; I lead the Health and Wellbeing pathway on this course and am module leader for Applied Behaviour Change Interventions and Positive Psychology, Health and Well-being.

I supervise and examine masters and doctoral work and review publications for a variety of journals including the Journal of Health Psychology, Psychology and Health and Psycho-Oncology.

Dr Fiona Holland

Senior Lecturer and researcher, University of Derby, UK