Dr Sarah Kirby is an Associate Professor in Psychology. She is a HCPC registered Health Psychologist and a Chartered Member of the BPS (CPsychol), and a full member of the Division of Health Psychology (DHP). She is currently the departmental lead for equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I), and is a senior pastoral and academic tutor for postgraduate students in the Psychology department.
Her research interests include health issues relating to self-management, acceptance and adjustment to chronic illness (such as dizziness and vertigo, and asthma). Much of her work in this area focuses on patient beliefs, attitudes and experiences, adherence and barriers to adherence, and predictors of adjustment (including factors such as illness perceptions, health anxiety, PTSD, and intolerance of uncertainty), She is also interested in staff and student wellbeing, and career development as well as work relating to older adults, falls prevention, and spirituality and religion.
She co-convenes a 3rd year undergraduate module on chronic pain and psycho-oncology, and is convenor for a postgraduate statistics module on correlational methods, contributes to health psychology undergraduate and postgraduate modules, and supervises undergraduate, masters, and PhD students.
- Qualitative and Quantitative (Mixed) methods
- Self-management of health and illness
- Patient beliefs, attitudes and experiences
- Acceptance and adjustment to chronic illness (e.g. dizziness, asthma)
- Adherence and barriers to adherence
Current PhD Students
External roles and responsibilities
Sarah completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Staffordshire University in 1998, then spent two years working with children and became a qualified play worker (NVQ level 3), followed by a brief stint in the civil service. She then decided to return to academia where she completed the MSc in Health Psychology at the University of Southampton in 2002. She then undertook stage 2 training following the university route, completing a part-time PhD in Health Psychology Research and Professional Practice at the University of Southampton, graduating in 2007. During this time she also worked part-time at the University as a teaching and research assistant. Sarah continued working at the University of Southampton in various post-doc roles and became a Lecturer in Psychology in 2012, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2016.
- Vice Chancellor's Teaching Award - Supporting Student Employability (2014)
- SUSU Faculty Academic Awards - Best Pastoral Support (2016)
- SUSU Faculty Academic Awards - Best Pastoral Support (2021)