Personal profile


After completing an undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology at Durham University, Nicola initially worked in administration in a mental health setting and then spent four years as an A-Level Psychology teacher. Following a growing involvement in the sport of archery as a coach and volunteer on a national project into participation levels, she brought together her interests in psychology and physical activity through study at Northumbria University: first by completing the MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology programme, and then by undertaking her PhD into the role of physical activity in primary school education. She is now a lecturer in sport and exercise psychology, with research interests in archery participation and school-based physical activity, as well qualitative research in the field of sport and exercise more generally.

Research interests

Nicola has conducted research into the outcomes of physical activity participation for primary school children, particularly in relation to their cognition and wellbeing, and using both qualitative and quantitative approaches. She is interested in how physical activity can be integrated in practical and sustainable ways into people’s lives, accounting for barriers and competing priorities, and in how people’s individual experiences shape their physical activity behaviour. She is currently undertaking a project into the effects of archery participation on people’s wellbeing, interviewing participants and exploring the common themes and unique aspects of their experiences.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Education, PCAP, Northumbria University

25 Sept 20193 Mar 2021

Award Date: 3 Mar 2021

PhD, The efficacy of school-based classroom learning and physical activity interventions for children’s cognitive performance and wellbeing, Northumbria University

Award Date: 16 Sept 2019

Psychology, MSc, Sport and Exercise Psychology, Northumbria University

Award Date: 3 Nov 2014

Psychology, BSc (Hons), Applied Psychology, Durham University

Award Date: 28 Jun 2007


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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