June 2024

The THESIS team were awarded a Team Teaching Commendation by RHUL principal, Professor Paul Layzell

Click here to read more about the prize.

May 2024

The Art of Lecturing – new podcast on the THESIS YouTube channel!

If you want to learn about all things pedagogic and higher education, please watch Sahana and Natasha on their new podcast! Their second episode will discuss equality, diversity, and inclusion in higher education (see below). More episodes to come!

April 2024

An interview with Dr Danijela Serbic

Dr Danijela Serbic, the winner of the British Psychological Society’s DART-P’s (Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology) 2023 Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year Award, was interviewed by the Psychologist about her award. You can read Danijela’s interview here.

Year 3 Psychology student, Sana Rehman, Presents Dissertation findings at the Scottish BPS conference

My Dissertation abstract was accepted by the Scottish BPS Branch to present my Dissertation findings at the Scottish BPS conference which was held at the University of Aberdeen for current undergraduate students. My dissertation is about ‘exploring the mental health implications of introducing animal-assisted therapy in UK prisons’. The president of the BPS, Nicky Hayes opened with a talk to start the conference. I attended other student talks throughout the day before it was time to give my talk. After lunch I had my talk, there was a wide range of questions asked about my research from students and professors which I enjoyed answering. Then afterwards there was a careers fair and a lot of opportunities for networking. There I got the chance to talk to the president of the BPS about my dissertation and meet students who travelled from Brighton to learn about their research interests.

Check out an exciting video of the full day here


February 2024

THESIS  Founder Wins 2023 Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year Award!

Click here to see Danijela’s presentation slides

Dr. Danijela Serbic, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, Unviersity of London, has received the 2023 Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year Award.



Dr. Danijela Serbic, a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, Unviersity of London, has received the 2023 Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year Award from the British Psychological Society (BPS) Division of Academics, Researchers, and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P).

The BPS DART-P recognises and celebrates Dr. Serbic’s commitment and contributions to psychology teaching in the UK higher education. Dr. Serbic has  made enormous dedication to teaching, student support, and developing a national  teaching profile for our psychology department. Establishing and leading THESIS (Teaching in Higher Education: Supporting and Inspiring Students), Dr. Serbic promotes innovation in teaching practice and fosters excellence in teaching. The BPS DART-P in particular recognises her work on embedding employability in final year projects and supporting staff in their career development as teachers of psychology within the curriculum and via THESIS.

Commenting on the award, Dr. Serbic said, “Receiving this award from the BPS is a tremendous honour. Having my efforts recognised, especially for my work in creating career support pathways for students and academics, particularly those starting out in their careers, is truly amazing. I am grateful for the incredible support from my students, mentors, and colleagues, particularly those within my pedagogic group, THESIS.”

January 2024

Dr Beatrice Hayes and a team of undergraduate researchers have been breaking exciting new ground in the area of online student self disclosure. Here are two exceptional posters to tell the full story!

August 2023

Dr Nuno Nodin just published a paper in collaboration with Zeba Khadhijah in Personal Relationships. The paper is titled ‘Acculturative stress while online dating: An exploration of the experiences of second-generation Indian and Pakistani immigrants in the United Kingdom’ and is based on data collected for Zeba’s MSc in Clinical Psychology at Royal Holloway in 2019.

July 2023

The recently held Away Day brought the THESIS group together at the Packhorse pub in Egham, where they shared their innovative plans for the upcoming academic year. Here are the key highlights from the event:

1. Dr Beatrice Hayes discussed her plans for next year’s Wellbeing Day, aiming to enhance its impact and reach.

2. Elise Gear, the driving force behind the Early Career Teachers Symposium, announced her decision to hand over its coordination responsibilities after three highly successful years. 

3. Dr Sam Fairlamb provided a preview of his captivating educational videos and interactive multimedia slides that are coming soon to a lecture theatre near you, and on his YouTube channel, The Psychology Debrief.

4. Dr Luke Kendrick and Ryan Jefferies presented a series of infographic posters designed to guide students and foster discussions on important topics like plagiarism avoidance and APA formatting.

5. Dr Adnan Levent proposed several exciting ideas for student-teacher coproductions, including a fun and informative Revision Day that will build upon student feedback from this year’s To Academia and Beyond event.

These initiatives promise to shape the educational landscape, promoting wellbeing, collaboration, and engaging learning experiences. Stay tuned for more updates as these ideas come to fruition in the coming year.


March 2023

  • Several new blog posts have been published on the THESIS website. One written by RHUL psychology student Phil Moynihan and the remainder by THESIS staff members, Dr Nuno Nodin, Dr Adam Levent, Dr Sam McCormick, and Ryan Jefferies. 

  • Dr Danijela Serbia and Dr Sam Fairlamb recently presented talks at the BPS DART-P conference. Danijela presented on THESIS and employability in final year projects. Sam gave two talks, the first concerned The Psychology Debrief, the second concerned existential isolation amongst students in higher education.

February 2023

THESIS are excited to announce the launch of a new event, To Academia and Beyond! The event will take place on 15th March 2023, 1-5pm. The event consists of Q&A sessions, poster presentation, students+staff quiz and other fun activities. Please follow the link to the event page for further information.

We hope to see many of you there.

Dr Adam Levent (on behalf of event organising committee).


November 2022

On Wednesday 9th, the Wellbeing Day successfully took place in Wolfson building! Led by Dr Beatrice Hayes in collaboration with the THESIS group, this event was co-produced with a group of students (Anna Moreno, Jiafan Lou, Abigail Keizner and Aiman Suleiman). Approximately 100 students took part in a range of drop-in activities organised into three rooms:

The event was a great success! We would like to thank all those who shared their time with us. Of course, we would also like to thank all members of the THESIS group and the student team for their enthusiasm and involvement in making the day so enjoyable for all. Here is a picture of the Bake-Off Winning Cake, beautiful designed and baked by the Psychology Director of Teaching’s daughter, Elizabeth Bourne!


September 2022

THESIS are excited to announce the launch of a new event, Wellbeing Day, taking place on Wednesday 9th November from 12pm! Organised by a group of teaching-focused staff and designed and led by Beatrice Hayes, the aim of this event is to create a safe space to discuss and develop skills through engaging activities based on student mental health and wellbeing.

This event will be ran “for students, by students”; we will coproduce the content with a team of students who were recently successful in their applications. The student team will comprise:
• Anna Moreno (Marketing and Communications Lead)
• Fan Lou (Graphic Design Lead)
• Abigail Keizner and Aiman Suleiman (Event Ambassadors)

Importantly, this event will highlight our department’s prioritisation of student mental health and wellbeing. We are passionate about providing students with positive, proactive skills to discuss mental health and wellbeing as well as build resilience. We know that the transition to and experiences throughout university can be both positive and negative, and so events such as this are important for supporting students in this journey.

We are currently in the early stages of planning and look forward to advertising the event to students from Welcome Week. In the meantime, if you have any ideas or skills you would like to offer, please get in touch with Beatrice (Beatrice.hayes@rhul.ac.uk).


August 2022

  • We would like to invite RHUL Psychology students who were First Years in 2021-22 to take part in the THESIS blog competition:

Help out next year’s students by entering your blog and win a £50 Amazon voucher! The theme is things that you found out in first year and wished you’d asked about earlier… choose ONE of the following topics. Winning entries will be published on the THESIS website – a site dedicated to the teaching of psychology with contributions from staff and students.


  1. I don’t want to sound silly, but how do I revise at uni?


Write a 500-word blog about your learning and exam revision experience at university. For example: How did uni exams compare with your school experience? did you change your revision tactics? did you wish you had? Were they as scary as you thought? etc…


  1. I don’t want to sound silly, but how do I make big decisions?”


Write a 500-word blog about a big decision you’ve made at university For example: What steps did you take towards making the decision? How do you feel about the consequences? What would you do differently next time?  etc…


  1. I don’t want to sound silly, but how do I communicate online?”


Write a 500-word blog about any difficulties you’ve faced when communicating online at university. For example: How did you feel about writing emails or messages to staff? Did you have any issues when communicating with other students online?


Email your entry to sam.mccormick@rhul.ac.uk from your rhul.ac.uk email account.

Deadline: Friday 14th October 2022, 10am.


October 2021

  • THESIS collaborator Dr Illham Sebah, coordinator of our Equality and Diversity page, organised the event ‘An audience with Baroness Doreen Lawrence OBE’ as part of Black History month.
  • THESIS collaborator, Dr Beatrice Hayes, has recently been awarded both the ‘2021 People’s Prize’ and ‘2021 Judges Prize’ at the University of Hull’s Teaching Excellence Academy 2021 International Conference.
  • THESIS editor, Elise Gear, has been achieved the status of Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy following the successful completion of the inSTIL accredited teaching course.

June 2021

  • The THESIS team were awarded a Team Teaching Commendation by RHUL principal, Professor Paul Layzell.

January 2021

  • Congratulations to final year psychology student, Amanda Ferrer Knight, who has had an essay published on the Ernest Becker Foundation website, under the supervision of Dr Sam Fairlamb. Click the link to read ‘Achieving Immortality at Any Cost’

August 2020

  • THESIS collaborator Dr Sam Fairlamb recently delivered an online workshop for the Society for Research into Higher Education, in which he gave a comprehensive overview of questionnaire design. Dr Fairlamb is also now an external examiner for the Psychology and Sociology degree programme at City College Norwich.

June 2020

  • The annual RHUL Year 12 Psychology Competition has gone digital. Winners of the competition will be announced on Wednesday 1st July on the @RHULPsychology Facebook page. THESIS collaborators, Dr. Sam Fairlamb and Dr. Hannah Broadbent will also be giving live talks from 2pm discussing ‘The role of death on health: examining responses to the COVID-19 pandemic’ and ‘What is a psychology degree all about?’. 
  • We would like to invite all RHUL School for Life Sciences and the Environment undergraduate and postgraduate students to take part in writing about their experiences of studying during COVID-19. How have you found the transition to online learning? How have you motivated yourself? What advice would you give to existing and prospective students during this pandemicThere is no set format for how you go about this, we would like you to get creative! A blog post or poster incorporating hints and tips are just a couple of ideas.  Your entries will be published here, on THESIS and the best entry will receive a £50 Amazon voucher. If you are interested in writing a blog/poster on this topic, email a 100 word entry proposal to THESIS@rhul.ac.uk by the 26th June 2020. Complete entries (no longer than 500 words) will need to be submitted by the 17th July 2020

January 2020

  • We would like to invite all Year 3 RHUL Psychology students to take part in the annual THESIS blog competition: ‘How has your final year project helped you prepare for the future?’ If you are interested in writing a blog on this topic and taking part in this competition please write a 100 word blog proposal and email it to THESIS@rhul.ac.uk by 6th March 2020. Blog proposals will be reviewed by the THESIS team. Selected candidates will be invited to write a full blog (500 words) and submit it by the 6th of April 2020. The blogs will be published on the THESIS website with the best published blog receiving a £50 Amazon voucher

December 2019

  • Congratulations to our THESIS founder, Danijela and collaborators Nuno, Sam and Ines for their stellar performance in the 2019 RHUL Psychology Staff Pantomime. Written by our very own Victoria Bourne, ‘Frozen Minds’ was a complete success with fun had by all. Profits from the show were split between 3 student voted charities. Well done to everyone involved.

November 2019

  • Our colleagues are increasingly getting involved in projects and events that focus on mental health in students. Recently,  Ines Mendes and Hannah Broadbent  attended a British Psychological Society workshop: ‘Mental health and wellbeing in education: how can we respond?’

October 2019

  • Congratulations to Elise Gear, our current MSc Clinical Psychology student, THESIS assistant editor and former UG student, who has won The Royal Holloway Bedford New College Trust Scholarship (RHBNC). Elise is one of only three recipients of this prestigious award this academic year!
  • Dr Danijela Serbic took part in the ‘Women Researchers and UK Parliament’ event on the 9th of October 2019. The main aim of the event was to enable the exchange of information and expertise between the UK Parliament and women engaged in research.

  • Dr Hannah Broadbent has organised a Psychology Schools Lecture Evening, taking place on Wednesday 9th October, 2019. This event gives A-level students the opportunity to hear short taster lectures from two of our RHUL academics in the department of psychology, as well as hear from some of our current psychology undergraduate students. This is a popular event, with over 170 students booked to attend.This year’s talks include: ‘How can Psychology help us understand Psychopathy and Extremism in the 21st Century?’- Professor Amina Memon. ‘The evolution of tweeting: what birds can teach us about learning, speech and culture’ – Dr Rob Lachlan.
  • The first 3 articles in a special collection for Frontiers for Young Minds, curated by Dr Eilidh Cage, Dr Danijela Serbic and Prof Anat Bardi, have been published. The collection of articles focuses on invisible conditions and disabilities and all articles are written in a style appropriate for children and young people. The first article is all about developmental language disorder, a common but little known condition which affects 1 in 15 children. The second article explores the impact of intellectual disability on access to healthcare and communication with health care professionals. The most recently published article discusses Traumatic brain injury (TBI), covering some of the causes, associated misconceptions and long-term effects of TBI.

September 2019

  • Dr Nodin was invited to take part on an expert panel consulting on the development of The University Mental Health Charter. This Charter will be a voluntary award and quality improvement scheme developed by Student Minds which will recognise universities with exceptional approaches to promote and support the mental health and wellbeing of students and the university community.
  • Dr Nodin presented a paper titled ‘The Role of Past Gender Nonconformity Experience and Social Environment Reactions towards Gender Nonconformity in Mental Distress’ at the International Conference on Gender Studies: “Gender (Non)Conformity” at St Anne’s College, University of Oxford, on 7 September. This paper was co-authored by Feride Canarslan, Ian Rivers, Elizabeth Peel and Allan Tyler.

June 2019

At the second annual conference of the BPS Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P) held in Cardiff, several THESIS members presented their work:

  • Dr Victoria Bourne delivered a keynote titled: ‘Developing teaching excellence for your students, your academic colleagues and your own career development.’
  • Dr Danijela Serbic delivered a master class titled: ‘Embedding employability in final year research projects’.
  • Dr Eilidh Cage delivered an empirical oral presentation titled: ‘Understanding the factors that affect university completion for autistic people.’
  • Additionally, our former colleague Dr Alana James (currently based at the University of Reading), won the Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year 2019 prize. Congratulations Alana!














May 2019

SPIN was awarded a College Excellence Teaching Commendation.  SPIN is a student-led discussion group whereby the aim is to provide Psychology students the opportunity to learn more about Psychology, and consider how to use their learning to explain real-world phenomenon and popular news stories. SPIN includes a mix of Psychology students from all cohorts to provide sharing of knowledge, and the opportunity for students to pick subjects of their own choice. SPIN also offers opportunities for students to gain key skills and increase their employability, for example by writing up summary blogs of the topic. You can find out more about SPIN here (http://pc.rhul.ac.uk/sites/spin/) or by contacting Dr. Sam Fairlamb (Samuel.fairlamb@rhul.ac.uk).

April 2019

Dr Danijela Serbic was recently awarded a travel fellowship from the Society for Back Pain Research. This fellowship enabled Dr Serbic to visit the Biobehavioral Pediatric Pain lab, which is a bi-coastal research facility in the US located at Stanford University Medical School and Harvard University Medical School (Boston Children’s Hospital). Dr Serbic presented her research at both locations and she also used this opportunity to promote the new Royal Holloway Centre for the Study of Pain and Well-being.

December 2018
On Tuesday 4th December the Department of Psychology hosted the first Wellbeing Fair, organised by Dr Eilidh Cage and Dr Nuno Nodin, alongside PhD students Beatrice Hayes, Farah Akthar and Jasmine Virhia. The aim of the Fair was to create an open forum to discuss wellbeing, to promote understanding and to showcase ways of managing wellbeing. The Wellbeing Fair also hosted a Department Bake Off which raised £125.46 for the mental health charity ‘Rethink’.

October/November 2018

  • Victoria Bourne is now the Vice Chair for Research of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P) of the BPS. She has also recently published two papers in Psychology Teaching Review, the pedagogic journal of the BPS, and a paper in Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Psychology, the pedagogic journal of the American Psychological Association.
  • Dr Nuno Nodin was invited to become a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Homosexuality (JOH). JoH is a landmark interdisciplinary scholarly peer-reviewed journal in sexuality studies, which is now in its 65th volume year. Dr Nodin has been a peer reviewer for the journal for several years but will now have a formal role within the editorial team of the journal.

  • Dr Danijela Serbic co-organised and presented at the BPS Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P) annual workshop on Teaching Reproducibility in Psychology. Dr Serbic talked about how we have integrated open science and pre-registration within our undergraduate final year projects.


  • Dr Eilidh Cage, Melissa Stock, Alex Sharpington, Emma Pitman and Rachel Batchelor (2018 BSc Psychology graduates) have recently published their research on the barriers to accessing support for mental health issues while at university. There are significant numbers of students experiencing mental health difficulties, but these students may face a number of barriers to getting the support they need. You can find out exactly what the research found here.
  • Dr Eilidh Cage has also published a paper alongside former Research Assistants (and Psychology students) Jessica Di Monaco and Victoria Newell in the journal Autism on the topic of understanding, attitudes and dehumanisation towards autistic people. You can read the article here.
  • Congratulations to Dr Eilidh Cage who has been appointed as a Committee Member of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology (DART-P), a section of the British Psychological Society. She joins Professor Victoria Bourne who already sits as the Vice Chair of Research within the Committee.
  • Dr Danijela Serbic presented at a conference on building resilience in demanding environments at Richmond, the American International University in London. Dr Serbic presented on the topic of resilience in university students with chronic pain.


August/September 2018

  • Professor Victoria Bourne was the keynote speaker for the Teaching Away Day of the Department of Psychology at  University of Leicester with a talk titled “Teaching Research Methods and Statistics to the Statistically Anxious.
  • Professor Vicotria Bourne was a keynote speaker for the Festival of Teaching at University of Leeds, where she spoke to academics from a wide range of disciplines about “Teaching Engaging Research Methods”.


July 2018 

  • Dr Eilidh Cage won a Teaching Commendation from the College, in recognition of her work on a research project looking at student mental health. Alongside final year students Alex Sharpington, Emma Pitman, Mel Stock and Rachel Batchelor (pictured together on graduation day), they have been investigating the barriers students face in accessing support for mental health issues. They have just submitted their findings for publication – watch this space!


June 2018 

  • Three Psychology Undergraduate students, supervised by Dr Nuno Nodin, presented at the Futuresex 2018 conference at University of Surrey. Freya Clarke, Gemma Stacy and Suma Mohamed presented a paper titled ‘Attitudes towards and impacts of online dating and sexual networking’, co-authored by Dr Nodin. This paper was based on the students’ final year project, carried out in the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway, University of London. The students’ presentation was part of panel four of the conference ‘Going online’. The conference took place on 27 and 28 of June, gathering a number of academics and researchers which presented on various topics loosely affiliated with the theme of future sexualities.


  • Along with collaborators Dr Rebecca Lucas (University of Roehampton) and Dr Alana James (University of Reading), Dr Eilidh Cage has published a ‘short note’ in the Psychology Teaching Review about the expectations of the university to post-graduation transition of students with mental health conditions. This publication is part of an ongoing research project looking at the experiences for students with mental health conditions and/or autism after they graduate from university. Rebecca, Alana and Eilidh also presented some of their findings at a conference at York St John’s University entitled “Releasing Potential: Higher Education sector’s contribution to adult and young people’s mental health”.


  • Dr Danijela Serbic, Dr Ines Mendes, Dr Eilidh Cage and Dr Alana James (University of Reading) presented at a British Psychological Society (Divison of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology) conference in Birmingham. The title of their symposium was: Teaching and Supporting Students with Invisible Disabilities. They presented their research and discussed autism spectrum and chronic pain conditions, and university support for these conditions.



April 2018

Dr Nodin receives awards at education conference in Bangkok

Dr Nuno Nodin received two awards, for the best session presentation (for session ‘Working with diverse populations’) and the best presentation award at the 4th International Conference on Education 2018, which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 5-7 of April. According to the conference’s website, the best presentation award is “offered for outstanding presentation considering every presenter of the conference, which is the most inspiring, effective and professional and are delivered through an impactful, authoritative and engaging speaker”. The award is based on the marks given by the evaluation committee for every presentation and other criteria. Dr Nodin’s presentation, titled ‘Educating for sexual diversity at university’ discussed the relevance of including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and other sexual minorities’ issues in the higher education context in the UK, and some of the ways by which this may be achieved.


March 2018

Dr Ines Mendes has published a blog on the Higher Education Academy website entitled ‘Why I became an HEA Fellow‘. For more detail please use this link: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/blog-entry/why-i-became-hea-fellow


February 2018

Dr Eilidh Cage, Dr Ines Mendes and Dr Danijela Serbic presented at the RHUL Arts and Social Sciences Teaching & Learning Symposium.  The title of their presentation was: Academic support for students with hidden conditions: Practical advice from psychologists. They shared their experience and advice on how academic staff can best support students who have hidden or invisible conditions. Specifically, they discussed autism spectrum conditions, anxiety and depression, and chronic pain conditions.



December 2017

Congratulations to all our Psychology  MSc , DClin and PhD students who graduated on the 14th of December!!! They were joined by many proud supervisors who celebrated their success with them!



November 2017

  • Dr Nuno Nodin, Teaching Fellow in the Department of Psychology, has won BPS’s Psychology of Sexualities Community Engagement Award 2017 for his work at PACE while managing the RaRE Research Project on sexual minorities mental health risk and resilience. This award recognises Dr Nodin’s skills in effectively engaging members of the community in academic-level research. The award will be formally presented at the Psychology of Sexualities conference in July 2018. Read more here.
  • Dr Nuno Nodin and Dr Ines Mendes gain fellowship status with the Higher Education Academy. Congratulations!
  • Dr Danijela Serbic has become a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
  • Dr Eilidh Cage and Dr Alana James ran a very successful event as part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, called “Social Scientists in Training”. Young people came to Royal Holloway for the day to learn how to conduct their own piece of research. The materials from this event will be online soon.



October 2017

  • Dr Victoria Bourne has delivered a course for Society for Research in Higher Education on “Creating questionnaires: Design, validation and analysis” that was attended by researchers from across the UK and further afield.
  • Check out the evidence-based tips in The Psychologist Guide to University Life, created by the British Psychological Society – including one from Dr Alana James on seeking support and using staff drop-in hours.
  • Dr Eilidh Cage has recently had a paper accepted on autism acceptance and mental health in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. The paper is co-authored by two former Royal Holloway undergraduates, Jessica Di Monaco and Victoria Newell, who worked with Dr Cage as research assistants during their time studying psychology. Jessica and Victoria played an integral role in the research, which found that autistic adults who experienced less acceptance were more likely to report higher rates of depression and stress. You can read the full research paper online here.

September 2017

  • Congratulations to Dr Victoria Bourne on the British Academy grant to study ways of reducing statistics anxiety in university students.
  • Two members of THESIS delivered training for university staff at the Society for Research into Higher Education last month, Dr Danijela Serbic on Systematic Reviews and Dr Alana James on Conducting Interviews and Focus Groups.

August 2017

  • Dr Victoria Bourne has been selected as a National Teaching Fellow by  the Higher Education Academy. A National Teaching Fellowship is the most prestigious individual award for excellence in teaching in higher education. To find out more follow this link: Dr Victoria Bourne award
  • Dr Danijela Serbic published a blog post on diagnostic uncertainty in chronic back pain for the British Psychological Society: Division of Health Psychology.