Staff profile

Dr Caroline Harvey

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Dr Caroline Harvey




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Psychology

Research centre

Health and Social Care Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in Psychology, a discipline area that sits within the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care. I am the Employability Lead for Psychology and I teach on a range of undergraduate modules, MSc programmes and am a module leader for a number of modules.

I am an active researcher and have interests in a number of different areas including nature connection; compassion; and individual differences. I supervise PhD students researching these areas.

I am the Deputy Chair for the Compassion, Contemplation and Emotion Regulation Research Group, and Deputy Chair for the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care Research Group. 

Teaching responsibilities

I teach campus-based students at undergraduate and masters levels. I am the Employability Lead for Psychology. I am also the Module Leader for Psychology in the Modern World 4PS502, Psychology Nature and Wellbeing 5PS524, Skills and Careers in Psychology 5PS532 and 7PS532 Research and Evaluation.

I teach on the following undergraduate modules:

I also teach on the following postgraduate modules, supporting the MSc Behaviour Change and Masters of Research programmes and supervise MSc research projects.

In addition, I also deliver short courses relating to evaluation, quantitative research methods and statistics and Wellbeing in the Workplace.

Professional interests

After graduating from the University of Derby with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Social Science in 1995, I went on to study for my PhD under the supervision of Dr Keith Clements. My PhD examined the relationship between alcohol consumption and smoking and how various factors such as social context, social interaction and individual differences might interact with this relationship.

Following the successful completion of my PhD, I then went on to work for the Police for four years, in various roles including Research Assistant, Head of Market Research and Acting Head of Performance Standards and Review. Following this, I worked for seven years as a Community Safety Manager for a local authority.

I returned to the University of Derby as Lecturer in Psychology in 2012 and now teach on modules across the BSc and MSc programmes. I am particularly interested in teaching about the relationship between nature and wellbeing, personality and individual differences and quantitative research methods. I undertake research and evaluation projects for external organisations and I also develop and run short courses such as Introduction to Evaluation; Wellbeing in the Workplace; and Compassionate Communication for Further and Higher Education.

Research interests

My current research interests are focused on i) nature and wellbeing; ii) compassion in education, iii) aspects of individual differences.

My research explores the relationship between nature connectedness and wellbeing for children and adults. I am particularly interested in understanding more about the impact of Nature Connection on wellbeing and identifying interventions that may help to improve individuals' connection to nature. As part of this work, I am also involved in evaluating initiatives aimed at improving nature connection and increasing access to nature for individuals who may not always find it easy to access nature.

I have worked with a range of organisations to evaluate various projects and initiatives, having worked with several of the Royal Wildlife Trusts including Derbyshire Wildlife Trust; Suffolk Wildlife Trust; Birmingham and the Black Country Wildlife Trust; Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside Wildlife Trust; and Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust. Previously I have worked on projects with the RSPB, and more recently I have worked on evaluation projects for St Ann's Allotments and with the Outward Bound Trust supported by Generation Green funding as part of the Green Recovery Challenge Fund. 

Working as part of a collaborative team, we recently produced a nature activity resource pack designed for people with babies and young children. This first phase of the pack has 12 activities, and has been funded as part of a partnership with Derby City Council Family Hubs. They hope to expand the pack with future funding to help support nature connectedness across the lifespan. The resource is freely available by clicking on the link below.

Connecting Families with Nature: A Nature Connectedness Activity Handbook : University of Derby Repository (Holland, Harvey & Barnes, 2024)

I am currently researching the impact of embedding compassionate approaches within education where I am currently leading a research project which aims to embed the micro-skills of compassionate communication into the Higher Education curriculum by introducing a new pedagogic approach. It is hoped that this approach will improve students' experience of group work.

Finally, I am also working as part of a research team investigating the relationship between different types of beliefs, wellbeing and individual differences in personality. Recently one of my PhD students successfully developed a new scale to measure the dark personality traits called The Dark Side of Humanity Scale.

Membership of professional bodies


Undergraduate qualifications 

Research qualifications

Postgraduate qualifications

Recent conferences


Conference presentations

Experience in industry

During my time working in the public sector for the police and local authority, I gained considerable experience in project management and partnership working. 

I recently worked on "Play Wild" a Heritage Lottery-funded project with a range of partner organisations. The aim of the project was to encourage families with young children, who live in relatively deprived areas, to spend more time playing outdoors in nature. Working with Dr Fiona Holland, from the University of Derby, our role was to ensure the project was effectively evaluated.

I am currently working on a number of evaluation and research projects including:

Recent publications

Peer-reviewed journal publications

Book Chapters


Technical Reports

children's hands and feet in a team circle

Dr Caroline Harvey and Dr Frances Maratos explore the impact of the pandemic on group working.