Staff profile

Dr Fiona Holland

Senior Lecturer, Psychology

Woman smiling, wearing glasses




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


School of Psychology

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Senior Lecturer in the Psychology department, supporting both undergraduate, masters and PhD level students in modules and research projects that link with health and wellbeing. I am actively engaged in research and I have a particular interest in nature connections, behaviour change, body appreciation and positive psychology. I also work in the academic enterprise, leading workshops and training sessions for applied professionals and postgraduate researchers on topics such as qualitative methods, motivational interviewing and communication skills. I also conduct consultancy for external partners to support them in designing and evaluating behaviour change and nature connection interventions.

Teaching responsibilities

I am a core member of the teaching team on the MSc in Behaviour Change. I also teach on both the undergraduate psychology programme and the MSc health psychology programme, particularly in the areas of qualitative research methods, professional applications of psychology, motivational interviewing/communication skills, body image and psychological wellbeing. I supervise postgraduate research projects. 

Research interests

My research interests all sit within health and well-being. I am part of the Centre for Psychological Research and the Nature Connectedness Research group. 

I am particularly interested in:

I supervise postgraduate research and have a particular interest in qualitative projects that explore the lived experiences of participants. I have expertise in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and interview-based approaches. I am available for external examination for IPA doctoral projects. Please email me if you would like to explore a research idea.

Membership of professional bodies

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Member of the Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT) and MINT UK and Ireland


Undergraduate Qualifications

Postgraduate Qualifications 

Research Qualifications 

Recent conferences

Experience in industry

After completing my masters degree in Minnesota, I spent 16 years working in a variety of health and well-being roles in the US including directing wellness programmes for University employees and at a large retirement community. I also had my own wellness-based business for 9 years in North Carolina.

I have experience working collaboratively with professionals in a variety of industries and charities. These include evaluation work for the Derbyshire and Suffolk Wildlife Trusts, research collaboration with Breast Cancer Care, and consultancy work with BAE, Derby City Council, Active Lincolnshire and Health Education England.

I continue to be involved in behaviour change in practice outside of my academic role. I do behaviour change consultancy work, Motivational interviewing training, and run a weekly Nordic walking group in the Peak District, supporting people to become more active and connected to nature (and each other).

Please contact me if you are interested in working collaboratively on a project.

International experience

I studied, worked and taught in the USA for 16 years. I have also taught in Finland on an Erasmus Exchange programme for a University 'health and wellbeing' summer school.

I have been an invited speaker in the USA, and have presented research and training internationally. 

I have collaborated with research colleagues from overseas and enjoy cross-disciplinary working.

In the media

I have been an invited speaker for a variety of media outlets including BBC Radio Derby, Radio Nottingham and Radio Sheffield. My work has also been featured in the mainstream press.

Recent publications

Visit my complete research profile here 

Barnes, C., Harvey, C., Holland, F., and Wall, S. (2021). Development and testing of the Nature Connectedness Parental Self-Efficacy (NCPSE) scale. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, 127343.

Laurent, N, Holland, F and Sheffield, D (2021) Exploring Buddhism as a ‘tool’ to support well-being: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Western Adopters’ Experiences. Pastoral Psychology, 20, 471-485

Montague, J., Phillips, E., Holland, F. and Archer, S (2020) Expanding hermeneutic horizons: Working as multiple researchers and with multiple participants. Research Methods in Medicine and Health Sciences, 1, (1)

Khan, S, Holland, F, Williams, S and Montague, J (2019) Dispositive Analysis-overview and proposed approach. Qualitative Methods in Psychology, 28

Holland, F, Peterson, K and Archer, S. (2018) Thresholds of size: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of childhood messages around food, body, health and weight. Journal of Critical Dietetics. February, 4 (1), 25-35

Archer, S., Holland, F. and Montague, J. (2016) Do you mean I’m not whole?’ Exploring the role of support in women’s experiences of mastectomy without reconstruction. Journal of Health Psychology, 1359105316664135

Holland, F (2016) Reading between the lines. International Therapist, 118, 42-43

Holland, F (2016) Choosing not to reconstruct- post-mastectomy: Exploring younger women’s experiences. Nursing Network News, Breast Cancer Care UK

Holland, F, Archer, S and Montague, J (2014) Younger women’s experiences of deciding against delayed breast reconstruction post-mastectomy following breast cancer: An interpretative phenomenological analysis Journal of Health Psychology 

Holland, F. (2014). Teaching in Higher Education: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis in Sage Research Methods Cases. London: Sage

McLaren, N., Mackereth, P., Hackman, E.and HollandF. (2014) Working out of the ‘toolbox’: an exploratory study with complementary therapists in acute cancer care. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice

Wagstaff, C., Jeong, H., Nolan, M., Wilson, A., Tweedlie, J., Phillips, E., Senu H. & Holland, F. (2014). The accordion and the deep bowl of spaghetti: Eight researchers’ experiences of using IPA as a methodology TheQualitative Report, 19. 47: 1-15, p.7-9

Holland, F. (2007) ‘Bringing the Body to Life: Using Multiple Intelligence Theory in the Classroom’. SportEx Dynamics (14) 1, p.6-8


A head shot of a young woman wearing a disposable facemask

Dr Jenny Lunt, Lecturer in Health Psychology, and Dr Fiona Holland, Senior Lecturer in Psychology & Behaviour Change at the University of Derby, give their top tips on what to do and say if people fail to wear face coverings or face masks.

A mug with

In this blog Dr Fiona Holland, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, discusses whether a positive psychology intervention could make a difference for those working in healthcare settings.

Scrabble letters reading time for change

Dr. Fiona Holland, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, looks at how motivational interviewing can help people make positive changes.

Chocolate cupcakes

Fiona Holland, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby, explains why giving something up for Lent is hard and offers her top tips to help you achieve it.

Someone holding out their hand into a dark background

Fiona Holland, Psychology Lecturer, discusses what to say and what not to say to someone with cancer ahead of World Cancer Day on February 4, 2017.