Dr Fiona Holland

Position: Senior Lecturer, Psychology

College: College of Life & Natural Sciences

Department: Life Sciences

Subject area: Psychology

Research Centre: Centre for Psychological Research

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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 particular interest in body image, nature connections, behaviour change and positive psychology.

Teaching responsibilities

I am the health and wellbeing pathway leader for the MSc in Behaviour Change. I 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, body image and psychological wellbeing. I also supervise undergraduate, masters and doctoral research projects.

Professional interests

I am part of the Health & Wellbeing Research cluster and the Nature Connectedness Research group.

Research interests

My research interests all sit within health and well-being. I am particularly interested in:

  • Body esteem
  • People's experiences of living in non-normative bodies
  • Breast cancer and body image
  • Benefits of well-being interventions (eg massage, yoga, meditation, physical activity) on psychological health
  • Motivation and adherence to wellbeing interventions
  • Occupational stress and coping
  • Qualitative research.

Membership of professional bodies

Senior Fellow: Higher Education Academy


Undergraduate Qualifications

  • BA PE/Sports Science and English Literature, Loughborough University.

Postgraduate Qualifications 

  • MA Kinesiology (Sport Psychology focus), University of Minnesota
  • PGCE PE/ English, Loughborough University
  • Postgraduate Supervision Module, University of Derby.

Research Qualifications 

  • Professional Doctorate (Ed. D), University of Derby.

Recent publications


  • Holland, F, Archer, S & 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 (in press)
  • Holland, F & Sheffield, D (2014) A time to change. REPS Journal (in press)
  • 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 Holland, F. (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 The Qualitative Report, 19. 47: 1-15
  • Treweek, K. and Holland, F. (2013) Exercise Professionals and Autoimmune conditions: Is more access to training required? REPs Journal, 28, p 17-19.
  • Maxfield, L. and Holland, F. (2013) ‘Client-centred massage has positive effect on body image: A case study’. The International Therapist. [Online] Available from: www.fht.org.uk/rr/complementary/massagebodyimage
  • Holland, F. (2011) ‘Body Talk’. The International Therapist, (98), pp.36-38. http://www.fht.org.uk/MainWebSite/Resources/DOCUMENT/GI_body_image_Oct11.pdf
  • Holland, F. and Meeks, S. (2009) ‘Designing an effective Senior Exercise Class’ SportEx Health (22), pp.14-16.
  • Holland, F. (2009) ‘Body Image: Instrument or Ornament?’ SportEx Dynamics (21), pp.7-9.
  • Holland, F. (2007) ‘Bringing the Body to Life: Using Multiple Intelligence Theory in the Classroom’. SportEx Dynamics (14) 1, p.6-8.


Recent conferences

  • Holland, F. Montague, J., Phillips E. and Archer, S. Working Collaboratively to explore women's experiences of breast and gynaecological cancer: A symposium. BPS Developmental and Social Section conference, Manchester, 2015.
  • Lawson, K., Holland, F. & Montague, J. After Angelina: media representations of women genetically at risk for breast cancer. Applied Qualitative Research in Psychology conference, July 2015, Derby.
  • Holland, F. Viva la viva-voce! A supervisor's guide to doctoral students' viva preparation and support. Poster. University of Derby Learning and Teaching conference, July 2015, Buxton.
  • Holland, F. Exploring women's lived experience: Choices and challenges in health care settings. Storying as knowledge making: A symposium. Invited speaker. University of North Carolina, Asheville, April 2015.
  • Holland, F and Peterson, K. ' I love my roundy body': Lived experiences of healthy, non-dieting women who live outside the medically determined ideal weight range. British Sociological Association's Ageing, Body and Society group 6th annual conference, November 2014, London.
  • Holland, F. Behaviour Change. Nordic Walking UK Annual Conference, September 2014, Stratford-upon-Avon.
  • Holland, F. Body image after breast cancer. Manchester Royal Infirmary Annual Reunion. Keynote address. Manchester, April, 2014.
  • Archer, S, Holland F, Montague J. ‘Do you mean I’m not whole?’: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of younger women’s experiences of electing to not undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy following breast cancer. British Psychosocial Oncology Society Conference, February 2014, Preston.
  • Montague, J, Holland, F & Archer, S. The experience of going against ‘the norm’: Younger women making decisions around non- reconstruction. Midlands Health Psychology network conference, February 2014,Northampton
  • Holland, F. and Peterson, K. (July, 2013) Stepping off the 'treadmill of fret': An interpretative phenomenological analysis of healthy women who live outside the biomedically defined ideal weight range. BPS Psychology of Women Section Annual Conference, Windsor, UK
  • Holland, F., Montague, J and Archer, S. (May, 2013) Do you mean I'm not whole? An interpretative phenomenological analysis of younger women's experiences of electing to not undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy following breast cancer. 10th annual Psychology Health and Medicine Conference, Dublin City University, Republic of Ireland.
  • Holland, F.G. (July, 2012) Building body esteem: re-evaluating judgements about the bodies we live in and work with. 50th anniversary conference for the Federation of Holistic Therapists, Warwickshire, UK
  • Holland, F.G. & Peterson, K. (June , 2012) Thinking outside the (BMI) box: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of healthy women who live outside the biomedically defined ideal weight range. Second Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research, Milan, Italy.
  • Holland, F.G. and Curtis, S. (May, 2012) Strategies for living well in a weight-obsessed world: Health at every size and body esteem, Body Diversity and Peace conference, Berlin, Germany.

Additional interests and activities

I am the chair of the Buxton tennis club, a member of the High Peak Triathlon Club, teach Nordic Walking and also enjoy training and riding horses using natural horsemanship techniques.

Experience in industry

After completing my masters' degree in Minnesota, I spent 16 years working in a variety of health and wellbeing roles in the US. I was Assistant Director for employee wellness at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and then became a lead instructor at the Body Therapy Institute, a nationally recognised training school for massage therapists in North Carolina. I created a integrated wellness programme for a large retirement community in Chapel Hill, NC and also ran my own wellness consultancy and massage practice for 9 years.

I returned to the UK in 2006 to teach in HE at the University of Derby's Buxton campus within their Sport, Health and Exercise team and joined the Psychology department in 2013. I continue to be involved in behaviour change in practice and run a weekly nordic walking group in the Peak District, supporting people to become more active and connected to nature (and each other).

International experience

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

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

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