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 body image, nature connections, behaviour change and positive psychology. I also work in the academic enterprise, leading workshops and training sessions for applied professionals and postgraduate researchers, this focuses especially on matters such as behaviour change, qualitative methods and communication skills. 

Teaching responsibilities

I am the health and wellbeing pathway leader for 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 undergraduate, masters and doctoral 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:

  • Behaviour Change
  • Body esteem
  • Breast cancer and body image
  • Benefits of well-being interventions on psychological health
  • Occupational well-being
  • Qualitative research
  • Compassionate communication

I supervise undergraduate and postgraduate projects 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 also interested in Photo-elicitation methods. For PhD projects, I can also supervise mixed methods projects. I am available for external examining for IPA doctoral projects. Please email me if you would like to explore a research idea.

Membership of professional bodies

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

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


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 conferences

  • My presentations over the last few years have been varied as I work with students, colleagues at Derby and at other institutions, and in other organisations. I am committed to disseminating my research to maximise its impact.

  • I have been involved in supporting my students' work and this has been disseminated in a variety of fields at regional conferences (health psychology, qualitative methods). Topics have including the lived experience of Western adopters’of Buddhism, single fathers' experiences of parenting, industrial labourers experiences of well-being at work and Indian Women's experiences of street harassment.

  • I have presented the research I have conducted with colleagues around breast cancer at national conferences e.g. the Appearance Matters Conference in London (2016). More recently I presented a methodological paper about hermeneutics in Glasgow at the International Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Conference (2018).

  • I have also been involved in the evaluation of applied behaviour change interventions and have presented this work in two ways- as 'how-to' workshops and also as a presentation of the outcomes of a collaboration ('Play Wild') with the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. These have been presented at the Nature Connections Conference in Derby (2017, 2018).

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, 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 Exhange programme for a University 'health & wellbeing' summer school.

I have been an invited speaker in the USA, and have presented research and trainings 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 

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

Holland, F, Peterson, K & 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. & 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 & 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.