Staff profile

Dr Philip Clarke

Lecturer in Psychology


Sport and Exercise Science


College of Science and Engineering


School of Human Sciences, University of Derby Online Learning

Research centre

Human Sciences Research Centre




Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



Before taking the role as Lecturer in Psychology at UDOL, I worked as an Associate Lecturer for 4 years at the main University of Derby campus for the Sport and Exercise Science team. I taught on the Academic and Research skills modules, alongside all the Sport and Exercise Psychology Modules whilst completing my PhD.  My area of expertise is in performance under pressure, the psychological predictors and mechanism’s associated, specifically for 'choking' and 'the yips' within sport.

Teaching responsibilities

I currently am an associate lecturer for a number of modules including:

I am also providing supervision for a few third year dissertations on the Independent Studies for Sport and Exercise module (6SO999).

Professional interests

I graduated from the University of Wales Aberystwyth in 2010 with a BSc (First Class Honours) degree in Sport and Exercise Science. I have completed an MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology from Bangor University in north Wales in September 2011 and am currently awaiting my final result with the prospect of graduating in the summer of 2012. I am starting my PhD in Sport Psychology within the Department from January 2012 onwards. I have provided psychological support for athletes in sports such as ultra-marathon running, Gaelic football, soccer and golf. I was appointed as an Associate Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology in October 2011.

Research interests

My research interests focus on a range of factors associated with performance psychology. My interests predominately lie in performance under pressure and investigating the choking and the yips in sport, which is also the focus of my PhD. I also have an interest in the use of different mental skills for elite performance and skill acquisition, for example self-talk and imagery.

Membership of professional bodies


Recent conferences

Additional interests and activities

I have received much success playing Gaelic football to date, including being part of the British University Division 2 winning team in 2011 during my time at Bangor University. As well as winning medals playing for both my club and county in Ireland at underage level.

My biggest sporting achievement to date was being part of the "Run for Cancer" team which entailed running the length of Ireland (417 miles) in 13 days. The team was comprised of my good friend Michael O'Reilly and me, with the goal to raise funds for two local cancer support centres. The task meant we ran on average 33 miles a day. This worked out at nearly 16 marathons in 13 days, which we completed with no previous marathon or running experience before the training started 5 months prior. We raised €64,313.00 in total for the charities.

I am currently planning my next ultra-endurance event!

In the media

During my run for cancer in Ireland I was on numerous local radio stations and featured in local and national newspapers prior to and during the event.

Recent publications

Clarke, P., Sheffield, D., & Akehurst, A. (2015). The yips in sport: A systematic review. International Review of Sport and Exercise Psychology. 8 (1), 156-184.


Badges showing the flags of England and Croatia

Dr Philip Clarke, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, discusses what England need to do to stay calm in the World Cup semi-final.

Dr Philip Clarke, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, discusses time management in the first phase of psychological support for cyclist Leigh Timmis.

Ahead of Leigh Timmis' Guinness World Record attempt for the fastest cycle across mainland Europe, Dr Philip Clarke and Dr Mark Faghy provide insight into the strategies incorporated into an elite athlete's training programme.

red running track with 800

How do athletes keep their cool under extreme pressure? Dr Philip Clarke, Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Derby Online Learning, explores.

Purple trainers

Whether you’re gearing up for your first marathon or a 10km, long distance running is a mental battle as well as a physical one. Philip Clarke, Lecturer in Psychology at University of Derby Online Learning, discusses how to train your mind for long distance running.

Mug with the word UGH on it, and coffee being poured

Dr Philip Clarke, Psychologist at University of Derby Online Learning, explains why Blue Monday is a myth and shares his top tips on how to cheer yourself up in January.

Drawing and pens