Staff profile

Dr Sophie Williams


Assistant Head of Discipline: Psychological and Behavioural Sciences

Dr Sophie Williams outside




College of Health, Psychology and Social Care


University of Derby Online Learning





I am the Assistant Head of Discipline for Psychological and Behavioural Sciences in the School of Psychology. I'm also the programme director for the BSc (Hons) Psychology online. Overall, my research focuses on women's health and long-term conditions and this is often featured in my teaching on the psychology programmes.

Teaching responsibilities

My teaching is focused within health psychology and qualitative methods. Often focusing on women's health (including maternal health) and long-term conditions. I also supervise research project students in these areas at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. I mostly teach in online programmes, including:

Research interests

I have a particular research focus on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) which crosses the two areas. My research in this area focuses on the experience of the condition, its impact on quality of life, and also its association with psychological distress and mental health. 

My recent research projects in this area explore PCOS and mental health, including non-suicidal self-injury and emotion regulation. We are currently exploring the role and experience of these factors for women with PCOS.

I am also currently Director of Studies for the following PhD project "Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), suicide ideation and emotion regulation in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)", a collaboration with the University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW) NHS Trust.

Membership of professional bodies

I am a member of the following professional bodies:

Androgen-Excess and PCOS Society

British Psychological Society

The Higher Education Academy


Recent conferences

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In the media

My research has been featured in the media over the years, including BBC radio, Derby Telegraph, and other various websites and sources. 

Recent publications


A person holding their hands out together in a thoughtful way

Dr Sophie Williams, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology, discusses her research into polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and its cost on the mental health of women and girls. Please note, this blog discusses suicide, self-harm and child bereavement. Please consider carefully the impact it may have on you before reading.

Dr Sophie Williams, Academic Lead in Psychology at the University of Derby, looks at the reason why pregnant women have been excluded from clinical trials for the Covid-19 vaccine and the history behind the decision. 

Woman typing on a laptop

Dr Sophie Williams from the University of Derby, discuss how strategies from performance psychology can help when returning to work after maternity leave.

Person with brown hair looking to the left

Dr Sophie Williams, academic lead in Psychology at University of Derby talks about why we need to raise awareness of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).