School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

Staff Profiles

Dr Sue Pattison

Lecturer in Education and Communication and Director of Integrated Phd in Education and Communication



Sue is Lecturer in Education and Counselling and has strong experience of working in all four nations of the UK, Africa, the Middle-East and Asia. She gained her Phd in Education and Counselling from Durham University, where she also taught in the prestigious Centre for Counselling Studies (CESCO), based in the School of Education. Sue is also Director of the Integrated Phd (IPhd) in Education and Communication and has many years of experience working with international students from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Her main research interests are the social and emotional health and well-being of children and young people in educational and other settings including school counselling and the use of Digital Technology to improve children's emotional wellbeing, for example, Interactive Tabletops and Play Therapy.  She also has an interest in the internationalization of univerities in the UK and the international student experience.


Sue joined the University in 2000 as a member of the Centre for International Studies in Education after teaching in the School of Education at Durham University for several years and a previous responsibity for inclusion of young people with special educational needs in the further education sector. Her experience includes the provision of therapeutic interventions to children, young people and adults and consultancy in the UK and overseas, along with an advisory role to UK and overseas governments.

Sue is well-known as an expert in the field of counselling in schools and Digital Technology (interactive Tabletops) to improve children and young people's wellbeing. She works in parnership and collaboration with local and overseas schools, UK and overseas Education Ministries, overseas universities, including King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Manchester University UK, Keele University UK, Glyndwr University, UK (Wales), Queensland University, Australia; also third sector organisations and charitable trusts: PlayTherapyUK, Place2Be, Total Learning Challenge; and professional body, British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Director IPhd Education and Communication
  • University Disciplinary Committee Chair and Member 
  • Convenor of ECLS Ethics Committee
  • Chair DAppEdPsy Board of Examiners
  • Chair EDPsy Doctorate Board of Examiners
  • Doctoral and Masters student supervisor
  • Module Leader: Counselling, Communication and Culture
  • Module Leader: Emaotional Intelligence and Leadership
  • Teaching: HSS8004, Faculty research Methods programme: Qualitative Methods 


  • PhD (Education/Counselling)
  • MA Counselling Studies
  • PG Dip Counselling
  • PGCE
  • NHS qualifications include Reg. H.V., Nurse Prescriber, RGN.


  • BACP Accredited Counsellor/Psychotherapist
  • Executive Committee Member: British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy 

Honours and Awards

Community Care Award 2003 (Learning Disability Counselling Project)


Research Interests

Counselling in education, counselling children and young people in other contexts, special educational needs, inclusion, international counsellor training and education.

Other Expertise

Research methodologies include qualitative, quantitative, evaluations and systematic review methods.
Supervision of counselling/psychology based research projects and sensitive interviewing techniques, including interviewing elites.

Current Work

Research Projects:

  • Evaluation of Welsh Assembly Governments Primary Pilot in Wrexham, Wales.
  • Evaluation of the roll-out of school based counselling strategy in Wales.
  • Use of technology in child therapy/emothional wellbeing in primary schools
  • Evaluating school counselling in the Gambia
  • Counselling in Higher Education in Saudi Arabia
  • Therapeutic interventions in schools in Tehran, Iran.
  • Evaluating school counselling in the North of England
  • Mapping emotional and social wellbeing interventions in schools in England

Future Research

  • Mapping counselling in schools and the hidden voices' of young people with learning disabilities in counselling.
  • Evaluating counselling in Kenya
  • Further developing the use of technology for chhildren's mmental health and wellbeing

Postgraduate Supervision

Phd and IPhd and Masters students in the fields:

  • Children and young people's emotional wellbeing
  • Special educational needs
  • Inclusion; and international education
  • International education
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Teaching and learning
  • Behavioural problems in children
  • Leadership and emotional intelligence
  • Counselling and psychotherapy

 Esteem Indicators

Reviewer for research conference paper submissions British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)
Reviewer 'Children and Cancer' and 'Children and Depression, BACP/NICE (National Institute Clinical Excellence, NHS)
Reviewer/development involvement 'Young Person's CORE': a psycho-social assessment tool for children and young people currently undergoing standardisation. BACP/University of Leeds
Peer reviewer British Journal Guidance and Counselling
Peer reviewer Sage Publications
BERA 2005 Conference paper:

"Adding value to education: issues in conducting a systematic scoping review of the research evidence on counselling children and young people" indexed and included in Education-line.and listed in the British Index.


'Counselling Children and Young People: A Systematic Review of the Research' commissioned and funded by BACP (6000)
Evaluating the Effectiveness of School Counselling for Girls in the Gambia, funded by BACP.(5000)

Industrial Relevance

My research and resulting publications are used as a basis for evidence based practice in counselling children and young people. The report 'Research on Counselling Children and Young People: A Systematic Scoping Review'has been purchased by LEAs, school counselling services and other organisations/service providers/individuals concerned with children and young peoples' mental health and well-being.


Postgraduate Teaching

Module Leader for:

  • Counselling, Culture and Communication
  • Emotional Intelligence and Leadership


  • Emotional Intelligence and Leadership
  • HSS8004 Qualitative Research Methods: Interviewing Elites