School of Psychology

Staff Profiles

Dr Helen St Clair-Thompson

Senior Lecturer



I came to the University of Newcastle in 2013 following eight years as a lecturer at the University of Hull. I have experience of teaching and research in a range of areas of psychology. I have published on topics including working memory and executive functions, mental toughness, burnout, and the benefits of psychology placements. I am also interested in the teaching and learning of psychology, including assessment and employability.  

I am an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. I have also held a number of external roles, including as external examiner. I was a member of the British Psychological Society Cognitive Section Committee from 2010 until 2017, and am currently a member of the British Psychological Society Undergraduate Education Committee. I have a number of editorial responsibilities, including for Educational Psychology and Frontiers in Psychology. 




I am particularly interested in psychology applied to education. I am interested in the concept of mental toughness, describing how we deal with stress and pressure irrespective of prevailing circumstances. I have carried out research concerned with mental toughness in educational settings but am also interested in mental toughness applied to other areas including cognition and health.

Some of my other research is concerned with working memory, a cognitive system used for storing and processing information during cognitive tasks. I am interested in the cognitive underpinnings of working memory and performance on working memory tasks, and how working memory (and associated executive functions) relate to children's educational achievement.

I am also interested in the teaching and learning of psychology, and a member of a special interest group for educational research in psychology. I am interested in several aspects of teaching and learning, including assessment and feedback, and work placements and employability.


PSY3000 Psychology Professional Placement Year

PSY3027 Disorders of Development: A Psychological Perspective

PSY3031 The Psychology of Teaching and Learning 

PSY8044 Advanced Topics in Disorders of Development

PSY3097 and PSY8037 Project Supervision 

BSc Psychology Senior Tutor

UG Chair of Board of Examiners  

DELT (Director of Excellence in Learning and Teaching) for Psychology