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 teaching a range of topics in psychology. I have published on the subject of working memory, and more recently on the topic of mental toughness. 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 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 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.


PSY1012 Introduction to Psychology for Joint Honours

PSY3000 Psychology Professional Placement Year

PSY3027 Disorders of Development: A Psychological Perspective

PSY3031 The Psychology of Teaching and Learning 

PSY8044 Disorders of Development: A Psychological Perspective

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Project Supervision 

BSc Psychology Senior Tutor