Staff Profile

  • Dr Melinda Spencer is Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for Joint Honours Health Studies at the University of Northampton. Since 2013, Melinda has taught on psychology undergraduate modules and presently leads and teaches on several undergraduate and postgraduate modules in Health Studies, Health Sciences, Sport and Psychology including Health and Society, Psychology in Practice, Health in Later Life, Integrated Perspectives on Disease, Physical Activity and Society, Epidemiology, Research Methods and Dissertations.

    Prior to lecturing, Melinda worked on several research projects with the Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Northampton. Melinda’s main research interests are family life transitions and relationships, familial carers, dancing for health and wellbeing, visual methods and experiential research methodologies. Her PhD research explored the lived experiences of becoming and being a young maternal grandmother using Interpretative phenomenological analysis. Melinda is part of a group of researchers at the University of Northampton working with Northamptonshire Sport to explore Hotspots of physical inactivity within the county and the impact and evaluation of social prescribing. She is also collaborating with researchers at the Open University and Diabetes UK on several research projects. Melinda is currently supervising two PhD students and a Professional Doctorate student at the University of Northampton.


    • Doctor of Philosophy, July 2017, University of Northampton.
    • BA (Hons) Psychology with Health Studies, June 2008, University of Northampton.

    Professional Affiliations

    • Fellow of The Higher Education Academy.
  • Module leader

    • SLS1005 Health and Society
    • SPO1039 How to be successful at University
    • SLS2022 Health in Later Life
    • SLS2028 Epidemiology
    • SLS2029 Theories, Perspectives and Concepts in Health Sociology and Health Psychology
    • SPO3043 Physical Activity and Society

    Module tutor

    • PSY1001 Psychology in Practice
    • SLS2027 Research Methods in Health
    • SLS3007 Integrated Perspectives on Disease
    • SLS4001, 4002, 4006 Dissertations
    • SPO4001, 4002, 4006 Dissertations
  • Current Research activity/collaborations

    • Research collaboration with Dr Nichola Kentzer (Open University) – What are the experiences of being a full time familial carer of a stroke survivor?
    • An evaluation of the Elders’ Dance Company pilot contemporary dance programme – Dancemind.
    • Research collaboration with Dr Rosalia Gracia (Open University), Dr Nichola Kentzer (Open University), Dr Alex Berry (Diabetes UK), and Dr Jitka Vseteckova (Open University) – The impact of dance and movement on cognitive function and quality of life of older adults in the community with and without dementias and Parkinson’s: a systematic review.
    • Walking the Parks – Evaluating Family Outings for People Living with Dementia

    PhD / Professional Doctorate Supervision

    • Ms Louise Spiers (2014 – 2021) – A Transpersonal Understanding of Spiritual Experiences in Individuals with Epilepsy.
    • Mrs Debbie Kilsby (2016-2022) – Transitions to parenthood; care experienced young fathers’ perspectives.
    • Mrs Hadiza Azi (2018 – 2022) – The impact of culture on maternal health service utilisation among women of reproductive age 15-49 years in Bauchi state, north-eastern Nigeria.
  • For publications, projects, datasets, research interests and activities, view Melinda Spencer’s research profile on Pure, the University of Northampton’s Research Explorer.