Dr Michelle Tytherleigh

Senior University Teaching Fellow, Senior Lecturer

Michelle is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and, more recently, was appointed to the role of Senior University Teaching Fellow (SUTF) for the Faculty of Social Science.  As a Senior University Teaching Fellow, Michelle’s role is to provide leadership in the enhancement of academic practice and to disseminate good practice at Faculty and University levels and, aligned to this, Michelle has a passionate interest in identifying and adopting a strengths–based approach to learning and teaching.  Her core teaching are psychological wellbeing (both generally and in a workplace setting), occupational psychology and positive psychology, and with research interests linked to emotional intelligence, resilience, hope and character strengths.


Having embarked on academia after 16 years of working in industry, Michelle has a BSc (Hons) degree in Psychology from the University of Liverpool and a PhD from the University of Bristol, where she carried out research looking at the effects of stress hormones (cortisol) on memory.  Since joining the University of Chester, Michelle has also completed her Postgraduate Teaching Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education (PGCELTHE) and in Research Student Supervision.   


Michelle joined the Department of Psychology in June 2008, having previously worked as a post-doc Research Fellow at the University of Bath on a Leadership Foundation-funded project exploring the characteristics, roles and selection of UK University Leaders.  She is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and an Associate Fellow and Chartered Member of the British Psychological Society (including the Division of Teachers and Researchers). She is also the Chair of the Learning and Teaching Ethics Research Committee and, in her role as Senior University Teaching Fellow (SUTF), represents the Faculty of Social Science on several Faculty and University-wide Committees, including the Faculty of Social Science and Learning and Teaching Institute Boards of Studies.  She is also responsible, with fellow SUTFs, for implementing the Continuing Professional Development Framework across the University of Chester.

Outside the University, Michelle is a peer reviewer for several empirical journals, a book reviewer for Pearson’s Education and Open University Press, and an external examiner for PhD students for the University of Wolverhampton, UK and North West University, South Africa.

Contact details

Email: m.tytherleigh@chester.ac.uk

Tel: 01244 511790


Michelle teaches and supervises students in Psychology on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules.  In particular: Core Topics (4010); Psychological Wellbeing (PS4013 – for which Michelle is also the Module Leader); Applications of Psychology in Education (PS4016); Psychology and Lifestyle (PS4017); Research Dissertation (PS6001); Recent Developments and Trends in Psychology (PS6005); and the Masters Research Dissertation (PS7112). She also teaches on the PGCE (LTHE).  In particular: Designing and Delivering for Effective Teaching (HE7101); and Evaluation and Discipline Pedagogic Project (HE7103).


Michelle’s key research interests include: well-being (both, generally and at work); positive psychology (in particular, emotional intelligence, resilience, hope and character strengths); and pedagogy and learning.  

Published work

Breakwell, G.M. & Tytherleigh, M.Y. (2010). University Leaders and University Performance in the United Kingdom - Is it ‘who' leads or ‘where' they lead that matters most? Higher Education60, 491-506.

P.A. Jacobs, M.Y. Tytherleigh, C. Webb and C.L. Cooper (in press, accepted in Aug 2009). Breaking the mould: the impact of working in a gender-congruent versus -incongruent role on self-reported sources of stress, organisational commitment and health in UK universities. International Journal of Stress Management17(1), 21-37.

Barkhuizen, N., Rothmann, S.I., & Tytherleigh, M.Y (2009). A Model of Work-Related Health of Academic Staff in a South African Higher Education Institution. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology29 (4): 101-106.

Breakwell, G.M. & Tytherleigh, M.Y. (2008). The Characteristics, Roles and Selection of Vice-Chancellors. Report for: Leadership Foundation for Higher Education; Research and Development Series.

Lynch, C. & Tytherleigh, M.Y. (2012). "Untapping resources: Character strengths and performance in a customer facing role". Poster presentation given at the British Psychology Society's Division of Occupational Psychology Annual Conference: "Delivering Excellence - Stimulating, Informing and Engaging our profession, held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Chester, 11-13 January 2012.

Tytherleigh, M.Y. (2012). "Preparing for the 'expected' from the 2012/12 Academic Year: Learning from the 2012/12 first year undergraduate psychology student". Poster presentation to be given at the Higher Education Academy Annual Conference 2012: "Great Expectations - are you ready?", being held at the University of Manchester, 3-4 July 2012.

Breakwell, G.M. & Tytherleigh, M.Y. (2007) UK University Leaders at the turn of the 21st Century: changing patterns in their socio-demographic characteristics. Higher Education: An international Journal of Higher Education and Planning56 (1); 109-12.

Cartwright, Susan, Tytherleigh, Michelle & Robertson, Susannah. (2007). Are Mergers Always Stressful? Some evidence from the higher education sector. European Journal of Work and Organisational Psychology16(4), 456-478.

Jacobs, P.A., Tytherleigh, M.Y., Webb, C. & Cooper, C.L. (2007) Predictors of work performance among Higher Education employees: An examination using the ASSET model of stress.International Journal of Stress Management14, 199-210.

Tytherleigh, M.Y., Jacobs, P.A., Webb, C., & Ricketts, C. (2007) Gender, health and stress in English university staff - Exposure or Vulnerability. Applied Psychology; An International Journal ,56(2), 267-287.

Thornton, E.W., Bundred, P., Tytherleigh, M., & Davies, A. (2006). Anxiety, depression and myocardian infarction: a survey of their impact on consultation rates before and after an acute primary episode. British Journal of Cardiology13 (3), May-June 2006.

Tytherleigh, M.Y., Webb. C., Cooper, C.L. & Ricketts, C. (2005). Occupational stress in UK Higher Education Institutions: a comparative study of all staff categories. Higher Education Research & Development24(1), 41-61.

Tytherleigh, M., Vedhara, K., & Lightman, S.L. (2004). Mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors and their differential effects on memory performance in people with Addison's disease.Psychoneuroendocrinology29, 712-723.

Tytherleigh, M. (2003). What employers may learn from English Higher Education Institutions : A fortigenic approach to occupational stress. South African Journal of Industrial Psychology29(4).

Vedhara, K., Hyde, J., Gilchrist, I.D., Tytherleigh, M. & Plummer, S. (2000). Acute stress, memory, attention and cortisol. Psychoneuroendocrinology25, 535-549.

Profile on ResearchGate available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Michelle_Tytherleigh