Dr Liz Whelen

Undergraduate Programme Leader, Senior Lecturer

Liz Whelen is a Chartered Health Psychologist. She is also the Psychology Undergraduate Programme Leader and teaches on the undergraduate programme and the MSc Psychology (conversion) course.


Liz has an undergraduate degree in Psychology and Maths, followed by an MA in Psychology from the University of Liverpool. She undertook an MPhil at Liverpool looking at mental health diagnosis in primary care while based in the Clinical Psychology department in Wirral. Liz also has a PhD from the University of Manchester, where she studied the effects of prior illness beliefs on post-surgery outcomes in elective cardiac surgery patients. She is a Chartered Health Psychologist and is a registered Practitioner Psychologist with the Health and Care Professions Council.


Prior to joining the University of Chester Liz worked within the NHS and also taught at Liverpool Hope University and for the Psychology and Medical School at the University of Liverpool. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is actively involved in research with them within the Psychology department at Chester. In the past she was involved in setting up the successful dietetics programmes at the University of Chester and delivered the psychological teaching on their undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.


Liz’s main teaching is in the health and social psychology areas. She is the module leader for the third year Health Psychology module and also contributes to the first year Core Topics and Psychological Well-Being modules, the second year Psychological Therapies module, the third year Clinical and Counselling Psychology module, and the Individual Differences module at master’s level.

In addition, Liz supervises dissertations in the area of Health Psychology at undergraduate and masters level.


Liz's research interests involve illness perceptions in cardiac surgery patients, community perceptions of changes to the NHS, psychological aspects of pain tolerance, and the effectiveness of smoking interventions.

Published work

Whelen, L., & Wearden, A. (2006). Illness perceptions, health-related coping and quality of life after cardiac surgery. Proceedings of the 20th Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Warsaw, Poland, August 2006.

Clarke, L.M. & Whelen, L. (2002). The efficacy of distraction on cold pressor tolerance times, in the context of individual coping styles of pain. Proceedings of the 16th Annual Conference of the European Health Psychology Society, Lisbon, Portugal, October 2002.

Davies, A.D.M., Whelen, L., & King, D. (2000). Oral control and body dissatisfaction in older adults: A note of caution.  European Eating Disorders Review, 8, 315-320.

Whelen, L., & Cawthray, S. (1999). An evaluation of crisis services for the mentally ill in Wirral, Commissioned Report.