Professor Moira Lafferty

Deputy Head of Department, Professor of Applied Sport Psychology

Moira is one of the Deputy Heads of the Department and oversees the Postgraduate Taught Courses. She is a chartered psychologist, associate fellow of the British Psychological Society and HCPC registered sport and exercise psychologist.  Her main teaching areas are research methods and social psychology. Moira’s research interests span three broad streams; sport and exercise psychology, research methods, and teaching and learning in higher education. Her research interests in sport and exercise psychology centre specifically on the role of psychological skills in peak performance, the ‘hot house’ syndrome, parent-child relationships and team formation and success.


Moira completed both her MSc. and doctoral research at Liverpool John Moores University. Her PhD. programme of study examined the effects of active therapy for children with Down’s syndrome and was awarded in 1998. In 2001 Moira completed a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


Moira is an associate fellow and chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She is a full member of the Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology and holds the position of Chief Supervisor/ Registrar. She is a HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist, RAPPS registered Supervisor and chartered scientist.  Moira is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and approved PhD. supervisor. At present she is supervising three Doctoral students and has supervised three PhD. students to successful completion.

In her role as Deputy Head of Department Moira oversees the Department Postgraduate Taught Course portfolio and sits on the marketing and ethics committees. She is also responsible for overseeing the Department collaboration arrangement with Raffles University Singapore.


Phone: 01244 513438


At undergraduate level Moira teaches on two modules, Becoming a Psychological Researcher (PS5015) and Social and Individual Psychology (PS5018). At postgraduate level Moira contributes to Psychological Research Methods and Statistics (PS7215), Research Methods and Statistics in Psychology (PS7301), Advanced Skills for Research and Practice (PS7303) and Social Psychology for Conversion (PS7315). Moira also supervises under and postgraduate dissertations.


As an applied sport psychologist Moira has worked with numerous teams and individuals at National and International level including; hockey, rugby, squash, badminton, netball and gymnastics. Currently she is providing psychological support to the GB Dressage Pony Squad, BYRDS NW Dressage squads and athletes on the National High Performance Camp programme.

Moira’s research interests focus on psychological aspects of performance especially those related to the young and developing athlete. For example, the role of psychological skills in peak performance, the ‘hot house’ syndrome, parent-child relationships, team formation and the role of the coach. She also has an interest in research methods and how alternative approaches and research methodologies can be applied.

Currently, Moira is engaged in several research collaborations. With Dr. Carmel Triggs from the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences Moira is exploring coach stress and applied models of practice for sport psychology practitioners. With Dr. Wakefield from Liverpool Hope University Moira is investigating the role of initiation practices in sport teams and the psychological impact of such activities.

As well as research in applied sport psychology Moira has also been in receipt of two HLTSN grants to explore teaching and learning in Higher Education to explore students’ perceptions of research and the dissertation process. and

Published work

Recent Publications:

Lafferty, M.E., Wakefield, C., & Brown, H. (2016).  ‘We do it for the team’ - Student athletes’ initiation practices and their impact on group cohesion. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. DOI: 10.1080/1612197X.2015.1121507.

Brown, H., Lafferty, M.E., & Triggs, C. (2015). In the face of adversity: Resiliency in winter sport athletes. Science & Sports.  Available Online doi:10.1016/j.scispo.2014.09.006

Lafferty, M.E., & Triggs, C. (2014). The Working with Parents in Sport Model (WWPS-Model) - A practical guide for practitioners working with parents of elite young performers. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 5: 117-128. ISSN: 2152-0704 print / 2152-0712 online. DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2014.914113

Lafferty, M. E. (2013). Using feature films in the teaching and assessment of sport psychology. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 9(2), 74-82.

Lafferty, M.E., & Eubank, M. (2013). Getting started and assessing trainee competence on the Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 9(1), 5-10.

Triggs, C., Lafferty, M.E., Brown, H. & Tolley, H. (2011). Metaphorical use of song lyrics within sport psychology practice; Targeting the transition within a Premier League football youth academy. Journal of Sport Psychology in Action, 2(3), 183-195. DOI: 10.1080/21520704.2011.619046.

Lafferty, M.E., Kenyon, R. & Wright, C. (2008). Club-based and non-club based physiotherapists views on the psychological content of their practice when treating sports injuries. Research in Sport Medicine. 16(4), 295-306. DOI: 10.1080/15438620802523378