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Fiona Ulph, PhD, CPsychol.


Personal profile



  • 1998 BSc Hons Psychology, University of York
  • 1999 MSc Health Psychology, Kings College London
  • 2007, PhD Psychology "Children's understanding of testing for a genetic illness", University of Nottingham


I teach on the following courses:

MSc Clinical and Health Psychology, Creative, Critical and Comprehensive Research analysis (Qualitative and quantitative analysis; Module leader).

3rd year "Communication in Health Care" Lecture series.

Supervision of Doctoral Students

Faye Johnson (2019-) “Optimising communication to harness the benefits of screening in a genomic era” Funded by the Research Impact Scholarship - Healthy Futures University of Manchester. Awarded the Doctoral College Award for Outstanding Publication

Khadijah Bakur, (2016-2020) Lived Experience of LQT Syndrome in Saudi Arabia: Impact of religion and culture. Funded by PACER-HD, Saudi Arabia. 

Kathleen Baess (2016-2018) Examining the lived experience of making decisions to accept help – the Seminar Parenting Programme for Syrian Refugee families. 

Altaf Sumra (2016-2018) Examining the facilitators and barriers to effective implementation of national psychological interventions for refugees - Seminar Parenting Programme for Syrian Refugee families. 

Lauren Stockton (2015-2018) Parents Experiencing Psychosis: Understanding and helping families. 

Fay Huntley (2014-2017) Parenting through the Refugee Journey: From Flight to Resettlement. 

Joanne Middleton (2013-2016) Parental experiences and support needs in illness related communication with children who have sickle cell disease. 

Aala El-Khani (2011-2014) Parenting support needs of parents with a recent experience of conflict. Awarded the Sue Fielder Prize for outstanding academic achievement. Aala El-Khani has been awarded the Manchester Doctoral College Best Contribution to Society Award 2016.

Anilenna Mejia (2010-2014) Experiences of parents in Panama of triple P parenting programme. Awarded the Sue Fielder Prize for outstanding academic achievement. Anilena Mejia has been on the University’s front page with news of her new violence prevention laboratory in Panama, which has developed from her PhD at Manchester.

Melissa Noke (2010-2014) The impact of carrier identification of children’s wellbeing. Awarded the Sue Fielder Prize for outstanding academic achievement.

Simeon Hanson (2010-2013) Parent Training: A Child’s View.

Alisha Gibson (2009-2016, Part time) Participating in a pharmacogenetic clinical trial: Views and information needs of adolescents, parents, health professionals and clinical trialists. Funded by the BRC training fellowship scheme.

Rebecca Murphy (2009- 2011) Parenting with Bipolar Disorder. 

Clare Backer (2009-2011) The experiences of children with parents who have Bipolar Disorder.

Future Doctoral Students

I welcome enquiries from students wishing to study for a PhD or DClin degree with interests in the psychosocial aspects of genetic technologies, the use of qualitative methods to examine children's experiences of health care, how best to support children making decisions about research participation or medical treatments, family involvement in health care decisions/adaptation.

Research interests

My research interests are Rare Diseases; advances in genomics and screening;  professional-parent-child communication; and children's roles in health care. 

Children's roles in health care

  • How to support children with long term conditions.
  • Ensuring children's voices are heard to advance services and research.
  • Exploring how does children's understanding of health and illness develop.
  • The developmental progression of decisional capabilities regarding health care/genetic testing decisions
  • How best to communicate with and support children in health care settings
  • Children's ability to consent to clinical trials and the implications of information format on this capacity
  • How best to facilitate communication between health care professionals and children regarding emotional aspects of health care


  •  How public understanding of genetics affects the utilisation of genetic technology
  •  How people assimilate genetic risk information into their lives
  •  Communication of carrier information to parents and children following newborn screening
  •  Children's understanding of genetic concepts
  •  Access and equity to genetic services
  •  Familial communication about and involvement in health care
  • Implications of genetic advances for information needs and consent models (pharmacogenetics)
  • Creation of resources to support health professional and familal communication about genetics


  • Communication of newborn screening information
  • Implications of new screening technologies for consent and communication models and understanding and psychological impact.

Throughout all of these I am usually working with groups living with a rare condition. 

Qualitative studies

The majority of my studies involve qualitative methods which has lead to advisory roles in other areas:

  • Emotion regulation
  • Evaluating interview techniques with children
  • Child centred information materials
  • Establishing best research practice in prision and conflict settings
  • Evaluation of parenting support programmes in new settings

Methodological knowledge

Qualitative Methods:

Thematic analysis


Grounded Theory


Focus Groups

Qualitative methods with children and adolescents

Qualitative research practice in novel situations

Quantitative Methods

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Healthier Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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