Dr Claire Barlow

Job Title and Responsibilities

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

  • Psychology undergraduate admissions tutor

  • programme Advisor for BSc (Hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year, delivered at two local colleges (Newcastle and Stafford)

About Me

I graduated in 1998 from Staffordshire University with a BSc (Hons) in Psychology. I then secured a part-time lecturing post at Newcastle-Under-Lyme College, teaching A’ level and GCSE Psychology. I then returned to Staffordshire University in 1999 to begin my PhD in Developmental Psychology (focusing on cognitive development and children’s pictures) and completing my PhD in 2002. I have worked at Staffordshire University since 2003 as a lecturer/senior lecturer in Psychology.


  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2013.

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional and Higher Education, Staffordshire University, 2005

  • PhD in Psychology, Staffordshire University, 2002, Thesis: Rigidity in children’s drawings and its relationship with representational change

  • BSc (Hons) Psychology (First Class), Staffordshire University, 1999


My area of expertise is developmental psychology, specifically the understanding and use of children’s pictures.

Research Interests

My research focuses on children’s drawings. My PhD involved testing a cognitive-developmental model through the pictorial medium, specifically rigidity in children’s drawings and its relationship with representational change. Other topics of interest include the development of expressive drawing, and more specifically how this compares to the development of representational drawing skill. I am currently carrying out projects with Dr. Richard Jolley that examine autistic children’s expressive drawing ability, longitudinal development of expressive drawing and the use of drawing as a memory aid.

Selected Publications

Barlow, C. M., Jolley, R. P., White, D. G. & Galbraith, D. (in preparation). Stroke Rigidity in Drawing Development.

Jolley, R. P., Barlow, C. M. & Cox, M. V. (in preparation). The Development of
Expressive Drawing Ability.

Jolley, R.P., O’Kelly, R., Barlow, C.M. & Jarrold, C. (2013) Expressive drawing ability in children with autism. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 31, 143-149.

Barlow, C. M., Jolley, R. P. & Hallam, J. L. (2011). Drawings as memory aids: Optimising the drawing method to facilitate young children’s recall. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25, 480-487.

Barlow, C. M., Jolley, R. P., White, D. G. & Galbraith, D. (2003). Rigidity in children’s
drawings and its relation with representational change. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 86, 124-152.

Current Teaching

I teach on a wide range of modules although my main interest is in developmental psychology. Specifically I contribute to the following modules: "Growing and Changing", “Foundations of Psychology”, “Perspectives in Psychology”, “Theory to Practice: Understanding the Developmental Research Environment” “Developmental Psychopathology” and the Developmental Psychology unit of the award “Certificate in Psychology by Distance Learning”.  As Programme Advisor on BSc (Hons) Psychology with a Foundation Year I am also involved in the quality assurance and management of the modules on this award.  Furthermore I am a personal and academic guidance tutor for a group of level 4, level 5 and level 6 students as well as being a final year project supervisor.


Dr Claire Barlow
School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise
Faculty of Health Sciences
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294899
e: c.m.barlow@staffs.ac.uk