Dr Gemma Hurst

Job Title and Responsibilities

  • Lecturer in Psychology.

About Me

After completing my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Durham in 2005, I went on to complete an MSc in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University. I then began my doctoral research at Staffordshire University in 2007. Most recently, I have been involved in the evaluation of a community development project through a Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Staffordshire University and NHS Stoke-on-Trent. The My Health Matters project focused on addressing the underlying social and environmental determinants of health using a bottom-up, asset-based approach. My role involved investigating the use of community-led interventions to reduce health inequalities relating to physical activity and healthy eating in Stoke-on-Trent using community-based participatory research and a socio-ecological approach. Following this, I was employed as a Research Officer within the Centre for Sport Health and Exercise Research. This role involved investigating the links between exposure to natural outdoor environments and human health and well-being across Europe - PHENOTYPE. This project is intended to provide a better understanding of the potential mechanisms underlying the environment-health relationship, and better integration of human health needs into land use planning and green space management. I am also in the final year of a Professional Doctorate in Health Psychology at Staffordshire University with the aim of becoming a Health Psychologist.


Professional Doctorate Health Psychology, Staffordshire University, 2009-ongoing
PhD Behaviour Change and Physical Activity (Health Psychology), Staffordshire University, 2007-2013
PgC Higher Professional Education, Staffordshire University, 2007-2009
PgC Research Methods, Staffordshire University, 2007-2009
MSc (Hons) Health Psychology, Staffordshire University, 2005-2006
BSc (Hons) Psychology, University of Durham, 2002-2005

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • British Psychological Society – Division of Health Psychology

  • Higher Education Academy (Fellow)

Research Interests

My research background focuses on behaviour change, physical activity and public health. My research interests cover a number of areas including: the evaluation of health promotion programs using both quantitative and qualitative research methods; reducing health inequalities through community-led interventions and partnership working; the social and environmental determinants of health; and understanding the positive health effects of different environments.

Example Research Projects;

  • PHENOTYPE – Post-doctoral research officer on the European FP7 funded PHENOTYPE project investigating the positive health effects of the natural environment. 

  • My Health Matters – Lead researcher on an NHS Stoke-on-Trent and Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) funded project evaluating the use of community-led interventions to reduce health inequalities relating to physical activity and healthy eating, 2009-2012.

  • Community Health Education in Stoke-on-Trent (CHEST) Project Evaluation – Lead Researcher on the Evaluation of the CHEST project funded by the Worker’s Education Association (WEA), 2010.

  • Lead researcher on the evaluation of an incentive-based intervention with school children to promote healthy behaviours in the Washwood Heath area of Birmingham, 2008.

  • Walk to Beijing Programme Evaluation – Lead researcher on the evaluation of a physical activity programme in Sandwell, West Midlands. Funded by the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and Sandwell PCT, 2007-2009.

Selected Publications

A complete research profile and full list of publications. (PDF, file size: 183.76KB)

Current Teaching

I contribute to the following undergraduate modules:

  • Comparative Basis of Behaviour

  • Introduction to Research Methods for Psychology

  • Understanding the Social World

  • Cognitive and Biological Determinants of Behaviour

  • Foundations of Psychology

  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology

  • Perspectives in Psychology

  • People Behaving Badly

  • Research Project Supervision

I am also a level 4, 5 and 6 Personal Tutor.


Dr Gemma Hurst
School of Psychology, Sport and Exercise (U/G Awards in Psychology & BPS Accreditation)
Faculty of Health Sciences
Staffordshire University
Science Centre
Leek Road
t: +44 (0)1782 294280
e: g.l.hurst@staffs.ac.uk