Dr Jessica Runacres

Senior Lecturer

School of Health, Science and Wellbeing

I am a Senior Lecturer in Research Practice within the school of Health, Science, and Wellbeing. I teach research methods and analysis across multiple courses within the school.

I am a mixed-methods researcher, and my research interests include social prescribing, health interventions, health inequalities, service user experiences, epistemic injustice, unpaid carers and student carers, and dementia. Further academic interests include inclusive approaches to research, such as patient and public involvement, user-led research, and working with students as researchers.

I have a variety of both online and face-to-face teaching experience in higher education. Before joining Staffordshire University, I worked as a Lecturer in Psychology at Derby University. In this role I designed and led various modules which focussed on health psychology and research methods. During my PhD at Birmingham City University, I worked as a Research and Teaching Assistant. Here I taught research methods, analysis, and health related material to students in the health and social care department.

I am the Deputy PGR (Postgraduate Research) Lead for the School of Health, Science, and Wellbeing, and the PhD Lead for the department of Health and Social Care. I am also a member of the School’s Research Ethics Committee.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol), British Psychological Society.
  • Fellow of Advance HE

Academic qualifications

  • PhD, ‘Social Prescribing in Practice: A Critical Examination of Service Data and Stakeholder Perspectives’, Birmingham City University.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCHE), Birmingham City University.
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Research Practice (PGCert), Birmingham City University.
  • BSc Psychology, Lancaster University


  • Research methods
  • Scoping and systematic reviews
  • Qualitative and quantitative data analysis
  • Research ethics
  • Health inequalities
  • Social prescribing

Research interests

  • Social prescribing
  • Interventions to improve and / or maintain physical health, mental health, or wellbeing
  • Health inequalities and epistemic injustice
  • Service user experiences
  • Understanding, empowering, and improving the lives of unpaid carers, student carers, family, and friends of people with mental or physical health conditions
  • Dementia
  • Inclusive approaches to research: patient and public involvement (PPI), user-led research, and working with students as researchers.


I am the Deputy PGR (Postgraduate Research) Lead for the School of Health, Science, and Wellbeing, and the PhD Lead for the department of Health and Social Care. Please get in touch with me if you are interested in learning more about doctoral opportunities within the school.

I lead multiple modules across both the undergraduate and postgraduate provision. These largely focus on medical education, research methods, and analysis.

I supervise both masters and PhD research projects.


Runacres, J., Wardach, I., & Sheffield, D. (2021). A mindful playground: Exploring the perceived benefits of climbing for psychological wellbeing. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health. (Under review)

Fynn, W., & Runacres, J. (2021). Dogs at school: A cross-sectional analysis of parental perceptions of canine-assisted therapy in schools mediated by child anxiety and therapy type. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy. (Under review)

Hunt, J., Herron, D., & Runacres, J. (2021). Understanding healthcare stigma and marginalisation through a lens of epistemic injustice: The lived experiences of people with myalgic encephalomyelitis / chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS). Social Science and Medicine. (Under review)

Runacres, J., Herron, D., Beardmore, J., & Sheffield, D. What role does perceived injustice play in the healthcare experiences of people with chronic physical health conditions in the UK?. PROSPERO: International prospective register of systematic reviews. 2021. CRD42021262834. Available from: https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/display_record.php?RecordID=262834.

Runacres, J., Herron, D., Buckless, K., & Worrall, K. (2021). Student carer experiences of higher education and support: A scoping review. International Journal of Inclusive education. Doi: 10.1080/13603116.2021.1983880

Herron, D., & Runacres, J. (2020). Carers' experiences of caring for a friend or family member with dementia during the Covid-19 pandemic. Health Psychology Update, Special Issue: Covid-19.

Morris, D., Shortland, S., Buffin, J., Runacres, J., Shorrock, S. (2020). Integrated Social Prescribing in Birmingham and Solihull. Report of a study for Birmingham and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group, undertaken by the University of Central Lancashire and Birmingham City University, 2019/20.

Phillips, E., Jones, S., Runacres, J., Lintern, M., & Radford, M. (2017). Understanding the distribution of A&E attendances and hospital admissions for the case managed population: A single case cross sectional study. Applied Nursing Research, 33, 24-29. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apnr.2016.10.005

Wigelsworth, M., Humphrey, N., Black, L., Symes, W., Frearson, K., Ashworth, E., Peterson, K., McCaldin, Runacres, J., Demkowicz, O., Pert, K., Tronsco, P., & Anders, L. (2017). Social, psychological, emotional, concepts of self and resilience outcomes: Understanding and Measurment (SPECTRUM). A brief guide to the selection, use and interpretation of SPECTRUM measures.

Conference presentations:

Black, L., Herron, D., & Runacres, J. (2020). Students as Research Partners. Festival of Learning 2020: Derby. 14/07/2020

Runacres, J. The necessary factors for effectives social prescribing. Public Health Canada 2018: Montreal. 30/06 – 1/07/2018

Runacres, J. Understanding social prescribing & Social prescribing: Why is it not reaching it’s potential? C-SCHaRR Health conference 2018. 24/01/2018

Runacres, J. The perceived barriers to social prescribing in general practise. RCGP Annual Primary Care Conference. 11-13/10/2017

Runacres, J. Understanding social prescribing. RCGP 2017 Midland Faculty Symposium. 18/05/2017

Jones, S., Phillips, E., & Runacres, J. Using routinely collected data to inform service design and delivery: Trials, tribulations and successes. West Midlands Health Informatics Network (WIN) Conference. 24/01/2017

Runacres, J. A concept analysis to understand social prescribing. Annual health research conference: Connecting communities. 30/11/2016

Runacres. J. Understanding social prescribing. Turning practice-based evidence into evidence-based practice. West Midlands Health Informatics Network (WIN) Conference 20/01/2016

UK University

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Job Prospects

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

for Student Satisfaction

Complete University Guide 2022

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

for Course Content

StudentCrowd University Awards 2022

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021