Karla Drew


Health, Education, Policing and Sciences

I teach on the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in sport and exercise psychology at Staffordshire University. I joined Staffordshire University in 2020 having completed a doctorate at Liverpool John Moores University. I started my PhD in 2016 which was titled, “Investigating the Junior to Senior Transition in Sport: Interventions to Support the Transitional Process”, under the supervision of Dr Robert Morris, Dr David Tod and Dr Martin Eubank. My PhD involved a multi-method approach exploring the junior-to-senior transition in the context of British track-and-field. My research interests include performance psychology, such as career transitions in sport (e.g., junior-to-senior, retirement), talent development, sport psychology interventions and applied sport psychology.

In addition to my research interests, I am also a BPS Chartered, and HCPC Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist. I have accrued a number of hours of consultancy working with athletes to improve their performance, welfare and mental health.

Away from academia, I was a GB International Heptathlete and 100m Hurdler, training at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield. I was selected to represent Great Britain every year from 2010-2015, and the England team from 2009-2017. Some of my achievements include being 3x British Champion and 4x British University Champion.

Professional memberships and activities

  • Health and Care Professions Council - Registered Sport and Exercise Psychologist
  • British Psychological Society (BPS) Chartered Psychologist
  • Higher Education Academy Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) - Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool 2016-2020
  • Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield 2014-2015, 1st
  • Bachelor of Science in Psychology - Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield - 2011-2014, 2:1
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and Professional Education 2020-2022
  • Qualification in Sport and Exercise Psychology (BPS) 2017- 2020
  • Mental Health First Aid in Higher Education Champion – MHFA England (2019)


My primary interests are in career transition in sport (e.g., junior-to-senior, retirement) and talent development. To date, my work has focused on exploring practical solutions to support athletes negotiating challenging transitions and developing a better understanding of athletes’ transition experiences. In addition, I am interested in applied sport psychology more broadly and the use of sport psychology interventions to enhance individuals’ performance and wellbeing.

Research interests

My main research interests are centred on performance sport psychology and include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Career transitions in sport
  • Junior-to-senior transition
  • Talent development
  • Applied sport psychology
  • Psychology of sport and performance


  • Course Leader for MSc Sport and Exercise Psychology programme Module leadership
  •  Practice of Sport and Exercise Psychology (MSc)
  •  Masters Research Project: Proposal and Ethics (MSc)
  • Masters Research Project: Journal Article (MSc)
  • The Psychology of Competitive Performance (BSc)
  •  Applied Sport Psychology (BSc)



Drew, K. (2023). Tutoring During Transition: Students' Experiences and Preferences Towards Personal Tutoring in UK Higher Education. Innovative Practice in Higher Education, 5(1).

Drew, K., & Morris, R. (2020). Emotional reflections of an athlete referral: The practitioner perspective. Sport and Exercise Psychology Review, 16 (2), 84-92. https://shop.bps.org.uk/sport-exercise-psychology-review-vol-16-no-2-december-2020

Drew, K., Morris, R., Tod, D., & Eubank, M. (2019). A meta-study of qualitative research on the junior-to-senior transition in sport. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 45, 101556. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2019.101556


Drew, K. (2023). An Inside Job: The Journey from Elite Athlete to Sport Psychologist. In Navigating Applied Sport and Exercise Psychology (pp. 138-148). Routledge. Blagrove, R. C., Kearney, P. E., & Drew, K. L. (2021). Nurturing Young Distance Runners. In The Science and Practice of Middle and Long Distance Running (pp. 291-305). Routledge. 

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

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

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021