School of Life Sciences and Education

In September 2020, I became a Lecturer in Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Staffordshire University. I was previously working in the department as a Lecturer in Social Psychology and Individual Differences.

Previously, I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Chester between 2012 – 2015. I was then awarded a postgraduate scholarship and completed my masters in Family and Child Psychology at the University of Chester between 2015 – 2016. In 2016, I was awarded a PhD scholarship at Nottingham Trent University where I completed my PhD entitled ‘How teachers and young people perceive and respond to cyberbullying in the school environment’.

Professional memberships and activities

  • British Psychological Society (Graduate member and member of Developmental, Social, Education, and Cyberpsychology sections).
  • Associate Fellow of Higher Education Academy

Academic qualifications

  • PhD on ‘How teachers and young people perceive and respond to cyberbullying in the school environment’, Department of Psychology, Nottingham Trent University, 2020.
  • MSc Family and Child Psychology (Distinction), University of Chester, 2016
  • BSc (Hons) Psychology (First Class), University of Chester, 2015


  • Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Bullying
  • Cyberbullying
  • Online safety and risks
  • Bystanders in the offline and online domain

Research interests

My main research interests lie within the area of social developmental psychology. In particular, my work focuses on the perceptions and experiences of cyberbullying, face-to-face bullying, and bystander intervention. One current area of research explores how teachers and young people reperceive and respond to cyberbullying in the school environment. A second strand of research also examines how young people perceive personal and situational factors in bullying, and how this may impact on their bystander intervention.

Previously, I have also been involved in projects exploring children’s online safety and anti-bullying interventions.


I contribute to several undergraduate psychology modules, including;

  • Foundations of Psychology (L4)
  • Perspectives in Psychology (L4)
  • People Behaving Badly (L4)
  • Growing and Changing (L4)
  • Psychology of Social Perception (L5, Module Leader)
  • Understanding the Social World (L5)
  • Contemporary Issues in Psychology (L5)
  • Childhood Contexts and Applications (L5)
  • Child Psychology: Theory to Practice (L6)
  • Cyberpsychology (L6)
  • Typical and Atypical Development (L6)
  • Psychology Project (L6)

Postgraduate supervision

I am responsibility for teaching on the MSc conversion course and supervising postgraduate students.


Journal articles:

  • Macaulay, P. J., Betts, L. R., Stiller, J., & Kellezi, B. (2020). ‘The more public it is, the more severe it is’: teachers’ perceptions on the roles of publicity and severity in cyberbullying. Research Papers in Education, 1-28. Doi: 1080/02671522.2020.1767183
  • Macaulay, P. J., Boulton, M. J., Betts, L. R., Boulton, L., Camerone, E., Down, J., ... & Kirkham, R. (2020). Subjective versus objective knowledge of online safety/dangers as predictors of children’s perceived online safety and attitudes towards e-safety education in the United Kingdom. Journal of Children and Media, 14(3), 376-395. Doi: 1080/17482798.2019.1697716
  • Macaulay, P. J., Betts, L. R., Stiller, J., & Kellezi, B. (2020). “It’s so fluid, it’s developing all the time”: pre-service teachers’ perceptions and understanding of cyberbullying in the school environment. Educational Studies, 46(5), 590-606. Doi: 1080/03055698.2019.1620693
  • MACAULAY, P. J.R., Boulton, M. J., & Betts, L. R. (2019). Comparing early adolescents’ positive bystander responses to cyberbullying and traditional bullying: the impact of severity and gender. Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science, 4(3), 253-261. Doi: 1007/s41347-018-0082-2
  • MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L. R., Stiller, J., & Kellezi, B. (2018). Perceptions and responses towards cyberbullying: a systematic review of teachers in the education system. Aggression and Violent Behavior,43, 1-12. Doi: 1016/j.avb.2018.08.004
  • Boulton, M. J., Boulton, L., Camerone, E., Hughes, J., Kirkbride, C., MACAULAY, P.J.R., & Sanders, J. (2016). Enhancing primary school children's knowledge of online safety and risks with the CATZ Cooperative Cross-Age Teaching Intervention: results from a pilot study. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 19(10), 609-614. Doi: 1089/cyber.2016.0046

Book Chapters:

  • Oonagh, S.L., MACAULAY, P.J.R., Betts, L.R., (2021). Understanding Child and Adolescent Cyberbullying. In Wright, M., Schiamberg. L., eds., Child and Adolescent Online Risk Exposure. 1st Elsevier
  • MACAULAY, P.J.R., Oonagh, S.L., Betts, L.R., (2020). Factors leading to cyber victimisation. In Benson, V., McAlaney, J., eds., Emerging Cyber Threats and Cognitive Vulnerabilities. 1st ed. Elsevier. Doi: 1016/B978-0-12-816203-3.00001-0
  • Buglass, S., Harkin, L., MACAULAY, P.J.R., Vinter, L.P, Daly, R., (2019). How psychology became a science. In: Banyard, P., Dillon, G., Norman, C., Winder, B., eds., Essential psychology. 3rd ed.

The Conversation:

Top 250 Young University

Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2020

Top 15 for Teaching Quality

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Top 15 for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

Midlands University of the Year

Midlands Business Awards 2020