Brain Sciences

Prof Sandra Dunsmuir

Prof Sandra Dunsmuir

Professor of Educational and Child Psychology

Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Sep 1999

Research summary

Sandra's academic research and publications focus on early literacy development and in particular, the factors at home and school that influence children's attainment and progress in writing. She has been involved in the development of materials to support writing assessment and intervention for children experiencing difficulties. Sandra is also interested in teaching and learning at all levels of the educational system and has led national projects to develop learning resources for professional training programmes in educational psychology. She has an enduring interest in child and adolescent mental health and interventions to promote psychological well-being, such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT).

Teaching summary

A sample list of seminars and workshops taught on the UCL Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology professional training course is presented below. All utilise a range of teaching methods (lecture, learner activities, audio-visual materials) and are evaluated by students and colleagues.

Literacy: Assessment & Intervention;

Mainstream Schools, Special Needs & EP Practice;

Consultation: Action Planning;

Working with Parents (including Portage and Webster-Stratton Parent Training)

Memory: Assessment & Intervention

Psychometric test interpretation and use

Play-Based Assessment

Functional Assessment

Working with Children in the Early Years (including pre-school/play based assessment)

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy with Children and Young People

Precision Teaching


In 2009 Sandra received the Provosts’ Teaching Award, UCL


University College London
Doctorate, Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy | 2003
Open University
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1986
Avery Hill College
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Postgraduate Certificate in Education | 1981
City, University of London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1980


Sandra completed a first degree in psychology and post-graduate teacher training in London, and continued to work in inner city primary schools and special provision as a teacher between 1981 and 1985. Sandra finished her educational psychology training at UCL in 1986.

She has worked as an educational psychologist in four different local authorities in the South East of England. Sandra has been involved with the training of educational psychologists at UCL since 1990, first as an Academic and Professional Tutor on the MSc programme, between 2005 and 2015 as Co-Director of the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology and since 2015 as Director of the Educational Psychology Group. She is also Co-Director of the Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) for Children and Young People programme (Certificate, Diploma and MSc courses are offered).

Sandra was awarded the Provosts Teaching Award in 2009 in recognition of her achievements at UCL and is a Fellow of both the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) and the British Psychological Society (BPS). She is past Chair of the British Psychological Society Division of Educational and Child Psychology (DECP) and is the current Chair of the South East, East and London (SEEL) Consortium of universities and regional local authority placement providers.