UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Dr Lucy Serpell

Dr Lucy Serpell

Senior Lecturer

Clinical, Edu & Hlth Psychology

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
8th Sep 2007

Research summary

My research interests are focused on eating disorders in young people and adults. I conduct research into the neuropsychology of perseverative behaviour/thinking in anorexia nervosa and in fasting states such as 5:2 dieters. I also conduct treatment trials into psychological therapies for eating disorders to understand how to improve outcomes. I collaborate with colleagues at UCL and nationally/internationally.

Teaching summary

UCL teaching:

I lecture both DClinPsy trainees and undergraduates on eating disorders. I am unit organiser for the DClinPsy Conference Programme. I contribute to core elements of the DClinPsy course including exam marking, case reports, leading interview panels as part of candidate selection, personal tutoring, placement visits and a range of other course duties. I have supervised to completion the research theses of 25 DClinPsy trainees and 2 PhD students.

External teaching and training:

I offer teaching and training to professionals within the UK and internationally. I chair an annual conference on Eating Disorders hosted at UCL. I mentor three of the newly developed/expanded Children and Young People's Eating Disorder Services to help them to develop excellent evidence based care for young people with eating disorders.

 External examining:

I have acted as external examiner for PhD and DClinPsy theses at the University of Leeds, Australian Catholic University, Deakin University, University of Sydney and Kings College London.


University College London
DClinPsy, Psychological Approaches to Health | 2004
University of London
PhD, Psychological Approaches to Health | 2000
University of Oxford
BA Hons, Psychology and Philosophy | 1993


I am currently Senior Lecturer in the Psychology of Eating Disorders at UCL and Clinical Lead for Eating Disorders at North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT) where I lead a busy lifespan eating disorder service.

I completed my degree in Psychology & Philosophy at the University of Oxford. My PhD, into cognitive processes in anorexia nervosa, supervised by Janet Treasure and John Teasdale, was awarded by the University of London (Institute of Psychiatry) in 2000. Whilst completing the research for my PhD I worked as a research assistant on a treatment trial. After working in eating disorders research with children and adolescents at St Georges University of London and Huntercombe Manor Hospital I joined the DClinPsy programme at UCL and graduated in 2004. After 3 years working in clinical health psychology at St Mary's Hospital I returned to UCL as a lecturer in 2007. I combine this with my role as Clinical Lead for Eating Disorders in North East London Foundation Trust.

I am a Core Member of the NICE Guideline Development Group for Eating Disorders and a member of the Global Clinical Practice Network for the revision of the Mental and Behavioural Disorders chapter of ICD-11. I was a founding member of the NHS England CYP-ED Curriculum Guideline Group. I co-authored the curriculum for the National Whole Team Training which was commissioned by Health Education England. I was a major contributor to this training which was offered to 70 new and existing NHS child and adolescent eating disorder teams (CEDS) across England from April to Dec 2017. I was a mentor to three of these teams during the training