UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Dr Suzanne Beeke

Dr Suzanne Beeke

Associate Professor

Language & Cognition

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
7th Oct 1996

Research summary

I lead the Better Conversations Lab at UCL, which aims to:

1. promote awareness of conversation as a human behaviour and the impact of communication disability on conversations

2. improve access to communication partner training underpinned by Conversation Analysis for people with a range of communication disabilities

3. nurture a community of practice for speech and language therapists who aim to enable their clients to have better conversations

My research is focused on understanding the impact of language and communication disorders on the everyday communication activities of adults with acquired neurological conditions, particularly post-stroke aphasia and dementia, and the effect on life participation. I also lead research to evaluate communication skills interventions for these populations and communication training packages for healthcare professionals. I conduct research that combines qualitative analysis of interview and focus group data, and conversation analysis, with quantitative techniques in psycholinguistics and intervention studies. Recent projects include: conversation-analytic investigations of aphasia, the design and evaluation of Better Conversations interventions including Better Conversations with Aphasia (Stroke Association TSA2007/05), with a linked free online resource for speech and language therapists, patients and families that has thousands of registered users worldwide, and Better Conversations with Parkinson's (Parkinson's UK funded). I am also involved in the design and evaluation of communication skills training for healthcare professionals working with people with dementia in hospitals, VOICE1 and VOICE2 studies (NIHR HS&DR).

Teaching summary

I have a 1.0 FTE permanent post at UCL, with responsibilities in research including PhD supervision and supervision of SLTs funded by the NIHR Pre-doctoral Clinical Academic Fellowship (PCAF) scheme, teaching and masters project supervision (MSc Speech & Language Sciences (SLS) – an SLT training course) and enabling (e.g. Head of Year B of the MSc SLS, coordination of MSc SLS project module, assessment of student SLTs’ clinical practice, personal tutoring). I am the department's research champion for SLTs who want to become research active via masters or PhD-level training, and lead yearly support sessions in this area. I teach on communication partner training and Better Conversations approaches, conversation analysis, research impact, and academic writing and reading skills.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2005
University of Reading
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1993


I trained as a speech and language therapist (BA Hons Reading University, UK), moved into research and completed my PhD in 2005 at UCL using conversation analysis to investigate aphasia.