Dr Jenny Mercer is Reader in Qualitative Approaches to Applied Psychology, and a Principal Lecturer within the Department of Applied Psychology, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a BPS Chartered Psychologist. She has a background in Social Psychology, and is co-author of the Psychology Express text book on this topic. Her main teaching responsibilities relate to qualitative research methods, post-graduate dissertation modules and supervision of doctoral candidates (see ‘Teaching’ for full supervisory profile).
She plays a key role in the management of the University’s research degree programmes as Cardiff School of Health Sciences (CSHS) Graduate Studies Co-ordinator. This involves: chairing the School’s research Degree Sub-Committee; membership of CSHS Ethics and Research and Enterprise committees and contributing to the University’s Research Degree Committee; chairing viva voce examinations and being independent assessor for transfer interviews. She is responsible for overseeing the provision for over 50 research degree students from application to completion, establishing supervisory teams and ensuring that appropriate and robust procedures are followed.
Jenny is an enthusiastic advocate of qualitative research methods within Psychology and has developed and contributed to a number of modules relating to this, both within Cardiff Met and in other universities. At a national level this is evidenced by sitting on the committee of the British Psychological Society’s Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMIP). She regularly examines PhD theses utilising such approaches at universities across the U.K.
Her research involves numerous qualitative approaches (e.g. thematic analysis, grounded theory, interpretative phenomenological analysis, participatory designs). Outputs are of relevance to the sub-disciplines of health, forensic, sport, education and social psychology, and influence the work and practice of many of the community groups and stakeholders involved. Her current focus is on two key areas:
- Centre for Outdoor Activity and Leisure research (COAL): an interdisciplinary research group which works collaboratively with other Cardiff Met Schools and external stakeholders. The purpose of COAL is to evaluate and understand the role that the outdoors, volunteering and purposeful leisure may play in enhancing health and well-being. Within this remit we are interested in how people connect with nature, the role animals might play, the therapeutic potential of green spaces, green exercise and other green interventions (such as care farms, animal assisted programmes and green exercise). Jenny leads this together with Debbie Clayton: refer to
www.cardiffmet.ac.uk/coal for further details of the externally funded projects and work that COAL has been engaged in.
- Student experience: since completing her own doctoral study entitled ‘Access and Beyond: mature students’ transitions into and through higher education’ Jenny has had a keen interest in student experience of higher education. She is specifically interested in under-represented groups and has published articles on non-traditional aged learners, international students and males who study psychology. She is a member of the Departmental Research group Research In Student Experience (RISE)
For further details of Jenny’s research outputs and publications see ‘Publications’.