Accepting PhD Students

    PhD projects

    Any project related to behaviour change before, during and after pregnancy, physical activity, engaging families in weight management, living well with chronic conditions or addressing health inequalities. Also able to support funding applications for doctoral funding.

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    Personal profile

    Teaching Activity

    I am Deputy Programme Director for MSc Health Psychology (Full time Campus & Part time Online programmes) where I lead two modules. I also teach second and final stage modules on the BSc Psychology (single & joint hons). I supervise research projects for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

    Undergraduate modules

    • PY3022 Psychology of Physical Activity & Exercise (module convenor)
    • PY2505 Lifespan Development
    • PY3351 Child Development

    Postgraduate modules

    • PYM714 & PYM724 Health Behaviours & Interventions (module convenor)
    • PYM715 & PYM725 Health Inequalities & Public Health
    • PYM707 & PYM717 Research Project

    Research Interests

    My research is inspired by a desire to understand the complex determinants of human behaviour relating to health, and to develop interventions to empower and enable individuals to live healthier lives. Health behaviour during pregnancy and early childhood has such an influence on lifelong health and wellbeing that I am driven to find ways to support parents and health professionals in their desire to give children a healthy start and develop positive health behaviours for life. Therefore my main research topics are:

    • Maternal obesity and weight management in pregnancy
    • Physical activity and sedentary behaviour in pregnancy
    • Parental engagement in family weight management/healthy lifestyle services
    • Development and evaluation of theory- and evidence-based behaviour change interventions
    • Assessment and development of behaviour change competencies in health professionals

    PhD Supervision

    I currently supervise four PhD students, two at Aston University, one at Coventry University and one at University of Warwick. The PhDs under my supervision all relate to behaviour change to improve health & wellbeing, and cover the lifespan, from pregnancy, to children and adults.


    Aug 2017 - Present - Lecturer in Psychology, Aston University

    Nov 2010 - July 2017 - Senior Researcher/Research Fellow, Coventry University

    Feb 2008 - Nov 2010 - Research Assistant, Coventry University


    Contact Details

    Phone:  0121 204 4541
    Room number: SW410f

    Education/Academic qualification

    PG Cert

    Award Date: 18 Dec 2018

    PhD, Coventry University

    Award Date: 17 Jan 2017

    MSc, University of Bedfordshire

    Award Date: 1 Jul 2007


    Award Date: 1 Jul 1997

    External positions

    Honorary Clinical Lecturer, University of Warwick

    1 Jan 2021 → …

    Publication Editor, Behavioural Science & Public Health Network

    2021 → …

    Honorary Research Fellow, University Hospitals of Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust

    Sep 2020 → …

    Scientific Advisory Board member, Active Pregnancy Foundation

    2019 → …


    Dive into the research topics where Lou Atkinson is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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