Paul Penn

Dr Paul Penn

Senior Lecturer

Department of Psychological Sciences , School of Psychology

Areas Of Interest

 My interests revolve around cognitive psychology and understanding how we can best use psychological knowledge to improve the way people learn, communicate and collaborate. I am also interested in Cyberpsychology, particularly the application of Virtual Reality (VR) to psychological research and the public communication of psychological knowledge.

On This Page


Paul graduated with a degree in Psychology from UEL and moved on to the University of Hertfordshire to study for his PhD. His thesis addressed touch perception in both blind and sighted individuals in the real world and Virtual Reality (VR). Following the completion of his PhD, Paul undertook a brief post-doctoral placement at the University of Birmingham before returning to UEL in 2004 to serve as a Research Fellow with the School of Psychology's Virtual Reality Research Team (VRRT). During his time in this role, Paul completed the PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education qualification and began to contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching within the school. He is currently a senior lecturer within the school.

Paul is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), a Chartered Psychologist and a member of the division for Teachers and Researchers in Psychology. He is also a chartered scientist. In 2021 Paul won the Higher Education Psychology Teacher of the Year award for his efforts to transform the communication and accessibility of evidence-based advice from psychology on how to study effectively via his book 'The Psychology of Effective Studying: How to Succeed in Your Degree' and its companion YouTube channel. The same year he was also the recipient of the School of Psychology Chancellor's award for University Service.

Website link.

Youtube link

Follow on Twitter: @Dr_Paul_Penn


Peer-reviewed Journal Articles

  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Johnson, D. A. (2009). Virtual enriched environments in the recovery from brain injury. Developmental Neurorehabilitation, 12(1), 32–43. doi:10.1080/17518420902739365 |
  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Leadbetter, A. E. (2009). The development of a multimedia and virtual reality aid to the self-regulation of driving in older individuals. Journal of Assistive Technologies, 3(4), 21–35. doi:10.1108/17549450200900031|
  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Johnson, D. A. (2008). Can virtual reality environments also be enriched environments: A decade on, is neuropsychological rehabilitation still overlooking a valuable resource? Abstracts for the 5th World Congress of NeuroRehabilitation. Neurorehabil Neural Repair, 22, 514–640.|

Book Chapters

  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Johnson, D. A. (2008). The use of virtual reality in the assessment and rehabilitation of executive dysfunction. In M. Oddy & A. Worthington (Eds.), Brain injury and executive dysfunction (pp. 255-270). Oxford: Oxford University Press.|

Conference Proceedings

  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Leadbetter, A. E. (2008). The development of a multimedia and virtual reality aid to the self-regulation of driving in older individuals. Paper presented at the 1st Conference on Interactive Technologies: Education, Disability and Rehabilitation, Nottingham.|

Other publications

  • Penn, P (2021, September 1) How to study effectively. Retrieved from
  • Penn, P (2020, September 1) How to Study Effectively: Key Advice From Psychology. Retrieved from
  • Penn, P (2019, September 12) How to succeed in your degree with Psychology. Retrieved from
  • Penn, P. (2019). The Psychology of Effective Studying: How to Succeed in Your Degree. London and New York: Routledge.
  • Penn, P. R., & Wells, I. G. (2018). Making Assessment Promote Effective Learning Practices: An Example of Ipsative Assessment from the School of Psychology at UEL. Psychology Teaching Review, 24(2), 70-74.
  • Penn, P., & Wells, I. (2017). Enhancing Feedback and Feed-Forward via Integrated Virtual Learning Environment Based Evaluation and Support. Psychology Teaching Review, 23(2), 60-65.
  • Penn, P.R. and Rose, F.D (2014, June 3rd) [Cybertherapy and rehabilitation website] Virtual Environments for Brain Injury: Virtual Reality’s Forgotten Silver Bullet? Retrieved from
  • Penn, P.R. and Rose, F.D (2012) The Use of Virtual Reality-Based Environmental Enrichment for Patients Recovering from Brain Injury In R. Bayne & G. Jinks (Eds.), Applied psychology: research, training and practice (2nd ed., pp. 290–292). London: Sage
  • Kornbrot, D. E., Penn, P., Petrie, H., Furner, S., & Hardwick, A. (2007). Roughness perception in haptic virtual reality for sighted and blind people. Perception & Psychophysics, 69(4), 502–512. doi:10.3758/BF03193907
  • Penn, P. R., Brooks, B. M., Rose, F. D., & Leadbetter, A. G. (2005). Preliminary evaluation of a desktop PC-based virtual reality driving assessment. International Journal on Disability and Human Development, 4(4), 325–330. doi:10.1515/IJDHD.2005.4.4.325
  • Penn, P. R., Rose, F. D., & Brooks, B. M. (2005). Virtual reality in everyday memory assessment and rehabilitation: Progress to date and future potential. In B. K. Wiederhold, G. Riva & A. H. Bullinger (Eds.), Annual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine (Vol. 3, pp. 31–38).


Scholarly activities

  • Guest editor for CyberPsychology and Behaviour
  • Invited referee for CyberPsychology and Behaviour
  • Invited referee for Neurorehabilitation
  • Invited referee for Developmental Neurorehabilitation
  • Invited referee for Psychological Research

BSc (Hons) Psychology

You will develop a good knowledge of the influences on, and factors involved in, human functioning in all the core areas of psychology.

Read more


  • PY4002 Introduction to Biological and Social Psychology and Individual Differences - Deputy module lead.
  • PY4006 Researching with Larger Samples - Seminar leader
  • PY6301 Research Project - Module tutor and supervisor
  • PY6302 Employability and Developing Your Graduate Pathway - Tutor
  • PY6323 Cyberpsychology - Module leader
  • PY6306 Health Psychology - Tutor
  • PY7155 Independent Research Thesis - Interim module leader