Search for courses or information

Dr Sharon Cahill

Head of Department: Psychological Sciences

Psychology and Social Change, Psychology

Sharon Cahill is the Head of Department for Psychological Sciences in the School of Psychology. She is the Co-Lead for Athena Swan in the School and sits on the University Panel. Dr Cahill is also the Communication Lead for the School..

    Sharon Cahill is a psychology graduate from the University of Teeside. Her PhD entitled “Women’s experience(s) of anger: social and personal perception” using Q-methodology and a thematic discourse analysis was completed in 2002. As a postgraduate researcher Dr Cahill worked at the HRSD at the Institute of Psychiatry (Kings College London) for three years as a research fellow, managing two research projects focusing upon developments in service provision for mental health patients. Outcomes included: a valid and reliable mental health assessment tool - the Threshold Assessment Grid (the ‘TAG’), used for referral purposes across a range of mental health services; FOCUS randomized control trial, notable for its inclusion of the patient and practitioner as raters of mental wellbeing and also for feedback being given about both sets of assessment, with positive impacts on reduced admission rates. The Threshold and Focus studies are also notable for teaching practitioners how to use standardised assessments longitudinally which is not normal practice in mental health research or necessarily in everyday clinical practice.

    Dr Cahill has consulted for several SMEs and local authority organisations including Barking and Dagenham Children and Young Peoples Trust, Barnet Children's Services, Act for Change & Women's Health and Equality Consortium developing specific evaluations and needs assessments.

    Teaching at different levels and with different types of students for over twenty years, Dr Cahill's aim is to encourage, challenge and foster self-motivation in the student in order for them to develop the confidence to begin their research career. 

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Committee Member of the Qualitative Methods in Psychology of the British Psychological Society 


    Sharon’s research interests in the main involve exploring women’s (and vulnerable peoples) experiences of life, mental health, emotions, work and the body using qualitative research methods.

    Recent peer-reviewed Journal articles include:
    Moorley, C. R., Cahill, S. & Corcoran, N. (2015) Life after stroke: Coping mechanisms among Caribbean women. Health and Social Care in the Community.doi:10.1111/hsc.12256

    Gilbert, K., Tileaga, C., & Cahill, S. (2014). Dilemmas of long-term unemployment: Talking about constraint, self determination and the future. International Journal of Education and Psychology in the Community. 4(1),7-33.

    Moorley, C., Cahill, S., Tunariu, A. D., & Scott, O. (2014). Impact of stroke, a functional, psychosocial report of an inner city multiracial population. Primary Healthcare, Vol 24, No. 4.

    Lawrence, N., & Cahill, S. (2014). The impact of dynamic assessment: An exploration of the views of children, parents and teachers. British Journal of Special Education, 41(2), 191–211. doi:10.1111/1467-8578.12060|


    • test


    Davis, B., & Cahill, S. (2006). Challenging expectations for every child through innovation, regeneration and reinvention. Educational and Child Psychology, 23(1), 80–89.

    Slade, M., Cahill, S., Kelsey, W., Powell, R., & Strathdee, G. (2001). Threshold Assessment Grid: A new approach to identifying severity of mental health problems. Actas Españolas de Psiquitría, 29(11), 33.

    Cahill, S., & Riley, S. (2000). Resistances and reconciliations: Women and body art. In M. Banim & A. Guy (Eds.), Personal collections: Women’s relationships with their clothes. London: Berg.

    Banim, M., Guy, A., Cahill, S., & Bainbridge, A. (1997). “I don’t know what I need to know.” A peer sexual health project by young disabled people. In P. Aggleton, P. Davies & G. Hart (Eds.), AIDS: Activism and alliances. London: Taylor Francis.

    Conference Proceedings:  Cahill, S., & Duncan, E. (1996). Women’s experience of anger: An exploration of personal and social perceptions. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Psychology of Women Section Conference.

    Reports:  Slade, M., Cahill, S., Knight, T., Powell, R., & Strathdee, G. (2002). Good practice guidelines for identifying the priority group for specialist mental health services. London: Threshold Program.

    Slade, M., McCrone, P., Kuipers, E., Leese, M., Cahill, S., Parabiaghi, A., … Thornicroft, G. (2006). Use of standardised outcome measures in adult mental health services: Randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 189(4), 330–336. doi:10.1192/bjp.bp.105.015412

    Riley, S. C. E., & Cahill, S. (2005). Managing meaning and belonging: Young women’s negotiation of authenticity in body art. Journal of Youth Studies, 8(3), 261–279. doi:10.1080/13676260500261843

    Slade, M., Leese, M., Cahill, S., Thornicroft, G., & Kuipers, E. (2005). Patient-rated mental health needs and quality of life improvement. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187(3), 256–261. doi:10.1192/bjp.187.3.256

    Riley, S., Schouten, W., & Cahill, S. (2003). Exploring the dynamics of subjectivity and power of the researcher and researched. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 4(2).

    Slade, M., Cahill, S., Kelsey, W., Powell, R., & Strathdee, G. (2002). Threshold 2: The reliability, validity and sensitivity to change of the Threshold Assessment Grid (TAG). Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica, 106(6), 453–460. doi:10.1034/j.1600-0447.2002.02356.x

    Slade, M., Cahill, S., Kelsey, W., Leese, M., Powell, R., & Strathdee, G. (2001). Threshold 3: The feasibility of the Threshold Assessment Grid (TAG) for routine assessment of the severity of mental health problems. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 36(10), 516–521. doi:10.1007/s001270170017

    Mulvery, A., Terenzio, M., Bond, M. A., Huygens, I., Hamerton, H. R., & Cahill, S. (2000). Stories of relative privilege: Power and social change in feminist community psychology. American Journal of Community Psychology, 28(6), 883–911. doi:10.1023/A:1005120001986

     Slade, M., Cahill, S., Kelsey, W., Leese, M., Powell, R., & Strathdee, G. (2003). Threshold 4: An evaluation of the Threshold Assessment Grid as an aid to mental health referrals. Primary Care Mental Health, 1, 45–54.


    Qualitative research methods
    Emotion and gender
    Women and the body (specifically body art)
    Women and work


    PY6344: CBEM Community-Based Evaluation Module (a work-placement based module involving evaluation with an external organisation).

    PY8105: Research: Design (Joint Module Leader)

    PY8108: Research: Data Analysis (Joint Module Leader)

    BSc Psychology

    BSc Clinical and Community Psychology

    Professional Doctorate in Child and Applied Educational Psychology

    Professional Doctorate in Child and Educational Psychology