Dr Deborah Holt

Lecturer in Mental Health promotion and Health and Wellbeing


  • I have been working at Moray House School of Education since 2010 with specialism in health and wellbeing and mental health promotion
  • I have been a programme director and subject lead on ITE programmes and I was the School Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement from 2018 to 2023
  • I lead, develop and teach in Health and wellbeing, positive mental health promotion, positive behaviour, resilience and grief across the School. 
  • I am course organiser for a level 8 course open to students across the university designed to help students understand how to be more healthy more often, Health and Wellbeing Promotion in the University Community and Beyond.
  • I am committed to enhancing the student experience for all students and particularly for our Widening Participation students. I am the School Widening Participation Champion which involves working with colleagues to enhance the experience for WP students as well as to work with partners and external agencies engaging with WP pupils in schools.
  • Prior to coming to UoE, I was a Headteacher, with a focus on the pastoral role, and  early years teacher and specialist MFL teacher for 4-12 year olds.


Doctorate in Education: The Primary School Teacher's responsibility to Promote Positive Mental Health


BA Hons Language and Linguistics

Responsibilities & affiliations


Moray House School of Education and Sport Widening Participation Champion

Health and Wellbeing lead on various programmes

Exam Board Convenor


Institute of Education Teaching and Leadership

UoE Thrive Network

Part of the PCRE Research cluster

Scotland’s Community of Access and Participation Practitioners 

Undergraduate teaching

Course Organiser for Health and Wellbeing Promotion in the University Community and Beyond

Course lead on Health and Wellbeing Promotion in the University Community and Beyond- open to students across the university and designed to promote student wellbeing

lead on various Health and Wellbeing electives and core course content across a range of programmes

safeguarding in Teacher Education



Postgraduate teaching

MSc Inclusive Education dissertation supervision

input on mental health promotion/health and wellbeing as required/invited

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I welcome applications for qualitative research relating to wellbeing in education 

I supervise students in projects associated with :

mental health promotion which includes any specific contributor or threat to positive mental health

educator wellbeing

 social and emotional inclusion of New Scots (refugee) children

and other qualitative studies related to health and wellbeing

Current PhD students supervised


Beth Davies- the childminder's experience during Covid - year 3

April Steffeck - how student teachers are prepared to deal with teacher directed abuse - year 3

Morgan Ludington- experiences and narratives of menstruation- year 3

Anna Jesseman- teacher wellbeing- year 2

Selin Korkmaz- Syrian families' experiences of the Scottish education system- year 2

Past PhD students supervised

Jill Steel- Reading to Dogs

Research summary


  • positive mental health promotion in education
  • learner wellbeing
  • the educator's role in promoting learners'  positive mental health
  • teacher and educator wellbeing
  • social and emotional wellbeing support at transition between primary and secondary school
  • social, emotional and academic integration of refugee children in primary school

Current research interests

Positive mental health promotion in education contexts; Teacher wellbeing; Social, emotional and academic integration of refugee children; Sex education; How ITE prepares student teachers for Health and Wellbeing as the responsibility of all in Secondary schools Support for social and emotional wellbeing at transition from Primary to Secondary school;

Past research interests

Promoting metacognition through child peer learning conversations and the development of metacognitive language

Knowledge exchange

How to tutor widening access learners


Affiliated research centres

Project activity

the partnership with Place 2 Be

Working with ReAct to promote New Scot's children's inclusion

How we prepare student teachers to meet their responsibility to health and wellbeing within Curriculum for Excellence


  • Metacognition in the Primary Classroom with Peter Tarrant, January 2016