Dr Julie Smith

Deputy Head of Institute for Education, Community & Society (IECS) / Lecturer Developmental Psychology


My undergraduate degree in Psychology was completed at Edinburgh Napier University and was as a result of a career change.  My PhD, completed at the University of Glasgow, focussed on children’s verbal interactions during collaborative problem solving in mathematics.  In particular metacognitive talk.  Having held a number of teaching posts at different universities, I completed an MSc in Applied Psychology (CYP) at the University of Edinburgh, qualifying as a Clinical Associate in Applied Psychology.  I have worked in the area of mental health with children and young people as well as with university students, and I currently hold an honorary contract with NHS Lothian.    I am a Chartered Psychologist with the British Psychological Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


BA (Hons) Psychology

MSc Applied Psychology for Children & Young People

PhD Psychology of Learning


Undergraduate teaching

Educational Studies 2a

Cognitive and Social Child Development in Education

Postgraduate teaching

Psychology of Learning and Teaching (Course Organiser)

Child and Adolescent Development

Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Wellbeing

Dissertation Supervision (MSc Education)

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am keen to supervise students with an interest in the following areas:

Psychology of  Mathematics Education 

Metacognition & Learning

Pedagogical approaches to promote wellbeing in education

Current PhD students supervised

Stephen Sowa   (Co-supervised with Professor Andrew Manches)

Yi Wang (Co-supervised with Dr Nikki Moran)

Research summary

  • Metacognition and Mathematics Learning
  • Pedagogical approaches to support learning in STEM subjects
  • The  relationship between pedagogical approaches and mental health and wellbeing (particularly in Higher Education)
  • Mental health intervention evaluation in child and adolescent mental health services

Current project grants

Critical Thinking Retreat: Using situated simulations to develop researcher positioning in master’s students, Principal's Teaching Award (£8822)
Dissertation Buddies: Development, implementation and evaluation of a peer support programme for PGT students during the dissertation phase, Student Experience Grant (£2245)

Past project grants

Problem Solving Partnerships in Mathematics Education. Enhancing Professional Learning in STEM, 2019-2020 Education Scotland (£15748)

View all 7 publications on Research Explorer