Rea Michalopoulou

Thesis title: Children, COVID-19, and Virtual Reality


I started my academic journey at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTh) in Greece where in 2019 I completed a First-Class Honours Bachelor of Education (BEd Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Teaching. During my bachelor's studies, I immersed myself in the psychology world which then led me to move to Edinburgh. In 2020, I joined the School of Health in Social Science and completed the MSc in Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion) with distinction. For my master's dissertation, I explored young people's understanding of COVID-19. This project sparked my interest in illness perceptions and played a pivotal role in the design of my PhD project.


MSc (Distinction) in Psychology of Mental Health (Conversion), University of Edinburgh, UK

BEd (1st Class-Hons) in Early Childhood Education and Teaching, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Responsibilities & affiliations

Member of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS)

Postgraduate teaching



  • Developmental Psychology and Developmental Psychopathology (CLPS11054) SEM1

  • Typical and Atypical Child Development (CLPS11080) SEM1
  • Attachment, Wellbeing and Mental Health (CLPS11079) SEM2
  • Biological Psychology (CLPS11083) SEM2



  • Biological Psychology (CLPS11083) SEM2
  • Parenting: Theory & Practice (CLPS11042) SEM2
  • Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Disorders (CLPS11052) SEM2


Current PhD students supervised

Chuxiong Wu (School of Informatics)

Research summary

My research interests lie (1) in the way children understand infectious diseases, (2) in children's familiarity with VR technologies; and 3) in creating age-appropriate VR applications.

Current research interests

illness perceptions; mental health; virtual reality; children; adolescents; clinical psychology; developmental psychology; health psychology

Affiliated research centres

Current project grants

The Onassis Foundation Scholarship-Awarded for the duration of my PhD

Conference details

Michalopoulou, R. E., Williams, J. M., Bach, B., Kourtesis, P. (2023). Children, COVID-19 & Virtual Reality. HiSS PGR Conference 2023: Integrative approaches to Healthcare. -Poster Presentation of PhD's research plan

Hoelterhoff, M., Johnston, S., Ajeet Gokani, H., Michalopoulou, R. E., Leyland, E. L. (2022). Personal Values in Postgraduate University Student Engagement: A Creative Participatory Action Research Project. 2022 Porto 31st International Conference On “Literature, Social Sciences and Education” (PLSSE-22). - Oral Presentation - Awarded "Best Session Paper"

Michalopoulou, R. E., Williams, J. M., Ding, R. (2021). Young People's Understanding of COVID-19. BPS Scottish Branch 2021 Postgraduate Research Day. - Oral Presentation of master’s dissertation