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

2021 Member of the British Psychological Society (GMBPsS)

Undergraduate teaching


Medical School

  • Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine (SEAM): Unit 1: Understanding Experiences of Illness [SEM1]

  • Social and Ethical Aspects of Medicine (SEAM): Unit 3: Health in Communities [SEM2]

Postgraduate teaching


School of Health in Social Science

  • 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]


School of Health in Social Science

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


Past 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