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- Chartered Psychologist with the BPS
- PhD (Cardiff)
- MSc. Play Therapy (Distinction) USW
- Pg.Dip.Res (Distinction) Cardiff
- PGCE Primary (Distinction) Wales
- BA (Hons) Education with Psychology (1st) Cardiff
- Intensive Filial Therapy Training
- Level 2 DDP Training
- Level 1 Theraplay Training


Senior Lecturer in Developmental Psychology

Previous posts held:
- Academic Tutor (Psychology and Education), Cardiff University
- Primary School Teacher (children aged 3-11 years)
- Dyslexia and Study Support Tutor, Cardiff University, Open University, Glamorgan
University/ University of South Wales


Course Leader for:
MSc. Play Therapy (UK and Hong Kong)
MSc. Play and Therapeutic Play

Module Leader for:
- Child Development (Level 7)
- Working with Children and Families (Level 7)
- Play into Practice (Level 7)
- Play and Development (Level 6)

Previous responsibilities:

Module Leader for:
- Research Methods (Level 7)
- MSc. Dissertation (Level 7)
- Personal Therapy in Practice (Level 7)
- The Way Children Think and Learn (Level 6)
- Psychology and Education (Level 5)
- Developmental Psychology (Level 5)
– Research with Children and Young People (Level 5)

I also currently teach on:
- Introduction to Developmental Disorders (Level 4)
- Therapeutic Interventions Across the Lifespan (Level 6)
- Play Therapy Skills (Level 7)
- Advanced Play Therapy Skills (Level 7)
- Clinical Practice 1 and 2 (Level 7)
- Therapeutic Play Dissertation (Level 7)


April 2016: Student Choice Award Nominee for Outstanding Student Support

April 2015: Nomination for Student Led Teaching Awards

September 2013: Recognition of Outstanding Student Support


Book chapters:

McInnes, K. & Birdsey, N. (2015). Understanding play: The perceptions of children, adolescents, parents and teachers. In L.A. Barnett (Ed). Play of individuals and societies. Oxford: Interdisciplinary Press (pp.105-116). []


McInnes, K., Austin, J., Birdsey, N., Prince, J., Shrewing, L. & Roderique-Davies, G. (2014). Attitudes to parenting practices and child discipline. Welsh Government Social Research: Analysis for Policy 13/2014. []

Journal articles:

McInnes, K., Birdsey, N. & Owen-Leeds, S. (under review). A comparison of teachers’ and children’s perceptions of play and the implications for early years classroom practice. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal.

Al Said, T.B.T, Stuart-Hamilton, I. & Birdsey, N. (2014). Prevalence of behavioural and emotional problems among Omani children as predicted by demographic variables. Journal of Educational and Psychological Sciences, 8(4), 587-595.

Al Said, T.B.T., Birdsey, N. & Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2013). Psychometric Properties of Bar-On Emotional Quotient Inventory Youth Version among Omani Children. International Journal of Learning Management Systems, 1(2), 13-24. []

Al Said, T.B.T., Stuart-Hamilton, I. & Birdsey, N. (2013). Effectiveness of an intervention programme for increasing emotional intelligence and decreasing emotional and behavioural problems of fourth grade pupils in the Sultanate of Oman. Journal of American Arabic Academy for Sciences and Technology, 4(8), 153-181. []

Al Said, T.B.T., Birdsey, N. & Sturat-Hamilton, I. (2012). Development and validation of a behavioural and emotional problem scale for Omani children. Menoufia Scientific Journal, 1(1), 1-40.

Clack, G., Crowley, K., Waycott, L., Prince, J. & Birdsey, N. (2010). Childcare practitioners’ knowledge and perceptions of play therapy. British Journal of Play Therapy, 6(1), 19-34. []

Crozier, W.R. & Birdsey, N. (2003) Shyness, sensation seeking and birth order positioning. Personality and Individual Differences, 35(1), 127-134. []

Conference presentations:

Birdsey, N. (2016) Assessment practices in the UK: Understanding how and why competent children are struggling to meet expected standards. International Conference on Education Measurement and Evaluation 2016, Manilla, Philippines.

Birdsey, N. (2016) Understanding the co-morbidity of ADHD and Attachment Disorders: Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment. 15th International Conference on Medical, Medicine and Health Sciences 2016, Hong Kong.

Birdsey, N. and McInnes, K. (2016). Teachers’ and children’s perceptions of play. 6th Froebel Network Conference, Canterbury [Invited talk].

Birdsey, N. (2015). Creating learning contexts that afford greater resilience to educational underachievement: A socio-cultural exploration of the situated learning experiences of central and peripheral learners. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Belfast.

Birdsey, N. and McInnes, K. (2015). A comparison of teachers’ and children’s perceptions of play and the implications for early years classroom practice. Play Conference, Malmo, Sweden [Invited talk].

McInnes, K. & Birdsey, N. (2014). A comparison of teachers and children’s perceptions of play and the implications for early years classroom practice. 19th International Play Association World Conference, Istanbul.

McInnes, K. & Birdsey, N. (2013). Defining play: The perceptions of children, adolescents, parents and professionals. 2nd Global Conference: Making Sense Of Play, Oxford.

Crowley, K. & Birdsey, N. (2013). Engaging children in play therapy research. International Play Therapy Conference: Play in Practice: Utilizing, evaluating, and reflecting on the therapeutic use of play, Dublin.

Birdsey, N. & McInnes, K. (2013). Child-Centred Play Therapy in Action. Shue Yan University, Hong Kong.

Birdsey, N., Machi, M. & Waycott, L. (2012). Play therapy: Theory, Practice and Research. 18th European Association for Psychotherapy Conference: Promoting (Mental) Health in Europe, Valencia.

Birdsey, N. & Waycott, L. (2011). Exploring the effectiveness of play therapy in enhancing children’s emotional wellbeing. 18th International Play Association World Conference, Cardiff.

Birdsey, N. & Waycott, L. (2011). Communicating with children using play and the creative Arts Techniques. 18th International Play Association World Conference, Cardiff.

Al Said, T., Stuart-Hamilton, I. and Birdsey, N. (2011). Prevalence of behavioural and emotional problems in Omani children and the possibilities of predicting them using 19 demographic variables. First Scientific Conference, University of Nizwa, Oman.

Al Said, T., Birdsey, N., and Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2011). Development and Validation of behavioural and emotional problems scale for students in grades 1 to 4 in the Governorate of Muscat- Sultanate of Oman. Third Scientific Conference, Kuwait University, Kuwait.

Noblett, N., Birdsey, N. & Pilgrim, A. (2010). Tackling bullying in personal and social education in schools. Education Research Symposium. Pontypridd.

Birdsey, N. (2007) Underachieving locales: A socio-cultural perspective on pupil motivation. British Educational Research Association Annual Conference, Institute of Education, UK.

Other media:
Magazine interview for article on ’Child’s Play’ in Hong Kong Expat Parent magazine, September 2014. []


- Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society
- Health and Science Research Institute, USW
- British Educational Research Association
- British Association of Play Therapists


WAG Funded Project (£22k) to inform the Welsh Government campaign on positive parenting approaches to managing child behaviour (McInnes, Austin, Birdsey, Prince, Shrewing, & Roderique-Davies), 2013

ESRC Research Studentship Award (£25k) to investigate motivation in underachieving locales from a socio-cultural perspective, 2002

Other funding
- Birdsey, N. and Stuart-Hamilton, I. (2015). Science and Health Research Institute Development Fund (£9,985)
- Birdsey, N. (2010). Strategic Insight Partnership: BulliesOut. (SIP) (£2500)
- Birdsey, N. (2010). Strategic Insight Partnership: Stepping Stones. (SIP) (£2500)
- Blakey, K., Noblett, N., Birdsey, N. and Pilgrim, A. (2009). Tackling Bullying in the PSE Curriculum. (Education Sandpit Funding) (£1500).
- Graff, M., Davies, J., Birdsey, N. & Brown, N. (2007). An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Online Instruction to higher Education. (URIS) (£4908).


Research Interests:

- Emotional well-being of children
- The role of play in promoting well-being
- Motivation and underachievement

Research Projects:

Therapeutic work with children (in collaboration with Lisa Waycott)

Current Research Students:

Joanne Higgins – Academic Attainment and Parental Engagement In Education: The Mediating Role of Self-Concept and Attitudes Towards Learning (with Prof. Ian Stuart-Hamilton and Dr. Martin Graff)

Klara Sabolova – Parental divorce and young children’s well-being:
A cross cultural study in Wales and the Czech Republic (with Prof. Ian Stuart-Hamilton)

Jo Ashburner – An evaluation of creative methods used within secondary school-based counselling in Wales (with Dr. Sheila Spong and Dr. Phil Tyson)

Completed PhD Supervision:

Tagharid Al-Said – Exploring the effectiveness of a play-based educational programme in increasing children’s emotional intelligence and reducing behavioural problems (with Prof. Ian Stuart-Hamilton – awarded 2013)

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