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Dr Tim O'Brien
  • Honorary Senior Lecturer
  • IOE - Social Science
  • UCL Institute of Education

Honorary Senior Lecturer and Visiting Fellow in Psychology and Human Development at UCL [Institute of Education]

Former Senior Lecturer, Westminster College, Oxford.

Former Lecturer in Psychology and Human Development [specialising in Emotional and Behavioural needs] at the Institute of Education, University of London.

Work in the field includes:

First Team Psychologist/Club Psychologist for three English Premier League Teams. This included over 10 years as First Team Psychologist at Arsenal Football Club. Tim left Arsenal FC three years ago to return to academic work.

Coaching individuals and teams in a range of global businesses. Tim has applied Grounded Theory as an analytic methodology for insight into, and development of, higher performance in business teams in multiple business sectors. 

Consulting to National Health Service executive teams across the UK. 

Tim has a longstanding relationship with The Papworth Trust - a leading disability charity that is focused on social change. 

Tim worked in mainstream and specialist education...

Mainstream education: 

Secondary, Comprehensive (11-16) 

Specialist education: 

Social, Emotional and Mental Health needs (SEMH age 4-16); 
Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD, primary), 
Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD, primary). 

He was recently a judge in the first debating competition in the UK to take place inside a prison between prisoners. This took place at HMP Birmingham and was organised by the Institute of Ideas. 


Tim's first book 'Promoting Positive Behaviour' was published in 1998. His most recent book, 'Inner Story: understand your mind change your world', was published in 2016. 

He has co-written, edited and contributed to books in the field of psychology and human development, inclusion, pedagogy and psychology between 1998 and 2017.


Tim was the first person to be awarded The Fulton Fellowship. 

The Hines Page Scholarship (USA).

Research Summary

Current Research:

Co-leading , with Dr. Amelia Roberts, a ten month research and knowledge exchange programme in the area of wellbeing, resilience and learning in primary schools with a particular focus on young children who experience social, emotional and mental health needs [SEMH}. This research is being conducted through the UCL Department of Psychology and Human Development and The UCL Centre for Inclusive Education.

Designed and co-leads, with Dr. Dennis Guiney, a Teacher Wellbeing programme for The Chartered College of Teaching. This programme includes action research, incorporates psychology and phenomenology, has a practical focus and is currently taking place in Government Opportunity Areas across the UK. 

Teaching Summary

Teaching at Masters level.

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