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Dr Matt Somerville
UCL Institute of Education
20 Bedford Way
Dr Matt Somerville profile picture
  • Lecturer in Psychology
  • IOE - Psychology & Human Development
  • UCL Institute of Education

I joined the Department of Psychology and Human Development in 2017. I am programme leader for the MSc Psychology of Education and teach on a range of modules at masters and doctoral level. I am also an HCPC registered practitioner psychologist in the UK and a registered educational psychologist in New Zealand. 

Before joining UCL, I worked at the University of Cambridge’s REAL Centre (Research for Equitable Access and Learning) in the Faculty of Education. I was part of an interdisciplinary team researching inclusive classroom practices in government primary schools in India and Pakistan. Prior to this, I worked as an educational psychologist and special education advisor for New Zealand’s Ministry of Education. Much of this work focused on supporting children and adolescents with social, emotional, and mental health difficulties. I have also worked as an educational and child psychologist for local education authorities in the UK and as a classroom teacher and teacher educator in New Zealand, Bolivia, Hong Kong, and Japan.

Research Summary

Broadly, my research interests are concerned with educational contexts that support children’s social and emotional development. My primary research focus is on emotion regulation and how it relates to mental health and well-being. Other research interests include beliefs about emotion controllability, self-regulation/co-regulation, metacognition, teacher-pupil interactions, peer interactions, playground social activity, and the social context of the classroom. 

Teaching Summary

  • Programme Leader: MSc Psychology of Education
  • Module Leader: Core Topics in Psychology of Education, Individual Differences and Social Psychology in Education
  • Lecturer and Dissertation/Thesis Supervisor: MSc Psychology of Education, MSc Child Development, MSc Developmental and Educational Psychology, MA Education (Psychology), MA Special and Inclusive Education, DEdPsy (Doctorate in Professional Educational, Child and Adolescent Psychology), EdD, and PhD.
  • Topics taught: the classroom as a context for interaction and learning; interactions between teachers and pupils; peer relations, friendships, and bullying; children's emotion regulation; emotion controllability beliefs, supporting children's mental health and well-being in the school context; research design; critiquing research; and observational research methods.

Current doctoral students

  • Xinyi Cao: Young children with callous unemotional traits, disruptive behaviour, and teacher-child interaction in the Chinese context
  • Lorenzo Ciletti: Comparative research on the educational aid of teaching assistants: Roles and interactions with pupils with SEND
  • Sarah Dolaty: The impact of stakeholder participation in youth mental health programming
  • Erika Galea: Regulating emotions in the Maltese context to improve the quality of teaching and learning in the early years
  • Kamila Naeem: The most disadvantaged in education: An investigation of factors contributing to the educational experience and integration of low-SES young adult bilingual and multilingual immigrants in educational settings 
  • Aneeza Pervez: Understanding prosociality, peer relationships, and classroom interactions in primary school children
  • Jonathan Porrino: Pupils with special educational needs receiving individual support from teaching assistants in mainstream secondary schools: What is working well and what needs to change
  • Yue Zhao: Peer support, engagement and learning in Chinese primary schools: Before and after educational reforms

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