Dr Karen Zhoc

Lecturer in Psychology

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Karen Zhoc


  • To teach in both BSc (Hons) and MSc psychology courses, and
  • To supervise undergraduate and postgraduate student projects and dissertations.


I am a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society (Division of Educational and Child Psychology).  Prior to joining Oxford Brookes, I worked for the Positive Psychology and Education Group of the Education University of Hong Kong.  I worked closely with schools in developing interventions that aimed at fostering students’ engagement and wellbeing.  My research interests focus on better understanding of the factors that underpin emotions, wellbeing and student engagement.  As a psychologist, I am keen on transferring research knowledge and applying theories of positive psychology to design interventions that improve students’ learning and wellbeing.  For evidence-based research and practices, my research also covers psychometric evaluation of various psychological measurement scales. 

Teaching and supervision

Modules taught

  • PSYC6013: Conceptual Issues and Critical Debates in Psychology
  • PSYC6014: Work and Organisational Psychology
  • PSYC7001: Brain and Cognition



  • Measurement: How to define and measure wellbeing and student engagement?
  • Cause and effect: What factors drive wellbeing and student engagement? How do emotions and wellbeing impact on student engagement?
  • Intervention: What interventions can be designed to enhance wellbeing and student engagement In gist, here under are my key research areas:
  • emotions and wellbeing; social-emotional learning; emotional intelligence; psychological measurement and evaluation; positive psychology and education; student engagement.


  • “Happy Start School Project: A Social and Emotional Learning Programme to Facilitate Children’s Transition to Primary School
  • Chief Co-I, Quality Education Fund, Hong Kong [HK$959,300/GBP£105,000] (2018-2020)

Ad-Joc Journal Reviwers

  • Current Psychology, Frontiers in Psychology, Research in Higher Education, Higher Education Research and Development, Studies in Higher Education, European Journal of Higher Education, Knowledge Management Research and Practice



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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Chartered Psychologist, The British Psychological Society (Division of Educational and Child Psychology) 
  • Member of Psychometric Society


  • Zhoc, K. (2018, September). The importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in the first year: Examining the differences for students with high and low EI on their engagement and learning outcomes. Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2018, Oxford, UK.
  • Zhoc, K. (2018, September). Emotionally intelligent students are more self-directed in learning.  Paper presented at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference 2018, Oxford, UK.
  • Zhoc, K. (2018, June). The importance of emotional intelligence (EI) in the first year: Results from the Quantitative Findings. Paper presented at the Annual Departmental Conference of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, the Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
  • Zhoc, K. (2017, December). Emotional intelligence (EI) and self-directed learning: Their relation and contribution to student success in higher education.  Symposium conducted at the WERA Focal Meeting & HKERA International Conference 2017, Hong Kong.
  • Zhoc, K. (2013, December). On the psychometric properties of the Emotional Intelligence Scale (EIS): Findings from a sample of university students in Hong Kong. Paper presented at the Postgraduate Research Conference 2013, Hong Kong. 
  • Lo, R., Woo J., & Zhoc, K. Li, C., Yeo, W., Johnson, P., Mak, Y. and Lee, J. (2001).  Cross cultural validation of McGill Quality of Life Scale in palliative care for Hong Kong Chinese – Final analysis.  Paper presented at the Asia Pacific Hospice Conference 2001.