Dr Sarah Howcutt

PhD, MA (Oxon), PGCE (Oxon), CPsychol, AFPBsS, FRSPH, SFHEA

Programme Lead for Health and Professional Development, Principal Lecturer in Public Health

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Sarah Howcutt


I am the Programme Lead for a cluster of programmes including Public Health, Management in Health and Social Care, Nursing Studies, Health Science and Professional Development in Health and Social Care. I am the Course Director for our Flying Faculty in Hong Kong and I look after collaborative provision in Swindon and Dublin and Sri Lanka.   I am the Faculty Representative responsible for international student support and I am engaged in work to help international students to navigate active learning and assessment in new cultures.  

I am also a dedicated researcher with an interest in how we engage marginalised groups in health research and in health promotion activities such as cancer screening.  

Before joining Oxford Brookes University, I taught Psychology in Further Education and at the Open University. 

Areas of expertise

  • Survey design and analysis
  • Framework analysis
  • Research recruitment methods
  • Digital technologies in research
  • Social and health inequalities

Teaching and supervision


Modules taught

  • Applied and Advanced Research Methods
  • Epidemiology
  • Data Analysis
  • Advanced Health Promotion
  • Project Management Skills
  • Evidence-Based Practice


  • MPH Public Health dissertation supervision
  • MPH Global Public Health Leadership project supervision
  • MSc Management in Health and Social Care dissertation supervision
  • PhD - Methods of presenting participant information and health questionnaires to increase response rates in young women
  • PhD - Integrating the Sustainable Development Goals in the nursing curriculum 


My work explores how researchers might motivate young women to take part in research which asks questions about their health risk behaviours. I am particularly interested in the use of social marketing and digital technologies to reduce barriers to research participation. In addition, I am part of a project to increase the uptake of bowel cancer screening in South Asian communities in England.  

My earlier research involved the validation of the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test in Primary Care. I have also undertaken an audit with Dr. Jane Appleton, Dr. Catherine Powell and Dr. Nick Pike to evaluate NHS staff knowledge and training needs on the subject of child sexual exploitation.

Research networks

  • AI and Data Analysis (AIDAN) Research Network - Steering group member




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Professional information

Memberships of professional bodies

  • Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health
  • BPS Chartered Psychologist and Associate Fellow, Member of the Division of Academics, Researchers and Teachers in Psychology
  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy