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Dr Liz Partington

Principal Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Psychology Faculty Director of Student Satisfaction and Engagement (Health and Life Sciences)

Department: Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation

Liz completed an undergraduate degree in Psychology at Stirling University and then went on to complete her Masters in Sport and Exercise Psychology at Exeter University.

HLS Elizabeth Partington Staffprofile 255

Liz remained at Exeter and completed her PhD under the supervision of Professor Andrew Sparkes. Liz has lectured at Northumbria University since 2001 and during that time has occupied several leadership roles, including programme leadership at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, and more recently Director of Programmes (Sport and Exercise Sciences) within the Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation.  She is currently the Director of Student Satisfaction and Engagement for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.  Liz is also a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (HEA).    

Liz is a chartered Sport and Exercise Psychologist and is on the Health and Care Professions Council Register (Practitioner Psychologist).  She is a member of the British Psychological Society (BPS) including their Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology (DSEP).  She is also a member of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Scientists (BASES) and the Young people and Alcohol Research Network (YARN).

 Liz has acted as a sport psychology consultant with a range of clients including England Badminton, the English Institute of Sport and Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club.  She co-wrote the psychology curriculum for England Badminton’s long-term athlete development programme, and used to co-write a regular sport psychology column in ‘Badminton Magazine,’ an England Badminton nationally distributed publication.  Liz has also contributed text book chapters on applied sport psychology.

Campus Address

Northumberland Building

0191 227 7096

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

Liz’s research interests are within the field of athlete mental health and well-being, with a particular focus on the role played by athletic identity in determining athlete well-being.  Liz is a member of a multidisciplinary research team that is working to further the knowledge base surrounding the recognition, management and treatment of mental health in athletic populations and to support the creation of an effective model of mental health service delivery in elite sport.

Liz has specific research expertise in narrative and narrative analysis and has applied this research approach within her work on athletic identity. Liz has recently developed a strand of research around harmful and hazardous drinking in student and student athlete populations.

Although the majority of the work to date is focussed upon athletic populations there is potential application of the work to other populations. Liz has already been involved in research projects relating to mental health and well-being in firefighters, and anticipates further work with populations such as the military and police.

Current/Recent Projects

Title:              Use and abuse of alcohol in UK University Sport

Role:              Co-investigator (PI: Sarah Partington)

Agency:        Alcohol Education and Research Council (now Alchohol Research UK)

Date:             2007


Key Publications

Longstaff, F., Heather, N.,   Allsop, S., Partington, E., Jankowski, M., Wareham, H., St Clair Gibson, A., & Partington, S. (2015). Drinking outcome expectancies and normative perceptions of students and student-athletes.  Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, 9, 59-75

Young P.M., Partington S., Wetherell M.  St Clair Gibson A., & Partington E., (2014) Stressors and coping strategies of UK firefighters. Stress and Health, Dec, 366-376

Longstaff, F; Heather, N; Jankowski, M; Allsop, S; Wareham, H; Partington, S; Partington, E & St Clair Gibson, A. (2014)  Readiness to change drinking behaviour among heavy drinking university students in England.  Education and Health, 32(2), 40-45.

Young P.M., St Clair Gibson A., Partington E., Partington S., & Wetherell M. (2014). Psychophysiological responses in experienced firefighters undertaking repeated novel self-contained breathing apparatus tasks Published on line in Ergonomics. Nov 03 2014.

Partington, S., Partington, E., Heather, N., Longstaff, F., Allsop, S., Jankowski, M., Wareham, H., Stephens, R., & St Clair Gibson, A. (2013).  The relationship between membership of a university sports group and drinking behaviour among students at English Universities. Addiction Research and Theory, 21, 4, 339-347.

Partington, S., Partington, E., Heather, N., Longstaff, F., Allsop, S., Jankowski, M., Wareham, H., Stephens, R., St Clair Gibson, A. (in press). The relationship between membership of a university sports group and drinking behaviour among students at English Universities. Addiction Research and Theory

Heather, N., Partington, S., Partington, E, Longstaff, F., Allsop, S., Jankowski, M., Wareham, H., St. Clair Gibson, A. (2011). Alcohol use disorders and hazardous drinking undergraduates at English Universities. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 46(3), 270-277.

Sparkes, A., Brown, D., and Partington, E., (2010) The “Jock Body” and the social construction of space: The Performance and positioning of cultural identity. Space and Culture, 13. 333-347..

Partington, S., Partington, E., & Olivier, S. (2009). The Dark Side of Flow: A Qualitative Study of Dependence in Big Wave Surfing. The Sport Psychologist, 23 (2) June, 170-185.

Sparkes, A.C., Partington, E & Brown, D.H.K. (2007). Bodies as bearers of value: The transmission of jock culture via the ‘twelve commandments.’ Sport, Education and Society, 12 (3) August, 295-316.

Partington, E., Partington, S., Fishwick, L., & Allin, L. (2005). Mid-life nuances and negotiations: narrative maps and the social construction of mid-life in sport and physical activity. Sport, Education and Society Vol 10, No 1, March, 85-99.

For further publications please click here.

PGR Supervision

Director of studies

  1. Mark Jankowski. PhD thesis entitled: A longitudinal study of alcohol-related harm in heavy drinking university students during and post-graduation, with particular reference to sport participation.

Co supervision

  1. Paul Young. PhD thesis entitled: The impact of self-contained breathing apparatus tasks upon the cognition, physiology, and coping strategies of firefighters (Awarded 2012).
  2. Joanne Smith. PhD thesis entitled: A longitudinal study of the role of social status and social satisfaction in university student drinking behaviour


PhD, CPsychol, FHEA

Professional Activity

  • Consultant on NUS policy document on student drinking (2013).
  • Committee Member British Psychological Society Division of Sport & Exercise Psychology (DSEP) Training Committee (2008-12).
  • External Examiner for MSc Sport & Exercise Psychology & MSc Sport & Performance Psychology at London Metropolitan University (2008-12).
  • External examiner for 1 Masters by Dissertation, Michelle Amanda Jermy, ‘Patient choice and adherence in community based cardiac rehabilitation,’ University of Essex (2012).
  • Invited member of the scientific committee for the 6th International Network on Brief Interventions (INEBRIA, 2009).

Sponsors and Collaborators

Dr Fran Longstaff, Senior lecturer in sport psychology, Middlesex University

Dr Richard Stephens, Senior lecturer in psychology, Keele University

Dr Alan Currie consultant psychiatrist, Regional Affective Disorders Service , NTW NHS Foundation Trust)

Dr Glen Rae, Sports Doctor, Sports Medicine NE.

Young people and Alcohol Research Network (YARN). 


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