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Dr Clare Nicholson

Lecturer - Psychology

Dr Clare Nicholson

About Research



Clare completed her PhD at Anglia Ruskin University, where she also taught across a range of Psychology modules for four years. She also ran tutorials and seminars at Goldsmiths and lectured for a year at City University, where she became a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, before joining St Marys University in November 2020.

Her research interests mainly centre around using conversation analysis to examine interactions between people with severe intellectual disabilities and care staff. She has examined how people with severe intellectual disabilities resist activities when they do not have the language skills that would make it easy to do so.

Alongside her colleagues, Clare also investigated how mealtimes work with people with severe intellectual disabilities and how each person in the interaction signals their readiness to the other. Her research challenges what she views as a limiting definition of severe intellectual disabilities currently provided by the DSM-5.

Teaching Areas

  • Research Methods and Statistics
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Social Psychology
  • Transferable Skills

Key Publications

Nicholson, C., Finlay, W. M. L., & Stagg, S. (2021) Mealtimes involving people with severe intellectual disability. Manuscript submitted for publication

Nicholson, C., Finlay, W. M. L., & Stagg, S. (2021). Forms of resistance in people with severe and profound intellectual disabilities. Sociology of Health & Illness. 43 (3), 642-659.

Nicholson, C. (2017). Misalignment between the DSM-5 and the Mental Capacity Act. Available: Last accessed 20th November 2018.

Nicholson, C. (2015) Ethical approval in studies raising consent issues. Nursing Times, 111: 3, 18-20.


Research profile

  • Interactions involving adults with severe intellectual disabilities 
  • Experiences and attainment of students with specific learning disabilities 

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