Derek Burns

Mr Derek Burns BSc, MSc

Doctoral Researcher / Associate Lecturer


I am a Doctoral Researcher investigating cognitive, emotional and motivational factors in aiding international student adjustment to UK universities. My other research roles include being part of the graduate attributes project at Sheffield Hallam. I am an on going member of the Education, Lifespan & Development (EL&D) & Higher Education & Pedagogies (HEAP) research groups. Previous experience also includes 10 years working autistic adults.


I achieved a first class degree in Psychology in 2013 at Sheffield Hallam University, which included studying in Finland for 6 months. the following year, at Sheffield Hallam, I gained a Distinction in my MSc Developmental Psychology, with my main project focusing on the development of the Dark Triad (Narcissism Machiavellianism and Psychopathy) in an adolescent population. Since 2013 I have been an associate lecturer at Sheffield Hallam. teaching across a broad variety of modules.

In September 2015 I started my PhD investigating the role cognitive factors, such as metacognition (thinking about thinking) in relation to positive emotions and motivations, aid international students' adjustment and academic achievement. I am also part of the Sheffield Hallam graduate attributes project. 

  • Metacognition;
  • Higher Education;
  • Self-regulated Learning;
  • Positive Psychology;
  • Graduate Attributes;
  • Motivation;
  • Student Experience;
  • Dark Triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy;
  • Empathy.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts


  • BSc Psychology;
  • MSc Developmental Psychology;
  • MSc Psychology.

I have taught and am currently teaching on a broad range of modules which include the following:

  • Abnormal Psychology and Individual Differences;
  • Advanced Statistics and Design;
  • Cognitive Processes and Individual Differences;
  • Individual Differences in Personality and Intelligence;
  • Research Methods Training;
  • Psychology Practicals and Statistics
  • Social Psychology and Qualitative Research Methods;
  • The Psychology of Development and Social Behaviour;
  • The Psychology of Education.


Sheffield Hallam Graduate Attribute Project.

Cancel event

Are you sure you want to cancel your place on Saturday 12 November?