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Oliver Merry

Dr Oliver Merry BSc, MSc, QTS, PhD

Senior Lecturer of Forensic Psychology


Currently, my main role is the acting course leader for the BSc (Hons) Criminology and Psychology undergraduate course. In this role I oversee the experience all students studying on this course and contribute to the module leading and teaching. I am also research active in the area of child protection, specifically focusing on the investigation of child sexual exploitation offences. In this capacity, I have worked with a range of UK police forces, the National Crime Agency, Home Office, and UK charities (such as the NSPCC).


I currently work for Sheffield Hallam University as a Senior Lecturer in Primary English. In this role, I teach students from level 4-6, as part of the BA and PG degree courses. For the past five years I have also taught on the BATL course, which involves me teaching English seminars and organising the professional practice element of the course. Since 2011 I have taken on the role of Year 1 leader for the BA in Teaching and Learning course which has proved to be both challenging and fulfilling. As a smaller cohort of teaching assistants with varying areas of expertise, the work is very interesting and I enjoy getting to know each student well, as both their tutor and link with the wider university opportunities. Since 2014, I have taken on the role of course leader, which has been an exciting transition having worked closely with the previous course leader so I can now take that experience and extend and develop those ideas across the course in-line with other BA and PG practices. Throughout my time at SHU, I have taught on all undergraduate courses, as well as the post graduate course, the diversity of which I find very exciting.

Before working at Hallam University I was a primary school teacher. A significant part of my job was to lead the development of Literacy. It was my job to develop this subject and encourage creativity and to build confidence in teachers as to the style and requirements of each genre being taught. I developed this role through my work on my master’s degree, and relevant courses through the National College. This school-based project meant that I led a series of staff meetings over the next two years to enthuse the staff and offer advice and strategies which could guide both the children and teachers alike through the necessary elements of each genre. This proved to be very successful and the confidence, skills and grades of the children across the school increased.

Primary education in all areas, particularly in English. My particular interest is in reading and writing practices in KS2.

During our past OFSTED inspection in Hallam University (2013), I was observed as a representative of the training experiences carried out with our students, and this was commented on as being ‘outstanding’. In our previous inspection I worked alongside the English team to share our work in both university, school and our team research.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences

Forensic and Investigative Research (FaIR).

Courses taught

BSc Psychology, BSc Criminology & Psychology, MSc Forensic Psychology

Modules taught

Investigative Psychology
Theories of Criminal Behaviour
Forensic Psychology
Psychology for Criminologists
Living with Justice


Current research projects

2022-2024: Protecting public-facing professionals and their dependents online (3PO), funded by UK Research and Innovation

2021-2023: Pilot and Feasibility Study for ‘Step Up’, funded by Youth Futures Foundation

2021: South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit Evaluation, funded by South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

2021: Guidebook for First Responders of Child Sexual Exploitation Victims: Project GRACE, funded by European Commission

2019-2021: Investigating the Risk of Sexual Harm to Young People who Engage in Competitive Online Gaming and eSports, funded by National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

2016-2020: Child Grooming: Predicting Level of Risk to Prioritise Offenders, funded by Sheffield Hallam University

2016-2017: Fighting International Internet Paedophilia (FIIP2), funded by the Home Office.

Postgraduate supervision

Postgraduate supervision

2021-2024: Online behaviour and risk of sexual harm associated with online gaming, funded by Sheffield Hallam University

2020-2023: Families in Crisis: Family Relationships, Abuse and Coping during the Covid-19 Lockdowns, funded by Sheffield Hallam University

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