Dr Kate Woodcock BSc, PhD, PGCHET

Dr Kate Woodcock

School of Psychology
Reader in Applied Clinical Psychology
Lead of People and Culture for the School of Psychology

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Kate Woodcock’s research interests can be summarised as aiming to investigate and explain human behaviour by considering multiple potential influences at different levels of explanation. For example, people’s genes, their brain structure, their brain functioning, cognitive, physiological and emotional functioning can all affect people’s behaviour both individually and in an interactive way. In addition to this, all individuals exist within a specific environment, as does each level of their functioning (for example a person may behave differently in quiet, relaxed surroundings compared to noisy, chaotic surroundings; and the same cognitive process may have different effects depending on which other cognitive processes are engaged). The environment in the broad sense of the term is therefore also an extremely important factor to consider when aiming to explain human behaviour. Finally, Kate is extremely interested in ultimately being able to bring about a behavioural change when such a change is desired by the individual in question.

Kate Woodcock's personal website


  • PhD in Psychology
  • Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education Teaching
  • BSc Honours in Psychology


Dr Kate Woodcock carried out her PhD research at the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham between 2005 and 2008. She worked as a Cerebra Research fellow at the Cerebra Centre for Neurodevelopmental Disorders from December 2008 until February 2011, before taking up an International Outgoing Marie Curie Fellowship, which she had designed under the European Union’s seventh framework programme. The Marie Curie Fellowship took Kate to Beijing, China until March 2013 and then brought her back to the University of Birmingham until February 2014.  In March 2014, Kate took up her first lectureship position at the School of Psychology, Queen’s University Belfast. In September 2017, Kate returned to the School of Psychology, University of Birmingham to take up a senior lectureship.


Kate is a research tutor on the Clinical Psychology Doctoral programme and teaches clinical research methods on the clinical psychology master’s and doctoral programmes.

Postgraduate supervision

Kate is currently principally supervising a PhD student based at Queen’s University Belfast, who is due to complete in autumn 2018.  She is also co-supervising a further PhD student who began at Queen’s University Belfast in September 2017. Kate has funding for PhD projects in areas relevant to the impact of executive functioning and/or emotion regulation on the behaviour and mental health of children and adolescents, due to begin at various points between 2018 and 2022. Interested students can enquire about these opportunities with Kate via email.


Neurodevelopmental disorders, challenging behaviour, mental health, executive functioning, emotion regulation

Other activities

  • Member of the international executive committee of the Society for the Study of Behavioural Phenotypes (September 2016 – ongoing)
  • Member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Intellectual Disability Research (August 2016 – ongoing)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (July 2015 – ongoing)
  • Co-opted governor of Story Wood Primary School (September 2015 – ongoing)
  • External examiner of clinical psychology doctoral theses, University of Manchester (June 2017 – ongoing) 


McKenna, R., Rushe, T. M. & Woodcock, K. A (2017) Informing the structure of executive function in children: a 1 meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging data. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 11:154. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2017.00154

Haig, E. L. & Woodcock, K. A. (2017). Rigidity in routines and the development of resistance to change in individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome.  Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 61(5), 488-500. doi: 10.1111/jir.12368

Bull, L. E., Oliver, C. & Woodcock, K. A. (2017) Signalling changes to individuals who show resistance to change can reduce challenging behaviour. Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry (Epub 2016 Jun 22), 54, 58-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.06.006

Bull, L. E., Oliver, C., Callaghan, E., & Woodcock, K. A. (2015). Increased exposure to rigid routines can lead to increased challenging behavior following changes to those routines. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 45(6), 1569-1578. doi:10.1007/s10803-014-2308-2

Bull, L. E., Oliver, C., Tunnicliffe, P. L., & Woodcock, K. A. (2015). An informant report behavior diary for measuring temper outbursts in an intervention setting. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 27(4), 489-504. doi:10.1007/s10882-015-9429-1

Waite, J., Heald, M., Wilde, L., Woodcock, K., Welham, A., Adams, D. & Oliver, C. (2014). The importance of understanding the behavioural phenotypes of genetic syndromes associated with intellectual disability.  Paediatrics and Child Health, 24(10), 468-472. doi:10.1016/j.paed.2014.05.002

Tunnicliffe, P. L., Woodcock, K. A., Bull, L.E, Penhallow, J. & Oliver, C. (2014). Temper outbursts in Prader-Willi syndrome: Causes, behavioural and emotional sequence and responses by carers. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 58, 134-150. doi: 10.1111/jir.12010

Liu, Y., Sheng, F., Woodcock, K. A. & Han, S. (2013). Oxytocin effects on neural correlates of self-referential processing. Biological Psychology, 94, 380-387. doi:10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.08.003

Woodcock, K. A., Yu, D. Yi, L. & Han, S. (2013). The presence of a culturally similar or dissimilar social partner affects neural responses to emotional stimuli. Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, 3, 20500. doi:10.3402/snp.v3i0.20500

Oliver, C., Adams, D.… & Woodcock, K. (2013) Causal models of clinically significant behaviours in Angelman, Cornelia de Lange, Prader-Willi and Smith-Magenis syndromes. International Review of Research in Developmental Disabilities, Challenging Behaviour, Elsevier, 44, 169-211. doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-401662-0.00006-3

Hoddell, J., Moss, J., Woodcock, K. & Oliver, C. (2011). Further refinement of the nature of the communication impairment in Cornelia de Lange syndrome. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, 5(4), 15-25. doi:10.1108/20441281111165562

Sloneem, J., Oliver, C. Udwin, O. & Woodcock, K. A. (2011). Prevalence, phenomenology, aetiology and predictors of challenging behaviour in Smith-Magenis syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 55, 138-151. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2010.01371.x

Woodcock, K. A., Oliver, C., & Humphreys, G, W. (2011). The relationship between specific cognitive impairment and behaviour in Prader-Willi syndrome. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research. 55, 152-171. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2010.01368.x

Woodcock, K. A., Humphreys, G, W., Oliver, C. & Hansen, P. (2010).  Neural correlates of task-switching in paternal 15q11-q13 deletion Prader-Willi syndrome. Brain Research, 1363, 128-142. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2010.09.093

Burbidge, C., Oliver, C., Moss, J…& Woodcock, K. A. (2010). The association between repetitive behaviours, impulsivity and hyperactivity in people with intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 54, 1078-1092. doi: doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2011.01387.x

Woodcock, K. A., Oliver, C., & Humphreys, G, W. (2009). Hypothesis: A specific pathway can be identified between genetic characteristics and behaviour profiles in Prader-Willi syndrome via cognitive, environmental and physiological mechanisms. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 493-500. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01167.x

Woodcock, K. A., Humphreys, G, W. & Oliver, C. (2009). Dorsal and ventral stream mediated visual processing in genetic subtypes of Prader-Willi syndrome. Neuropsychologia, 47, 2367-2373. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.09.019

Woodcock, K. A., Oliver, C., & Humphreys, G, W. (2009). Task switching deficits and repetitive behaviour in genetic neurodevelopmental disorders: Data from children with Prader-Willi syndrome chromosome 15 q11-q13 deletion and boys with Fragile-X syndrome. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 26, 172-194. doi:10.1080/02643290802685921

Woodcock, K. A., Oliver, C., & Humphreys, G, W (2009). Associations between repetitive questioning, resistance to change, temper outbursts and anxiety in Prader-Willi and Fragile-X syndromes. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 53, 265-278. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2008.01122.x

Oliver, C., Woodcock, K. A. & Humphreys, G. W. (2009). The relationship between components of the behavioural phenotype in Prader-Willi syndrome: Brief Report. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 22, 403-407. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3148.2008.00475.x

Woodcock, K. A., & Rose, J (2007). The relationship between the recognition of facial expressions and self-reported anger in people with intellectual disabilities. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, 20, 279-284. doi:10.1111/j.1468-3148.2006.00326.x

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behaviour problems; challenging behaviour; neurodevelopmental disorders/ genetic syndromes/ autism spectrum disorder; intellectual disability; psychological interventions; digital interventions

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