Victoria Warburton


  • 1.58 Lawrence Stenhouse Building

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Personal profile


Dr Victoria Warburton joined EDU in 2008 as a Lecturer in Psychology of Physical Education and Sport following the completion of her PhD in Sport & Exercise Psychology at Loughborough University. She is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society. 

Her primary research focus is on understanding the dynamics of motivation through examining the antecedents, consequences, and development of motivation, primarily in physical education and sport contexts. Her current research interests centre on implicit theories of ability; their development and temporal patterns, and the effects of an entity theory of ability.

Victoria’s research has been published in international journals and she has presented her work at both national and international conferences. She reviews for a number of leading journals across both the sport and educational psychology areas. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the North American Society for the Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity. From 2012-2015 she was a member of the steering committee of the Theories of Motivation Special Interest Group (ISBNPA) 2012-2015. She is currently collaborating on a number of projects with colleagues in EDU and from Loughborough University.

Since joining EDU Victoria has served as the Course Director  for the undergraduate physical education programmes (2009-2016) and has taught and supervised students on undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and doctoral programmes. She is currently EDUs Workload Allocation Coordinator, Academic Link for Easton and Otley College sports coaching programmes, and Group Lead of the Sport, Health and Education Research Group.  

Teaching Interests

Since joining the School of Education and Lifelong Learning Victoria has taught on the BA Physical Education, BA Education and MA Educational Research and Practice degree programmes. Her main teaching interest lies in the area of Sport and Exercise Psychology. During her time here she has been module leader for Sport and Exercise Psychology (year one), Psychology of Physical Activity (year two), Psychology of Physical Education (year 3) and Motivation in Education (year 3) module. She also provides quantitative support for modules in the undergraduate programme and for the MA Educational Research and Practice and EdD programmes and supervises undergraduate, masters dissertations and doctoral theses.

Her postgraduate supervision responsibilities include:

  • Rebecca Tuff (PhD, 1st supervisor)
  • Jimmy Hupton (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • James Newman (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Rosie Peck (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Michael Bennett (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Krystal Bishop (MRes, 1st supervisor)
  • Josh Edwards (MRes, 1st supervisor)


Key Research Interests and Expertise

Dr Warburton’s research interests are focused on understanding the dynamics of motivation, primarily in sport and physical education contexts. In pursuing this research area she draws on a range of perspectives from both social and developmental psychology. Key theoretical interests lie in Achievement Goal Theory and Self-Theories of Ability.

To date, Victoria’s research has examined changes in students’ motivation, specifically achievement goal striving, across the transition from primary to secondary school, during Key Stage 3 and also within specific activities in the physical education curriculum. She has explored the influence of changes in students’ perceptions of competence, implicit theories of ability, and perceptions of the teacher and peer climate on motivation, well-being, learning and achievement,

Victoria is currently focusing her research programme on the role of implicit theories of ability in motivation and three particular areas:

  • Developmental aspects of implicit theories of ability;
  • The antecedents of and the effects of changes in implicit theory adoption;
  • The effect of entity beliefs on motivation, learning and achievement.

Victoria would be keen to hear from potential students who would be interested in pursuing research in any of the above areas - e.g., MRes (Social Science in Research Methods), PhD and EdD students.

Her own research has been funded by the British Academy and she has collaborated on projects funded by Sport England. Victoria has also completed research consultancy for Active Norfolk for a project funded by Sport England examining the effective strategies for recruiting individuals into sport.

Victoria has also led other projects related to the psychology of physical education, sport and education. These include, the validation of a measure of teacher-student relationship quality in physical education and maths (with Dr Lee Beaumont, EDU; and Dr Sophia Jowett, Loughborough University). This project also explored the effects of teacher-student relationship quality on teachers’ and students’ motivation and well-being.

Victoria’s methodological expertise lies within the quantitative field, particularly longitudinal research design and data analysis, including multi-level modelling, structural equation modelling, and individual-change analyses.

Current research supervision responsibilities include:

  • Rebecca Tuff (PhD, 1st supervisor)
  • Jimmy Hupton (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • James Newman (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Rosalia Peck (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Michael Bennett (EdD, 1st supervisor)
  • Krystal Bishop (MRes, 1st supervisor)
  • Josh Edwards (MRes, 1st supervisor)


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