Dr Siobhan MacAndrew


School School of Social and Health Sciences

Department Division of Psychology

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8582


I am a Cognitive Neuropsychologist with a particular interest in language and memory.

My recent research has focused on language and executive processing in Parkinson's disease. I have also worked with people with amnesia and aphasia.

My PhD – which was on amnesia - focused on the relationship between recall and recognition, and memory for context. My research volunteers were people with Korsakoff's disease, epilepsy and aneurism.

I carried out my postdoctoral research at the University of Warwick, where I investigated mathematical models of memory and worked on speech production in normal and aphasic speakers.

In addition to my research on memory and metacognition in Parkinson’s Disease, I also work on the enhancement of teaching and learning of psychology, and have a special interest in innovative methods of assessment.

I’ve been fortunate to work with wonderful research volunteers.  They have made a huge contribution to my career and I’m deeply grateful.


Teaching enhancement activity

My research work in teaching and learning is inseparable from my everyday teaching practice. Hence you see information here in my teaching section rather than in the research or esteem section. For many years I have investigated and implemented the use of authentic assessments, collaboration with students in developing and using assessment criteria, psychology in problem based learning, psychological processes in reflection, psychological processes in peer review, the effectiveness of learning technology, good practice in Blackboard design, and employability. In addition my students have published articles on their experiences of my teaching and presented at prestigious national conferences. These principles are embedded in every class I teach and are achieved with close partnership and mututal understanding between myself and my students.


2014 But what does it mean for me? Students' engagement with learning technologies

A funded project to investigate student perceptions about and aspirations for the use of learning technologies. The research was designed and carried out by a team of students and subsequently presented at the Abertay teaching and Learning Enhancement Conference 2014 and the 2015 SPARQ's National Conference.  The talk was nominated for an award in the category 'Partnership in Curriculum Design, Curriculum Delivery, Assessment and Feedback'.

The findings of this project were used to guide Abertay policy and practice in implementing our learning technologies.


2015  Collaborative assessment criteria are authentic criteria

This work comprised a review of my experience and practice in a third year Psychology module. It centred on the benefits and limitations of developing assessment criteria in collaboration with students. My work was subsequently presented by students from the module at the SPARQ's National Conference. The talk was nominated in the category 'Partnership in Curriculum Design, Curriculum Delivery, Assessment and Feedback' and won the award.

The findings of this work are used to inform policy and practice at Abertay


Recognition of teaching contribution at Abertay

I am grateful to my students for proposing me over the years for Abertay Student Led Teaching Awards and for my success in winning several of these. 


Undergraduate Teaching

I teach undergraduates and MSc students in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Psychology in Education, Applied Psychology and Introductory Psychology.

My Honours Project supervision is in Memory & Cognition, Language, Teaching & Learning and Sleep & Dreaming.

MSc Project Supervision

Research interests: My research includes two main themes. I currently work on cognitive impairments in normally ageing and brain-damaged individuals focusing on language, memory and metacognitive function in people with Parkinsons Disease. I have carried out related research with individuals who are aphasic or amnesic. I am happy to supervise students carrying out research with the groups above but would consider other patient groups subject to availability of research volunteers.

I also have a research interest in teaching and learning in higher education including authentic assessment, peer and student evaluation of teaching, evaluation of problem based learning and ‘threshold concepts’ in psychology and other disciplines.

Research Degree Opportunities: I am willing to supervise students in any of these or related areas, and we offer the following research degrees: one-year MSc by Research, two-year MPhil or three-year PhD.  For more information please email s.macandrew@abertay.ac.uk.
Applicants for one-year MSc research degrees in my areas should be aware of the requirement to obtain full ethical approval for work with patients (http://www.nres.npsa.nhs.uk/) in addition to approval by our school ethics committee. The review process must be carried out in a timely fashion to facilitate completion within the required course deadline.

PhD Supervision

I have supervised the following Doctoral students:

Dr Lesley Jessiman - thesis titled "The effects of normal and pathological ageing on non-automatic language, executive and frontal lobe function"

Dr Jessiman now holds a lectureship in psychology at the University of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Canada.

Dr Tracey Oliver - thesis titled 'Exploring the relationship between non-automatic language processes and reading ability in Parkinson's Disease and non-pathological ageing'

Dr Oliver now holds a Research Fellowship at the University of Dundee, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Dr Beth Wilson - thesis titled 'Autobiographical memory retrieval and executive function in Parkinson's Disease'

Dr Wilson conducts policy and practice research on medical services for indigenous populations in Perth, Australia.

  • Neuroscience and neuropsychology research
  • Cognitive neuropsychology of language and memory
  • Language in Parkinson's disease
  • Metacognition in Parkinson’s Disease
  • Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

My research interests in teaching and learning include designing and using innovative assessment to enhance future employment, enquiry based learning, peer teaching, and metacognitive awareness in adult learners.

I am grateful for research funding from TSB/Royal Society of Edinburgh, The Parkinson's Disease Society, the Carnegie Fund, the Higher Education Academy and the Abertay Teaching and Learning Enhancement Fund.

I hold an honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Dundee.

Research Colleagues and Collaborators

Professor Trevor Harley, University of Dundee
Dr Arlene Astell, University of St Andrews
Dr Nadine Martin, Temple University, Philadelphia
Professor Gregory Jones, University of Warwick

Dr Lesley Jessiman, University of the Fraser Valley, Vancouver, Canada

Dr Sally Wiggins, University of Strathclyde

Laorag Hunter, Speech and Language Therapist, Brain Injury Rehabilition, Tayside and Angus

For copyright reasons please email me if you wish to have copies of these publications:

MacAndrew, S. B. G., & Oliver, T. (2017) Sorry, I didn't catch your name' Parkinson's and learning proper nouns. Journal of Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Harley, T.A. & MacAndrew, S.B.G. (2015). Language: Beyond Chomsky’s (1957) Syntactic Structures. In B. M.W. Eysenck & D. Groome (Eds.), Cognitive psychology: Revisiting the classic studies (pp. 179-188). London: Sage.

Harley, T.A. & MacAndrew, S.B.G. (2014). Why the journey to a word takes you no closer. In B. Schwartz & A.S. Brown (Eds.), Tip-of-the-tongue states and related phenomena (pp. 95-115). Cambridge:  Cambridge University press.

Harley, T. A., Oliver, T. M., Jessiman, L. J., & MacAndrew, S. B. G. (2013). Ageing makes us dyslexic. Aphasiology, 27(4), 490–505. doi:10.1080/02687038.2013.775564
Harley, T. A., J, J. L., & G, M. S. B. (2011). Decline and fall: A biological, developmental, and psycholinguistic account of deliberative language processes and ageing. Aphasiology, 25(2), 123–153. doi:10.1080/02687031003798262


MacAndrew, S. B. G., Jessiman, L. J., & Harley, T. A. Metalinguistic efficacy in Parkinson's disease: Evidence from consonant exchange. Submitted to Cognition

Oliver, T., MacAndrew, S. B. G., (corresponding author), Harley, T. A., & Jessiman, L. J. Impaired proper name recall in Parkinson's disease and non-pathological ageing: A question of phonology? Submitted to Aging, Neuropsychology & Cognition.

Harley, T. A., Jessiman, L. J., & MacAndrew, S. B. G. Intact and impaired phonological awareness in typical aging and Parkinson's disease. Submitted to Brain and Language.

MacAndrew, S. B. G. (2009) There’s a place for us – and our students – and it is in the workplace. Psychology Teaching Review, 14, 30-34.

Harley, T. A., Jessiman, L. J., MacAndrew, S. B. G. & Astell, A. (2008). I don’t know what I know: Evidence of preserved semantic knowledge but impaired metalinguistic knowledge in adults with probable Alzheimer’s disease. Aphasiology, 22, 321-335.

Guest Editor: Psychology Learning and Teaching Special Issue on Assessment in Psychology, Volume 3 Issue 2 March 2004


MacAndrew, S. B. G.  (2004). Editorial: You can’t play ‘20 questions’ with students and win: How assessment can fail students and staff. Psychology, Learning and Teaching, 3, 85-88.

MacAndrew, S. B. G. & Edwards, K. (2003). Essays are not the only way: A case report on the benefits of authentic assessment. Psychology, Learning and Teaching, 2, 134 - 139.

Harley, T. A., & MacAndrew, S. B. G. (2001) Constraints upon word substitution in speech production. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 30, 395-418.


 If you would like copies of the following reports please contact me.

MacAndrew, S. B. G, Maxwell, C., & Larooy, A. (2015). But what does it mean for ME? Students’ engagement with learning technologies: an exploration of their current satisfaction with and aspirations for learning technology developments at UAD. Final report Abertay Teaching and learning Enhancement Fund.

MacAndrew, S. B. G., Spedding, N., & Jamieson, S. (2010). How was it for you? A cross-disciplinary study of ‘troublesome knowledge’ as identified by undergraduate students and lecturers in Geography, Medical Science and Psychology. Report for Grduates for the 21st Century, Quality Enhancement Theme, HE Academy Scotland

MacAndrew, S. B. G., Walsh, L., Lantz, C., Morton, C., & Oduyemi, K. Problem based learning in practice: Listening to the lecturers. An investigation of academics’ perceptions and practice concerning problem based learning. Final report for Scottish Higher Education Enhancement Research initiative funded by the Higher Education Academy Scotland. (September, 2008)

MacAndrew, S. B. G. & Kelly, D. ‘Supporting the transition from HND Social Sciences into BPS accredited second year Psychology degrees’ Final report for a Joint Further Education and Higher Education Psychology Working group, Facilitated by the Higher education Academy Psychology Network and funded by the Scottish Funding Council (October, 2006)

More Information


In collaboration with Professor Trevor Harley I have received funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh/Lloyds TSB to finance Lesley Jessiman's PhD.

Also with Professor Harley, I was awarded funding from the Parkinson's Disease Society of the United Kingdom for a two year project on conversation in Parkinson's disease employing Lesley Jessiman as a post doctoral fellow. 

I have been funded for many years by the Higher Education Academy to run the Scottish service for Psychology Network, and have also conducted research on behalf of Academy Scotland on Problem Based Learning and Threshold Concepts - these were both awarded as part of the Scottish Quality Enhancement Themes initiative.


Member, BPS Graduate Qualifications & Accreditation Committee 2006 – 2010

This group reviews the contents and standard of delivery of all undergraduate psychology degrees in the UK. For more information on this and the other work of the British Psychological Society see the link below.


Higher Education Academy Psychology Network Scotland Coordinator 2003-2011

This organisation promotes good practice in teaching and learning in Psychology and was funded by the major research councils. Our work now forms part of the UK HEA generic group.


Member, Advisory Committee Higher Education Academy Psychology Network

The Higher Education Academy Psychology Network is an organisation that works to enhance the teaching and learning of psychology in universities.

We undertake research, organise events and conferences and publish material for to assist staff in bringing out the best in their teaching.  We offer specific support for new lecturers in psychology through the New Lecturer Forums that are held throughout the country. We also have an organisation called Postgraduates who Teach (PGwT) which we fund and assist in organising meetings.

Chair, Psychology of Learning Lecturers' Network (POLLEN)

This group developed from my work throughout Scotland for HEA Psychology Network after the generic restructuring of the HEA. We seek to further good teaching and learning practice in psychology departments throughout the UK, but particularly in Scotland. We hold events, consider funding applications, mentor research proposals for young academics and support postgraduate students undertaking doctoral work in teaching and learning of psychology.

Associate Editor, Journal of Psychology Learning and Teaching

This journal aims to inform and encourage good practice in the teaching and learning of Psychology within Higher Education. It is primarily a publication for practitioners, aiming to encourage scholarly approaches to learning and teaching in Psychology and a fruitful dialogue between research and practice


Member Academy Scotland Practioners' Forum

Academy Scotland coordinates the activity of the Higher Education Academy in Scotland. It works with all of the academic disciplines to promote excellence in teaching and learning within the Scottish educational context. The forum is a group of Scottish representatives of the subject centres and I represent Psychology. We advise and inform Academy Scotland on educational issues from the point of view of lecturers and students.

Non Clinical Science Member, Tayside Committee Medical Research Ethics, 2002-2007

Committees on Medical Research Ethics review clinical research proposals to ensure that research is carried out ethically and to protect the dignity and safety of research volunteers and researchers.

Informationon ethical review of research in the UK can be found in the link below.


Honorary President, Dundee and Angus Parkinson’s Disease Society, 2000 - 2008

The Parkinson's Disease society is a registered charity that supports over 300 support groups and branches throughout the UK. They fund research, raise awareness of the condition and organise training events. They also fund Parkinson's Disease Specialist Nurses and local support workers.

We have a thriving branch in Dundee and Angus and always welcome enquiries. Our president and committee members are happy to answer letters or talk on the telephone. We also have regular meetings in the city.

If you would like to know more contact me at the email or postal address above.

Knowledge Exchange

My approach to knowledge exchange is to share Abertay's social capital.

My largest project to date was Parkinson's Generations, which I undertook in collaboration with the Dundee branch of the Parkinson's Disease Society and teachers in a primary school in Perth. I devised materials about Parkinson's and developed them in collaboration with the teachers for inclusion in the curriculum. Children under 7 and under 10 years of age learned about Parkinson's in class and then created a show of their work. I then organised an event where the children met with people with Parkinson's to share experiences and play games based on the symptoms of the condition. They also fielded a quiz team and challenged the older generation. The show of work included the under 7's showing 'brain hats' and stories about what it might be like to have Parkinson's. The older children gave a lecture, followed by a short play they had written called "my Grandad walks funny'. The event was so successful it was adopted as a model by the Parkinson's Disease Society UK.

More recently I have devised and delivered a 'Maths Roadshow' for teachers in collaboration with my colleagues Dr Elena Rusconi and Dr Janet McLean. This project involves visits to participating schools to discuss with teachers how they can contextualise classroom activities utilising research in the psychology of mathematics.

My long term project is to establish "Abertay Ageing Alliance'. This is a panel for older adults that also includes people with common neuropsychological conditions of ageing such as Parkinson's disease or Aphasia. The Alliance will work with me to suggest lines of psychological research and propose workshops and talks relevant to their concerns. Importantly the panel will also have the opportunity to access expertise from across the university increasing the range of topics for workshops that we can provide.  Activities will held at Abertay and open to the public. Some of the panel may also opt to join my research volunteer panel. Finally I intend to include undergraduate students in my initiative. People from the panel will be given the opportunity to research a topic of their own choice using the resources with have at UAD. They will be paired with a student will assist them in their research and in preparing an academic poster. The posters will be presented as part of a conference that will be open to the public.


I have a research panel of approximately 45 volunteers over 65 years of age both with and without Parkinson's Disease who participate in my research. My panel has now been active for a decade and my volunteers would freely attest it is fun. If you would like to join us please telephone me or email at the contacts on these pages.

I am a former Honorary President of the Dundee Branch of the Parkinson's Disease society and still maintain strong links with my friends in the branch. If you would to know more about the work of the society contact me.

I have delivered lectures and workshops throughout Scotland to:

Professions Allied to Medicine: Occupational therapy, Speech and language therapy, Nursing

Psychiatry trainees at the University of Dundee

The Probus Clubs of Montrose and Aberdeen

The Dundee Society for Women Graduates

The Parkinson's Disease Society branches of Aberdeen, Angus, Perth and Dundee.

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Neil Kirk

Dr Neil Kirk

Division of Psychology | Lecturer

View profile

Dr Janet McLean

Dr Janet McLean

Division of Psychology | Lecturer

View profile