Ms Noelle McAra

School Academic Advisor

School School of Applied Sciences

Department Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences

Contact info

+44 (0)1382 30 8334


I’m a Lecturer in Psychology and began working at Abertay in 1999 part time and became a full-time lecturer in 2006, having previously taught Psychology at the Open University and at Dundee College. 

My research interests focus on gender differences and on women – for example changes in psychological functions, mood and wellbeing relating to phases of the menstrual cycle.

I hold an MA (Hons) Psychology and an MSc in Applied Computing, both from the University of Dundee as well as a PgCert HET and an MPhil from Abertay University.  I’m also a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

I have been a STEM ambassador since 2009 and am actively involved in outreach activities including judging Big Bang Scotland.

I currently teach research methods and statistics in second and third year and at postgraduate level.  I am module lead for PSY206 Essential Research Methods and Analysis for Psychology and GRS501 Research methods.  I teach into PSY303 Advanced Research, Design and Analysis, PSY210 Research Methods (Direct Entry) and contribute to PSY410 Psychology Honours Project. 

My undergraduate dissertation examined the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) on mother's attitudes towards their children and while studying for my MSc Applied Computing I worked on the development of a website for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.  My MPhil used a mixed methods approach to examine changes in psychological functions across the menstrual cycle.

I am currently examining the role of empathy in relation to facial recognition to establish whether there are differences in facial recognition between high and low empathy participants.  I am also examining well-being and happiness in women to determine how these change over the course of the menstrual cycle.te for survivors of rape and sexual abuse.My research surrounds changes in psychological functions relating to phases of the menstrual cycle 

Current projects
Collaborating with Dr Lynn Wright to collect qualitative data from final year students to consider how we can improve their experience of their projects.
Collaborating with Dr Christopher Watkins and Dr Fiona Stirling on a thematic analysis of interview data exploring the impact of meeting with professional psychologists on career orientation in students.

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  or telephone 01382 308587.

More Information


Funded projects
Savage, A., Wright, L., & McAra, N. (2016).  Development of on-line resources to support Research Methods and statistics in Psychology, Life Sciences and Analytical Chemistry: £1400
Wright, L., McAra, N., Scrimgeour, A. & Wilson, K.  (2008). Enhancing RE-search methods (£720)
Wright, L., Hardie, S.M., & McAra, N. (2014).  r-E:search methods for post-graduate students: £2800


I have been a STEM ambassador since 2009 and was a judge for Big Bang Scotland in 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

Meet the rest of the team

Dr Neil Kirk

Dr Neil Kirk

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Lecturer

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Dr Clare Cunningham

Dr Clare Cunningham

Division of Psychology and Forensic Sciences | Head of Division

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