Dr Amy Irwin

Dr Amy Irwin
MA, MPhil, PhD, FHEA

Lecturer (Scholarship)

Dr Amy Irwin
Dr Amy Irwin

Contact Details


PhD, Psychology University of Nottingham 2008

Latest Publications

  • Location! Location. Location? Investigating the impact of status and context on incivility in academia

    Irwin, A., Irvine, C., Bekes, B., Nordmann, E.

  • Is it all about the mission? Comparing non-technical skills across offshore transport and search and rescue helicopter pilots

    Hamlet, O. E. D., Irwin, A., McGregor, M.

  • Product safety culture: a preliminary study in the UK manufacturing industry

    Suhanyiova, L., Irwin, A., Flin, R.

  • Flying solo: A vignette based examination of general aviation pilot risk perception and decision-making

    Irwin, A., Sedlar, N., Hamlet, O.

  • Part and parcel: A Qualitative Interview Study Examining the Experience of Client Rudeness by Mental Health Workers

    Harrison, I., Trevethan, C., Pasciak, F., Irwin, A. L.

View all Publications

Internal Memberships and Affiliations

Research groups

  • Lead of the Applied Psychology and Human Factors research group
  • Lead of the Non-technical skills in agriculture research group

Internal groups / committees

  • Communications committee
  • Positive outcomes committee
  • Psychology external liaision committee
  • Equality and diversity committee
  • Marketing committee

Administration / course co-ordination

  • L4 Human Factors course co-ordinator
  • L4 Professional skills and work experience course co-ordinator
  • PG online Human Factors in Industrial Practice course co-ordinator
  • PG online Safety Critical Skills in Industry course co-ordinator
  • Psychology employability co-ordinator
  • Psychology impact co-ordinator

Prizes and Awards

Winner Principal's Prize for Public Engagement with Research. 2021.

Nominated for Principal’s Prize for successful industry engagement. 2020.

Runner-up Principal's Prize for Public Engagement with Research. 2019.

Best thesis supervisor. University of Aberdeen Student-led Teaching Awards. 2016.


Research Areas

Research Overview


  • The examination of Non-Technical Skills (teamwork, communication, situation wareness, cognitive readiness etc) and factors influencing non-technical skills (such as mission type, performance limitations, context etc) in industries including:
    • Agriculture
    • Aviation (helicopters, commercial and general aviation fixed-wing)
    • Healthcare
    • Forestry
  • The experience of rudeness and incivility at work including:
    • The experience of incivility within academia, specifically the impact of teaching context and status on perception and response to uncivil staff and student behaviours.
    • Social context and rudeness - is rudeness influenced by social norms?
    • Rudeness in mental health settings.
  • Student employability and graduate attributes:
    • Work experience type and employability - are some types of work experience better than others?
    • Identification of graduate attributes necessary for employability and investigation of attribute assessment.
  • Stress and mental health in agriculture.
  • Lone working and safety in the veterinary profession.
  • Risk normalisation and cognitive bias in high-risk industry settings.



Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

Guest blog for the National Farmers Union (2020): https://www.nfus.org.uk/news/blog/farm-safety-week-guest-blog-dr-amy-irwin-ntsag-research-group-university-of-aberdeen 

Article for Press & Journal discussing email communication (2020): https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/opinion/2239097/dr-amy-irwin-dr-alexandra-cleland-simple-steps-to-get-it-right-when-you-write/ 

Irwin, A. (2020). Tackling rudeness in Higher Education. WonkHE. https://wonkhe.com/blogs/tackling-rudeness-in-higher-education/

Appearance on BBC News Scotland, based on Landward episode (Nov, 2019). https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-50318921

Appearance on Landward (Nov, 2019). https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b4gy

Article for Press & Journal discussing Applied Psychology (Oct, 2019): https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/opinion/columnists/1857252/dr-amy-irwin-moving-out-of-the-lab-and-into-the-real-world/

Irwin, A. & Trevethan, C. (Oct, 2019). Five ways rudeness can actually be a positive experience. The Conversation: https://theconversation.com/five-ways-rudeness-can-actually-be-a-positive-experience-125447

MayFest 2019: Sunday 26th May, 11-12pm, Kings College: Star wars workshop! Learn more about non-technical skills in the context of star wars.

MayFest 2019: Friday 24th May 5-6pm, Linklater: Trollhunting, an interactive workshop discussing cyberbullying and coping techniques. 

Interview with BBC Scotland Newsdrive (April, 2019). Launch of tractor driver situation awareness checklist.

Appearance on STV Aberdeen, North and Tayside (April, 2019). Launch of tractor driver situation awareness checklist.

Irwin, A. & Lipan, G. (March, 2019). Students this is how you can stand out from the crowd in a very competitive job market. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/students-this-is-how-you-can-stand-out-from-the-crowd-in-a-very-competitive-job-market-112541 

Safety snapshot photo competition and exhibition.  (November 2018). Part of the ESRC festival of Social Science.

Appearance on BBC radio 5 live (August, 2018). Rudeness in politics. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0bf4rk8 (interview begins at 39min mark).

Irwin, A. (August, 2018). Does rudeness have a legitimate place in politics? The case for and against. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/does-rudeness-have-a-legitimate-place-in-politics-the-case-for-and-against-99420

Appearance on STV Aberdeen, North and Tayside (June, 2018). Financial pressure may lead to farmer risk taking. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqBj2s-FQdM&feature=share 

Irwin, A. & Hamlet, O. (May, 2018). How situation awareness could save your life. The Conversation. http://theconversation.com/how-situation-awareness-could-save-your-life-96032

Irwin, A. (April, 2018). Risky Business? Guest blog, Farm Safety Foundation. https://www.yellowwellies.org/risky-business/

Irwin, A. (March, 2018). That's just rude: Why being polite might not be a universal concept. The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/thats-just-rude-why-being-polite-may-not-be-a-universal-concept-94187 

Irwin, A. (October, 2017). Non-technical skills in farming. Guest blog, Farm Safety Foundation. https://www.yellowwellies.org/guest-blog-dr-amy-irwin-school-of-psychology-university-of-aberdeen/


Industrial collaborations (both current and past)

  • Bristow helicopters
  • CHC helicopters
  • Forestry and Land Scotland
  • Sodexo
  • Farm Safety Foundation
  • Creed consultancy
  • Teagasc

Academic collaborations (current and past)

  • Dr Anita Weidmann (RGU)



My current supervision areas are: Psychology.

I am currently first supervisor on five PhD projects, and second supervisor on a sixth project. Current areas of PhD supervision include:

  • Non-technical skills across helicopter mission types
  • The impact of culture in aviation
  • Risk normalisation and cognitive bias in the energy industry
  • Situation awareness in agriculture
  • Development of a universal model of graduate attributes
  • Visual search factors in the aviation context

Research Funding and Grants

PhD Studentships

  • 2020 Energy Institute PhD studentship award
    • Combating bias on the frontline: Investigating cognitive bias and risk normalisation within the energy industry
    • First supervisor (second supervisor: Dr Doug Martin, third supervisor: Dr Ruby Roberts)
    • Student: Nejc Sedlar
  • 2019 ESRC SGSSS DTP Collaborative Studentship award
    • Considering culture in the cockpit: Cultural influences on crew resource management.
    • First supervisor (second supervisor: Dr Devin Ray, third supervisor: Prof Rhona Flin)
    • Student: Anna Kaminska
  • 2017 ESRC SGSSS DTP Collaborative Studentship award (+3)
    • Its all about the mission: An assessment of factors influencing non-technical skills in offshore and emergency helicopter teams.
    • First supervisor (second supervisor: Prof Rhona Flin)
    • Student: Oliver Hamlet
  • 2016 ESRC SGSSS SDS Studentship award (1+3)
    • Mind the gap: An investigation into the factors influencing student, academic and employer perceptions of required graduate attributes.
    • Joint first supervisor with Dr Emily Nordmann (second supervisors: Dr Joy Perkins & Prof Louise Phillips)
    • Student: Gabi Lipan
  • 2014 ESRC SGSSS DTP Collaborative Studentship award (+3)
    • Product Safety Culture: A new variant of safety culture
    • Second supervisor (First supervisor: Prof Rhona Flin)
    • Student: Lucia Suhanyiova

Impact Grants

  • 2021 KNowledge Exchange and Commercialisation grant
    • Lead applicant (co-investogator: Ilinca-Ruxandra Tone, Industrial collaborator: Kura Human Factors).
    • Funding to develop CRM-style training for farmers.
  • 2020 Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation grant
    • Lead applicant (co-investigator: Oliver Hamlet)
    • Funding to develop practical tools associated with non-technical skills in helicopter flight.
  • 2019 REF 2021 Impact Support Award
    • Lead investigator (Co-investigators: Oliver Hamlet, Ilinca Ruxandra-Tone, Gabi Lipan)
    • Funding to produce a Farm Safety Roadshow, attend Human Factors events and support three student internships.
  • 2018 ESRC Business Boost award
    • Lead investigator (Co-investigators: Oliver Hamlet, Ilinca Ruxandra-Tone, Gabi Lipan)
    • Funding to develop a website for the Applied Psychology and Human Factors group and produce three webinars.
  • 2017 Impact, Knowledge Exchange and Commercialisation Award
    • The Human Factor in Agriculture: Introducing non-technical skills (NTS) to UK Agriculture.
    • Lead Investigator (Co-investigator: Dr Emily Nordmann)
    • Funding provided to support NTS awareness event and the creation of a website

Teaching and Learning based grants

  • 2017 Learning and Teaching Enhancement Programme
    • Telling tales: Using student narratives to aid transition
    • Co-investigator (Primary investigator: Dr Emily Nordmann)
    • Student: Aletta Boerkoel
  • 2015 Curriculum Development Studentship, University Aberdeen
    • Putting the 'I' in employability: Development of interactive class materials to enhance provision of L3 Psychology employability workshops
    • Primary Investigator
    • Student: Oliver Hamlet


Teaching Responsibilities


  • Level 2: Industrial Psychology Lectures
  • Level 3: Psychological Assessment Tutorials
  • Level 3: Employability Workshops
  • Level 4: Human Factors 
  • Level 4: Forensic Psychology
  • Level 4: Psychology professional skills and work experience
  • Level 4: Thesis supervision
  • MRes: Public engagement & Collaborating with industry
  • MRes: Thesis Supervision
  • PhD Supervision
  • Human Factors in Industrial Practice online course
  • Non-Technical Skills in Industry online course




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