Dr Heather Branigan

Dr Heather Branigan

Teaching Fellow

Dr Heather Branigan
Dr Heather Branigan

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272398
The University of Aberdeen G:15, William Guild Building
AB24 3RT


PhD (2019) Psychology, University of Stirling
BSc (2013) Honours in Psychology, University of Stirling


Research Overview

I'm particularly interested in the following areas:

  • Metacognition
  • Cognitive development
  • Learning theories
  • Qualitative research methods
  • The transition of theory into practice

During my PhD, I explored the transition of ideas from cognitive developmental theory into the applied primary school setting. Specifically, I explored how children think about and manage their own thinking (AKA metacognition), and the role that teachers play in this process. More widely, I’m interested in exploring systems of collaboration between academic researchers, policy and practice.


Teaching Responsibilities

I am course co-ordinator of:

  • Psychological Perspectives: Current Issues in Education (PS5028)

I lecture on the following courses:

  • Level 1: Developmental Psychology (PS1509)
  • Level 2: Developmental Psychology (PS2517), Methods & Applications (PS2518)
  • Level 5: Qualitative Methods & Research Design (PS5519)

I am a tutor on the following courses:

  • Level 2: Concepts & Theory (PS2017, PS2517), Methods & Applications (PS2018, PS2518)
  • Level 3: Methodology (PS3015 & PS3522), Developmental Psychology (PS3518)


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  • Teachers matter for metacognition: Facilitating metacognition in the primary school through teacher-pupil interactions

    Branigan, H., Donaldson, D.

    Thinking Skills and Creativity, vol. 38, 100718

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • Learning from learning logs: A case study of metacognition in the primary school classroom

    Branigan, H. E., Donaldson, D. I.

    British Educational Research Journal , vol. 45, no. 4, pp. 791-820

    Contributions to Journals: Articles

  • What we learn from learning diaries: Structured activities as metacognitive tools

    Branigan, H.

    Metacognition 2018

    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts

  • Whose metacognition is it anyway? Metacognition in the primary school classroom

    Branigan, H.

    BERA Annual Conference 2017

    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts

  • Exploring metacognitive theory in the primary school setting: Insights from psychological evidence, teachers’ perspectives, and practice

    Branigan, H.

    Metacognition 2016

    Contributions to Conferences: Abstracts

  • Metacognition in the Primary School Classroom: Evidence from Theory and Practice

    Branigan, H.

    International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement

    Contributions to Conferences: Posters

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