Dr Dan Shepperd

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Psychology Department

Lecturer in Psychology

School of Life and Health Sciences,
Aston University,

B4 7ET, UK

+44 (0) 121 204 4210

Email is generally the best way to contact me: d.shepperd@aston.ac.uk

Room SW 511
Students can book appointments with me during term time here: http://wass.aston.ac.uk/wass/ (otherwise email for availability)

Research Group

Applied Health Research Group 

Key Roles and Teaching: Director of Undergraduate Studies (Psychology); Qualitative Research Methods; Social Psychology


I'm a social psychologist with interests in gender, sexual identity, friendship, and group prejudice. My background is in discourse analysis and I specialise in qualitative research methods to analyse interviews, focus groups and sets of media data. At Aston I convene undergraduate modules in Social Psychology and Human Aggression. I also teach and convene various postgraduate Qualitative Research Methods modules.


I gained my Human Psychology BSc from Aston (2002) before heading off to the University of Surrey where I studied for a Social Psychology PhD with Adrian Coyle, Peter Hegarty and Evanthia Lyons. In 2008 I won a place at the LGBT Psychology Summer Institute at the University of Michigan (USA). I taught qualitative research methods, critical psychology and social psychology at the University of Surrey. The University of Winchester offered me a position as an associate lecturer where I also taught qualitative research methods until returning to Aston in 2011. In 2012 I was made 1st Year Tutor, in 2014 I was Acting Final year Tutor, and in 2015 appointed Director of Undergraduate Studies for Psychology.


  • Year 1: PY1125 Psychology Practicals - Qualitative Research Methods; PY1118 Social Psychology

  • Year 2: PY2229 - Social Psychology 2 (Module Convenor)   

  • Year 3: PY3003 - Human Aggression (Module Convenor); PY3352 - Critical Social Psychology (module for Joint Honours and Graduate Diploma Psychology students)

  • Postgraduate (Health Psychology MSc) PYM701 Qualitative Methodology; PYM707a & PYM707b; PY4053 Qualitative Research Methods for Health Services

Supervision / Examination

I supervise and examine qualitative psychological research at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. As a qualitative psychologist I don't normally supervise or examine quantitative projects (especially if they involve multivariate analysis). If you are considering me as your potential supervisor, here is a paper typical of my research (see below for more). These are examples of the type of things I've supervised in the last couple of years:

  UG "Ideologies associated with recreational drug use in the LGBT community"
  UG "Why do attitudes differ towards victims and perpetrators depending on gender?"
  UG "Do stigmatising views change amongst final year psychology students who have had contact on placements with people with mental illness?"
  UG  "The differences in attitudes, prejudice and stereotypes in people who are familiar and unfamiliar with mental health disorders" 
  UG  "What is the media representation of transgender/transexual people in contemporary UK newspapers?"
  UG  "Are individuals' attitudes towards gender discrimination an accurate reflection of modern values of gender equality?"
  UG  "To what extent can the theory of planned behaviour be used to predict students' intake of excessive alcohol?" 
  UG  "Young adults' attitudes toward changing gender roles"
  MSc "Living in the media’s shadow?: Mass media’s gendered body ideals and their effect on health behaviours"
  MSc "Exploring awareness in south Asian students of the risk factors associated with Coronary Heart Disease"
  MSc "Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual attitudes to alcohol and drugs within the LGB culture"


Previous Supervision (2010-11 at the University of Surrey):  


"A Woman's Spiritual Awakening with Alcoholics Anonymous"

  UG  “Young Christians’ Accounts of Peer Influence and Religion”
  UG  “Young Women’s Understandings of Cross Sex Friendships using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis”
  MSc  “Trainee clinical psychologists’ experiences of professional development”
  MSc  “Case formulation in group settings: experiences of helpful and facilitating action to support nursing staff access reflective practice”
  MSc  “An exploratory investigation of clinical psychologists’ conceptualisation of the supervisory relationship”


Doctoral examination:

Viva voce examination of Practitioner Doctorates in Psychotherapeutic & Counselling Psychology (PsychD) at the University of Surrey, September 2011.

Research Interests

Social psychology: sexual and gender identities, friendship, liberalism, consumerism and commodification, social media, intergroup conflict and prejudice.

Methods: Discourse analysis, thematic analysis, interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Selected Output

Shepperd, D., Coyle, A., & Hegarty, P. (2010). Discourses of friendship between heterosexual women and gay men: Mythical norms and an absence of desire. Feminism & Psychology, 20 (2), 205-224. Download free version

Cited in... Massey, S.G. (2010). Valued differences or benevolent stereotypes, Psychology & Sexuality, 2, 115 - 130. DOI 10.1080/19419899.2010.484593 | Rumens, N. (2011) Queer Company: The Role and Meaning of Friendship in Gay Men's Work Lives, Burlinton, VT: Ashgate. | Holt, A. (2011). Discourse Analysis Approaches. In Frost, N. (Ed.), Qualitative Research Methods in Psychology: Combining Core Approaches (pp. 66-91). Maidenhead: OUP/McGraw-Hill. | Hegarty, P. & Buechel, C. (2011). 'What blokes want lesbians to be' On FHM and soocialization of pro-lesbian attitudes, Feminism & Psychology, 21 (2), 240-247. DOI 10.1177/0959353510370184 | Muraco, A. (2012). Odd Couples: Friendship at the Intersection of Gender and Sexual Orientation. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. | Rumens, N. (2012). Queering Cross Sex Friendships, Human Relations, OnlineFirst. DOI 10.1177/0018726712442427 | Peel, E. (2012). Moving beyond heterosexism? The good, the bad and the indifferent in accounts of others' reactions to important life events, Psychology of Sexualities Review, 3 (1), 34-46. Chasin, C. (in press). "Friend moments": A discursive study of friendship, Qualitative Research in Psychology. Kahn, J.S., Goddard, L., & Coy, J.M. (2013). Gay men and drag: Dialogical resistance to hegemonic masculinity, Culture & Psychology, 19 (1), 139-162.

Adams, J., Blair, K.L., Borrero-Bracero, N.I., Espín, O.M., Hayfield, N.J., Hegarty, P., Hermann-Green, L.K., Hsu, D.M.H., Maurer, O., Manalastas, E.J., McDermott, D.T., Shepperd, D. (2010). Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Psychology: An international conversation between researchers. Psychology and Sexualities, 1 (1), 75-90.

Shepperd, D. (2009). Juxtaposing different perspectives. [Review of the book 'An introduction to masculinities']. The Psychologist, 22 (12), 1039.

Shepperd, D. (2007, October). Gay men and heterosexual women: Discourses of normativity. Invited address at the meeting of the Sexualities and Identities Research Group, London South Bank University.

Shepperd, D., Coyle, A., & Hegarty, P. (2006, September). Accounts of difference and similarity in friendships between heterosexual women and gay men: A discourse analytic approach. Paper presented at the meeting of the British Psychological Society Social Section, Birmingham, UK).

Shepperd, D., Hegarty, P., Coyle, A., & Lyons, E. (2004, August). Friendships between heterosexual women and gay men: Resistance to heteronormativity. Paper presented at the International Conference of Critical Psychology, Bath.

Shepperd, D. & Hegarty, P. (2004). Building partnerships between lesbian, gay and bisexual psychologists and the lesbian, gay and bisexual voluntary sector. Lesbian & Gay Psychology Review, 5 (3), 127.

Shepperd, D., & Percy, C. (2002, July). Fag hags and feminism: Gender political tensions in relations between gay men and straight women. Paper presented at the meeting of the British Psychological Society Psychology of Women Section, Birkbeck College, University of London.