Skip to content
Sarah Seymour Smith

Sarah Seymour-Smith

Associate Professor

School of Social Sciences

Staff Group(s)


Dr Sarah Seymour-Smith is an Associate Professor of Discourse & Masculinities in Psychology. Sarah is the Lead for Qualitative Research in Psychology. She is also the Lead for Qualitative Teaching in Psychology and teaches qualitative research methods at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. She is module leader for Qualitative Research Design & Analysis:2 and also for the third year option in her area of expertise, Gender, Identity and Body Image. She also supervises research projects at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Sarah currently supervises 5 Doctoral Candidates and has supervised 9 others to completion.

Sarah is the lead for the Discourse Research Group. She also leads the EDI Sexual Safety & Consent working group. Sarah is a member of the Psychology NTU REF panel. Sarah is a member of two NTU's research groups - Groups, Identity and Health and the Gender Research Group.

In 2017 Sarah was awarded a mid-career citation of Excellence from the BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology Section.

In 2022 Sarah was awarded the Professor Marcia Worrell Mentoring Award by BPS Psychology of Women & Equalities section.

Career overview

Dr Seymour-Smith's doctoral research, focusing on masculinity and health, was undertaken at The Open University under the supervision of Professor Margaret Wetherell and Professor Ann Phoenix. She then worked as a researcher at The Open University, with Margaret Wetherell, on an NHS-funded grant which evaluated the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's (NICE) Citizen's Council. During her PhD and research position, she also worked as an associate lecturer on D843 (a Masters course in discourse analysis). She secured a lectureship at Nottingham Trent University (NTU) in 2004 on completion of the NICE grant.

Research areas

Dr Seymour-Smith's is a discursive psychologist and her primary research interests are concerned with the impact of masculinity/ties on men's health. She examines how men's identity performance places men at risk of poor health outcomes and also how men negotiate and resist socially constructed health barriers. Her research is theoretical in terms of gendered health and also applied. Recently Sarah coproduced a prostate cancer app, Check tings out, with collaborators in Computing and Technology at NTU, BME Cancer Communities and Friends and Bredrins prostate cancer support group.

The second, and often related, strand of her research, examines face-to-face and online support groups. Specifically, her research examines the construction of support group identities and also communities of practice within a range of support group forums.

A final strand of research involves the study of online sex offences.

Sarah is about to embark on a project, with Dr Laura Kilby (Sheffield Hallam University), analysing expert-lay Covid-19 behaviour change communications.

Selected research projects:

Towards a Better Understanding of the Poor Prognostic Outcomes for Prostate Cancer in the African-Caribbean Community. Nottingham City Clinical Governance Group. CI Sarah Seymour-Smith.

How do male clients evaluate, and benefit from [i] a new male-targeted weight management service, [ii] an established service, and how can we engage more men to access and adhere to weight loss programmes within Nottingham City? Nottingham City Clinical Governance Group..Co-I, Sarah Seymour-Smith.

Previous Doctoral Candidate  supervision: .

  • J. Fila (nee Ruskowska). Constuctions of the ‘transition to the empty nest’ stage of parenting (Director of Studies).
  • S. Pemberton.  Investigating (mis)understandings of sexual consent and refusal in convicted rapists (Director of Studies).
  • K, Marks.  “Identity construction in accounts of high-risk health-behaviour within the software industry (Director of Studies).
  • M.Hall. ‘Metrosexual’ masculinity: a discourse analysis (Director of Studies).
  • E. Prikrylova. The construction of gender identity within infertility treatment: analysis with multimodal resources. (Director of Studies).
  • L. O’Hara. Type 1 Diabetes in Men: A Qualitative Exploration of Life with a Chronic Illness.. (Second supervisor)
  • V. Barnes. Developing and testing a model of hoarding behaviour (Second supervisor).
  • D. Ilkhile  How to Strengthen Primary Health Care Capacity for Early Detection of Breast Cancer in Uganda Using a Socioecological Approach (Second supervisor).
  • C. Baker  Values talk in medical encounters: How do patient’s preferences and values shape discussion of treatment choices? )second supervisor)

Current Doctoral Candidate  supervision

  • A. Rousaki. A discursive analysis of sexting.(Director of Studies).
  • K. Bell.  Understanding stalking perpetrators with LD: A qualitative exploration (DPsych) (Second supervisor).
  • C. Glenn Polyamory and Social Media: Between Mainstream and Counterpublic Social Networking (Director of Studies).
  • E. Ozuzu   Exploring the Educational and Subsequent Mental Health Impacts of he COVID-19 Pandemic on Disadvantaged Children and Young People (Director of Studies.

I would be interested in supervising discursive/qualitative projects in the following (but not limited to) areas:

  • Gender and health (e.g. menopause or cancer diagnoses & recovery)
  • Sexting and online identities
  • Planning for old age care (particularly interested in women)

External activity

Sarah is Associate Editor for the APA journal Psychology of Men and Masculinities and is on the editorial board of the journals Psychology & Health and Qualitative Methods in Psychology. She is book review editor for POWER.

Sarah is a Chair Elect of the BPS Qualitative Methods in Psychology (QMiP) section and the International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISHP) and a member of the Teaching Qualitative Psychology (TQP) group. .

Sarah is a member of the British Psychological Society and a visiting member of the Discourse and Rhetoric Group (DARG) at the University of Loughborough.

Sponsors and collaborators


  • Dr Juliane Kloess, University of Birmingham
  • Dr Laura Kilby, Sheffield Hallam
  • Professor David Brown, Computing & Technology, NTU
  • Dr Mike Rennoldson, NTU
  • Dr Eva Prikrylova, NTU
  • Friends & Bredrins Prostate Cancer Support Group
  • Lisa Jackson, Mon0Lisa Productions
  • BME Cancer Communities



Seymour-Smith, S. & Kloess, J. (in press).A discursive analysis of compliance, resistance and escalation to threats in sexually exploitative interactions between offenders and male children. British Journal of Social Psychology.

Seymour-Smith, S., Brown, D., Burton, A., Shopland, N., Khan, M., Thompson. R., Thompson, L., Marston, W. & Allen, R. (forthcoming).Joint allies: benefits and tensions of co-producing a prostate cancer app for, and with, the Black British African-Caribbean community.

Freeman, L., Brooks, J., Crowley, C., Elmi-Glennan, C.,  Gordon-Finlayson, A., McDermott, H.  &  Seymour-Smith, S. (2020).  Beyond the comfort zone: A guide to supervising qualitative undergraduate psychology dissertations for quantitative researchers. Teaching Psychology Review.

Seymour-Smith, S., Gough, B, Matthews, C. & Rutherford, Z. (2020). Food assessment: a discursive analysis of diet talk in interviews with older men who are obese.Psychology & Health . DOI: 10.1080/08870446.2019.1701673

Kloess, J.A., Seymour-Smith, S., Hamilton-Giachritsis, C.E., Long, M.L., Shipley, D.S. & Beech, A. (2017). Qualitative Analysis of Offenders’ Modus Operandi in Sexually Exploitative Interactions with Children Online. Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment, 563-591. Doi: 10.1177/1079063215612442.  [

Seymour-Smith, S. (2017). Discursive Psychology. Journal of Positive Psychology.309-310. ISSN: 1743-9760 [IF: 3.225]

Seymour-Smith, S., Brown, D., Cosma, G., Shopland, N., Battersby, S., & Burton, A. (2016). “Our people has got to come to terms with that”: Changing perceptions of the digital rectal examination as a barrier to prostate cancer diagnosis in African-Caribbean men. Psycho-Oncology, 25(10), 1183-1190. Doi:10.1002/PON.4219.

Cosma, G., Brown, D., Shopland, N., Battersby, S., Seymour-Smith, S., Archer, M., Khan, M. &  Pockley, G. (2016) PROCEE: a PROstate cancer evaluation and education serious game for African Caribbean men. Interactive Technologies, 10(4), 199-210. Doi 10.1108/JAT-12-2015-0035. ISSN 1754-9450

Gough, B., Seymour-Smith, S., Matthews, C. (2016). Body dissatisfaction, appearance investment and wellbeing: How older obese men orient to ‘aesthetic health’. Psychology of Men and Masculinity, 17(1), 84-91. Doi:org/10,1037/men/0000012.

Seymour-Smith, S. (2015). Applying discursive approaches to health psychology. Health Psychology (special issue on qualitative methods).34 (4), 371-380. Doi:org/ORG10.1037/hea0000165.

Winder, B., Gough, B. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2015). Stumbling into sexual crime: the passive perpetrator in accounts by male internet sex offenders. Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 4(1), 167-180. Doi:10.1007/s10508-014-0302-6. [IF: 3.458].

Larkin, M. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2015). On being neither one thing nor the other: reply to Paul Sullivan. QMiP Bulletin.

Brown, D., Cosma, G., Acampora, G., Seymour-Smith, S. & Close, A. (2014). An intelligent serious game for supporting African Caribbean men during pre and post diagnosis of prostate cancer. International Conference on Interactive Technologies and Games. Nottingham.

Rutherford, Z., Gough,B., Seymour-Smith, S., Matthews, C., Wilcox J. Parnell, D. & Pringle, A. (2014).  ‘Motivate’: the effect of a football in the community delivered weight loss programme on over 35 year old men and women’s cardiovascular risk factors. SOCCER & SOCIETY Special Issue: Football and Inclusivity, 15(6), 951-969. Doi:10.1080/14660970.2014.920628.

Seymour-Smith, S. (2013). (SPECIAL SERIES - Men's Health). A reconsideration of the gendered mechanisms of support in online interactions about testicular implants: a discursive approach. Health Psychology, 32(1), 91-99. Doi: 10.1037/A0029507 

O’Hara, L. Gough, B., Watts, S. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2013). “It’s not a disease, it’s a nuisance”. Controlling diabetes and achieving goals in the context of men with Type 1 diabetes. Psychology & Health, 28(11), 1227-1245. 

Hall, M., Gough, B. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2013).Stake management in men’s online cosmetics testimonials. Psychology & Marketing, 30(3), 227-235. Doi: 10.1002/MAR.20600.

Cranwell, J. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2012). “Monitoring and advice giving: an analysis of weight loss discussions in an online support group for bariatric surgery. Appetite,58, 873-881.Doi:1016/j.appet2012.01.029.

Hall, M., Gough, B., Hansen, S. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2012). On-line constructions of metrosexuality and masculinities: A membership categorisation analysis. Gender & Language. 6.2, 379-403.Doi;10.1558/genl.v6i2.379.

Hall, M., Gough, B., & Seymour-Smith, S. (2012). I'm METRO, NOT gay!’: A discursive analysis of men’s accounts of makeup use on You Tube'. Journal of Men’s Studies. 20(3), 209-226. doi:10.3149/jms.2003.209. [IF 0.78].

Bramwell, J. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2012). I think much of the reason I can accept this relationship is because I am able to see her as a woman”: A Discursive Analysis of Transgender Partnership ‘Coming to Terms’ Talk in an Online Forum. Social Psychological Review, 14(2), 3-12. ISSN 1369-7862.

Seymour-Smith, S. (2008) “Blokes don’t like that sort of thing”: Men’s negotiation of a ‘troubled’ self-help group identity. The Journal of Health Psychology, 13: 798-803. doi:10.1177/1359105308093862

Horton-Salway, M., Wiggins, S., Montague, J. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2008). Mapping the components of the telephone conference: an analysis of tutorial talk at a distance learning institution. Discourse Studies, 10 (6): 737-758. Doi:10.1177/1461445608096571.

Seymour-Smith, S. & Wetherell, M. (2006) “What he hasn’t told you”: Investigating the micro politics of gendered support in couples co-constructed accounts of illness. Feminism & Psychology, 16(1), 105-127. Doi: 1359–1053(200205)7:3.

Seymour-Smith, S. (2004). The role of women in men’s health: Complicity with hegemonic masculinity. Psychology of Women Review 6(1): 53-59.

Seymour-Smith, S., Wetherell, M. &  Phoenix, A. (2002). “My wife ordered me to come!”: A discursive analysis of doctors’ and nurses’ accounts of men’s use of general practitioners. The Journal of Health Psychology, 7(3): 253-267. Doi: 1359–1053(200205)7:3.

Brooks, J., Goodman, S. Locke, A., Reavey, P., Riley, S., & Seymour-Smith, S. (2019). Writing for the Research Excellence Framework: Guidance for qualitative psychologists. BPS.


Seymour-Smith, S. Qualitative approaches to gender and sexuality. (2015). In C.Richards & M.Barker (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender. Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-34589-9.

Book chapters

Seymour-Smith, S. (2017). Critical discursive psychology approaches to the study of masculinity. In Levant, R. & Wong, J.  The Psychology of Men and Masculinities. APA books.

Seymour-Smith, S. Qualitative approaches to gender and sexuality. (2015). In C.Richards & M.Barker (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook of the Psychology of Sexuality and Gender. Palgrave

Gough, B., Hall, M. & Seymour-Smith, S. (2014). Straight guys do wear make-up: contemporary masculinity and investment in appearance. In S. Roberts & D. Steven (Eds.). Modern Masculinities: Debating Crisis, Change, Continuity. Palgrave. ISBN 978-1-137-39484-2.

Seymour-Smith, S. (2010). Men’s negotiations of a ‘legitimate’ self-help group identity. In S.Robertson & B Gough (Eds), Men, masculinities and health: Critical perspectives . London, UK, Palgrave Publishers.

See all of Sarah Seymour-Smith's publications...