Department of Psychology


Photo of Dr Victoria Devonshire

Dr Victoria Devonshire

  • Qualifications: BSc, BEd, MSc, PhD
  • Role Title: Senior Lecturer
  • Address: King Henry Building, King Henry 1st Street, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO1 2DY
  • Telephone: 023 9284 6640
  • Email:
  • Department: Department of Psychology
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science


I graduated from Middlesex University in 1992 with a BEd (Hons). Following this I taught full time in a Primary school for eight years. During this time I became IT and English coordinator for Key Stage 1. I developed a keen interest in children's language and literacy acquisition, which I had the opportunity to develop further at the University of Portsmouth. I graduated in 2003 with a first class honours degree in Psychology. After finishing an MSc in Psychological Research Methods, I was awarded an ESRC PhD studentship in 2006. I was awarded my PhD in 2009; my thesis was entitled “Structure, logic and meaning; a route to reading and spelling”.

My PhD comprised four intervention studies involving over 400 primary school children. It compared the results of teaching children explicitly about morphology, etymology, phonology, and rules about form, with traditional phonic-based methods. The interventions were shown to be very effective; it was found that children, even as young as five years, are able to appreciate the complex nature of their own writing system and that this understanding leads to improved reading and spelling.

Teaching Responsibilities

Unit coordinator: Language and Communication (Level 6), and Employability Skills for Psychologists (Level 5).  

I contribute lectures on all 3 years of the BSc Psychology degree at Portsmouth, including: Developmental Psychology (Level 5); Psychology of Everyday Life  (Level 4); Exploring Psychology (Level 4); Research Methods and Analysis (Level 5). I am a personal tutor and I supervise Level 6 project students.


In addition to continuing research on children’s reading and spelling, I am also a Research Fellow on the ‘Changing Mindsets’ project: Hoskins, S. & Devonshire, V. (2012) Changing Mindsets £368,460- funded by Education Endowment Fund.


Research profile

Explore my research profile, publications and activities on the Portsmouth Research Portal

View profile