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  5. Professor Diana Harcourt

Professor Diana Harcourt

Role within the CfCWR

Professor Harcourt leads (with Dr Heidi Williamson), the psychosocial work within the Centre. The UNITS study is looking to understand the experiences and support needs of military personal who have sustained appearance-altering injuries as a result conflict-related duties, and to develop appropriate interventions in response to unmet needs in this area.

Other positions held

  • Director, Centre for Appearance Research, UWE
  • Professor of Appearance & Health Psychology, Department of Health & Social Sciences, UWE


  • 2001 PhD – The Psychosocial Implications of Recent Changes to the Provision of Care for Women with Breast Cancer, University of the West of England, Bristol
  • 1999 MSc Psychological Research Methods, Exeter University
  • 1994 BSc (Hons) Psychology & Health Science, University of the West of England, Bristol

Based at

Centre for Appearance Research, University of the West of England, Bristol


Professor Harcourt is the Director of the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) at the University of the West of England, Bristol (www.uwe.ac.uk/car), a group of 30 psychologists with a passion for research into psychosocial aspects of appearance and body image. CAR is a centre of excellence for psychological and interdisciplinary, patient-centred research in appearance, disfigurement, body image and related studies. It is the world’s largest research group focusing on the role of appearance-related issues in people’s lives.

Professor Harcourt’s own research interests focus on people’s experiences of an altered appearance, particularly those associated with cancer or burns. She is interested in the psychosocial impact of an altered appearance or visible difference, support for those who are affected and interventions to help people who are making decisions about surgical treatment that will alter their appearance. In collaboration with colleagues at CAR, she is involved in a range of projects including the development and evaluation of the PEGASUS intervention to elicit patients’ expectations and goals of appearance-altering surgery, a set of burn-specific patient reported outcome measures (the CARe Burn Scales) and online support for parents of children with burn injuries (www.supportingchildrenwithburns.co.uk).

Professor Harcourt is a chartered Health Psychologist and sits on the Scar Free Foundation Research Council, the British Psychological Society Research Board, and the editorial boards of the journals Scars, Burns and Healing, and Body Image.

Contact details

0117 3282192