Dr Serena Tomlinson

Senior Lecturer in Intellectual / Developmental Disabilities,
Tizard Centre Chief Examiner,
Co-chair of the Tizard Centre Ethics Committee,
Admissions Tutor for ABA/PBS programmes
+44 (0) 1227 827446
Dr Serena Tomlinson


Dr Serena Tomlinson joined the Tizard Centre in 2012, was appointed as a Lecturer in 2017 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2023. She has a first class honours BSc in Applied Psychology, a PCert in Higher Education, PDip in Applied Behaviour Analysis and a PhD in Applied Psychology. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral Level (BCBA-D) and a UKBA(Cert).

Dr Tomlinson initially joined the Tizard Centre as a Research Assistant and has worked on a number of applied projects focusing on early intervention, family carer support and transition. Alongside this, she began teaching at the Centre in 2013 before being appointed as a Lecturer in 2017 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2023. Dr Tomlinson teaches across all the Centre’s courses with a particular focus on Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support, and she continues to carry out applied research through a number of research projects at the Centre.

Prior to joining the Centre, Dr Tomlinson worked in a range of applied settings with children and young people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, including residential specialist education for children with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) and challenging behaviour; placements with clinical psychologists in the NHS; short break services; and one-to-one support for children with intellectual disabilities.

Research interests

Dr Tomlinson’s research interests include early intervention and prevention for challenging behaviour in children with intellectual disabilities / developmental disabilities (IDD); education for children with IDD; support for family carers; the use of ABA and PBS in the UK; and the use of telehealth for behavioural support.


Dr Tomlinson teaches across all of the Tizard Centre’s courses, primarily focusing on the Applied Behaviour Analysis and Positive Behaviour Support courses, and she also teaches on PSYC6010 (Understanding People with Learning Disabilities) within the School of Psychology.  

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