Dr Jennifer Joyce


Course Leader and Senior Lecturer in Sport and Exercise Science

School of Sport and Exercise Science


Contact Details

email: j.joyce@worc.ac.uk
tel: 01905 542632

Dr Jennifer Joyce is the course leader for the Sport and Exercise Science course and her passion lies in nurturing the talents and aspirations of her students to ensure they reach their full potential. She is deeply committed to supporting students in their personal and professional growth and enjoys supporting students to develop the resilience needed to succeed in their academic journey.

Originally from Ireland, Jennifer joined the University of Worcester in September 2013. Jennifer graduated from the University of Limerick, Ireland in 2007 with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Sciences before continuing her studies at the University of Chichester, UK where she received an MSc in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Having developed an interest in the relationship between exercise and cognitive function during her time at both of these institutes, Jennifer completed a PhD examining the effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults. Her current research interests include “active ageing” and challenging stereotypes of ageing in younger people.

More recently Jennifer’s work has focused on enhancing the employability pathway on the sport and exercise science course to ensure graduates are suitably prepared to work effectively in industry. She strives to empower students by equipping them with essential employability skills to excel in their chosen careers and has a genuine enthusiasm for student success.


  • PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, University of Worcester (2015)
  • PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, Exercise and Ageing, University of Limerick, Ireland (2013)
  • MSc - Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Chichester, UK (2008)
  • BSc - Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Limerick, Ireland (2007)
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • University of Worcester Teaching Award (2016)
  • University of Worcester Leading Teaching Award (2023)
  • University of Worcester Teaching Team Award (2023)

Teaching & Research


Jennifer has responsibility for teaching on the employability pathway in Sport and Exercise Science and leads the work placement module for final year students where she enjoys supporting students to develop interpersonal skills and enhance their preparedness for working in industry.

In addition to this, Jennifer also teaches in the area of motor learning and skill acquisition and uses her current research interests to underpin her teaching in the area of exercise and ageing.

Primary teaching responsibilities
  • Motor Learning and Skill Acquisition
  • Exercise and Ageing
  • Employability skills for Sport and Exercise Scientists


Jennifer's current research investigates the relationship between ageing, exercise and cognitive functioning.

Most recently, Jennifer has been working with colleagues to investigate the psycho-social processes that influence physical activity (dis)engagement in older adults utilising the Awareness of Ageing framework (Diehl et al., 2014) as a theoretical lens to explore the mechanisms that lead to physical (in)activity which would be beneficial for designing effective interventions and promoting healthy ageing.

Professional Bodies

  • European College of Sports Science (ECSS)
  • European Group for Research into the Elderly and Physical Activity (EGREPA)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS)
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
  • Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)


Rhoden, C. and Joyce, J. (2023) Positive Affectivity Influences Subjective Age and Daily Moving in Older Adults, Physical Activity and Health, 7(1), pp. 255–269. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5334/paah.266

Cook, M.D., Sandu, A.K. and Joyce, J.P. (2020) Effect of New Zealand Blackcurrant on blood pressure, cognitive function and functional performance in older adults. Journal of Nutrition in Gerontology and Geriatrics, https://doi.org/10.1080/21551197.2019.1707740

Joyce, J., Smyth, P.J., Donnelly, A. and Davranche, K. (2014) The Simon task and aging: Does acute moderate exercise influence cognitive control? Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 46(3), 630-639

Joyce, J., Graydon, J., McMorris, T. and Davranche, K. (2009) The time course effect of moderate intensity exercise on response execution and response inhibition. Brain and Cognition, 71(1), 14- 19.

Conference Proceedings

Joyce, J., Swinnerton, L., Giles, M. and Brooks, W. (2017). Leaving a Legacy: The self-identified learning needs of Outdoor Adventure and Leadership Management (OALM) students and their journey to make a scientific module about motor learning and skill acquisition more meaningful and applied to OALM. University of Worcester Learning, Teaching and Student Experience Conference, Worcester, UK.

Joyce, J., Donnelly, A.E., Smyth, P.J. and Davranche, K. (2015).The effect of manipulating exercise intensity and speed-accuracy instructions on cognitive performance. 20th Annual meeting of the European College of Sports Science, Malmo, Sweden.

Joyce, J. and Davranche, K. (2013) The usefulness of distributional analysis to assess cognitive control efficiency and susceptibility to impulsive reactions. 20th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Joyce, J., Donnelly, A.E., Smyth, P.J. and Davranche, K. (2012) Does acute exercise benefit reaction time performance and cognitive control in adults aged 60-70 years? Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 20, S38-S38. World Congress on Active Ageing, Glasgow, Scotland.

Harrington, D., Joyce, J., Dowd, K.P. and Donnelly, A.E. (2011) Older Adult office workers: Active yet sedentary. International Conference on Ambulatory Monitoring of Physical Activity, Glasgow, Scotland.

Joyce, J., Smyth, P.J. and Donnelly, A.E., (2010) The relationship between current physical activity levels as measured by accelerometers and current levels of cognitive performance in adults aged 55-65 years. International Conference of Aging and Cognition, Dortmund, Germany.

Joyce, J., Smyth, P.J. and Donnelly, A.E. (2010) An examination of the relationship between ageing, cardiovascular fitness and aspects of cognitive functioning. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, Volume 42:5 Supplement. 57th Annual American College of Sports Medicine Meeting, Baltimore, MD, USA.