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

Originally from Ireland, Dr Jennifer Joyce 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 (1st Class Honours), before continuing her studies at the University of Chichester, UK where she received a Masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology. Having developed an interest in the relationship between exercise and the brain during her time at both of these institutes, Jennifer completed a PhD examining the effects of exercise on cognitive function in older adults.


  • 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)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)
  • University of Worcester Teaching Award (2016)

Teaching & Research

University Roles:

  • Course Leader Sport and Exercise Science
  • Learning and Teaching Lead for Sport and Exercise Science Team


Jennifer's teaching interests lie predominantly in the area of motor learning and skill acquisition. She has a particular interest in the importance of acquiring fundamental motor skills and their subsequent role in sustained sports participation throughout the lifespan. Additionally, Jennifer's current research underpins her teaching in the area of exercise and cognitive health. Jennifer was awarded the University of Worcester Teaching Award in 2016.

Primary teaching responsibilities:

  • Motor Learning and Skill Acquisition
  • Human Movement
  • Exercise and Ageing


Jennifer's current research investigates the relationship between ageing, exercise and cognitive functioning, with a particular interest in the effect of acute exercise on executive function in an elderly population.

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)
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


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.