Dr Alison Fixsen

Dr Alison Fixsen

Dr Alison Fixsen is a Senior Lecturer and Ethics Coordinator for the School of Social Sciences Science and Technology at the University of Westminster (UoW). Her doctorate was on self care and personal and professional education.

She is an experienced qualitative researcher in health and social sciences with a particular knowledge of the social prescribing, prescription drug dependence and eating disorders. Alison's approach to teaching and research is is multidisciplinary, with projects and published work spanning psychology, sociology, health sciences and education. 

She is an expert member for the Sociology of Education committee for the European Sociological Association and an active member of the Association for Symbolic Interactionism. 

Alison has worked with Battle against Tranquillisers and sit on the expert panel for the Federal Research on Drugs programme for BELSPO (Belgian Federal Science Policy Office).

Alison has an extensive clinical, teaching and supervisory background. She is an active internal coach and mentor for the University of Westminster.


2020-Principal Investigator: Pathways and barriers to social prescribing:  Co-producing initiatives which address social and health inequalities in urban areas (Community funding). 

2018-19 Co-investigator: NHS funded evaluation of a social prescribing scheme in Shropshire.

2019, Co-investigator National Lottery funded social prescribing outcomes project. 

2018 - 2019, Co-investigator University of Malaysia funded project on orthorexia nervosa.

2012-15: Conducted an extensive ‘netography’ exploring benzodiazepine user stories of withdrawal and recovery, which has been widely read and discussed among stakeholders including those in the BZD virtual community. 

 2010-2014: led 2 university based research studies, the first investigating the emotion work of final year students undergoing personal and professional development (PPD) and clinical training (Fixsen and Ridge 2012), and the other a secondary analysis of level 4 and 5 student experiences of this programme (Fixsen et al. 2015). This work represents a novel understanding of complementary therapy student learning and coping strategies.

2013-17 (Doctorate): Ethnographic exploration of staff experiences of Learning and Development programmes. 

1995- 1996: co-conducted a randomized comparison of homeopathic and standard care for the treatment of glue ear in children, which was published in two journals. 

In brief

Research areas

mental health diagnosis and treatment

Skills / expertise

qualitative researcher

Supervision interests

mental health, the construction of eating disorders, prescribed drug dependency