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Professor Rachel Msetfi 

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences

Time of assuming the current leadership role

In November 2017, Professor Rachel Msetfi was appointed Executive Dean of the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Previous experience and education

Rachel Msetfi is Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology, having previously served as Head of Department (Psychology) and Assistant Dean Research. Before taking up a post at the University of Limerick in January 2011, Professor Msetfi completed lectureships at the Universities of Lancaster and Hertfordshire in the UK. In addition, she was an honorary senior research fellow at the University of Oxford between 2011 and 2017, and is one of the leaders of the Computational Psychopathology Research Group, a cross institutional collaboration between the University of Oxford, University of Limerick and Kings College, London.

Research/Professional interests

Rachel’s research interests lie in the area of Experimental Psychopathology. In particular, she studies cognition, attention, learning and behaviour in healthy people and vulnerable groups – such as those who experience symptoms of mental health disorders - in order to better understand risk and aetiology, and to inform prevention and intervention. In order to carry out this work, we adapt and develop causal models to understand the factors that influence learning. The aims are to understand human empowerment, self-determination and autonomy and to study the factors that influence people’s perception of control.

This theoretically based research programme has informed theory as well as key areas of application related to control perceptions. These include, examining the impacts of informational cognitive load on judgements and decision making, use of mobile technology for the delivery of psychological interventions for individuals and groups, and aspects of culture that impact perceived control and mental health.

For a full list of publications see:

Areas of responsibility

Professor Msetfi is responsible for leading and managing the Faculty of Education and Health Sciences which includes six Schools and Departments, including the School of Medicine, School of Allied Health, Department of Nursing and Midwifery, the Department of Psychology, the Department of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, and the School of Education, 678 full and part time staff and 3,400 undergraduate and postgraduate students. The majority of academic programmes run by the faculty, are accredited by external professional bodies and involve significant placement activity in schools and health care settings. We therefore work closely with our partners in these settings, as well as external health care and education professionals, and value their input and work in supporting the delivery of our programmes.

In addition to these responsibilities, Professor Msetfi is Director of the Health Research Institute, a position she was invited to take up in January 2018. In this role, she leads the strategic direction and management of the Institute, supported by an Executive Committee and Operations teams. A focus of the current work of the institute is to support research groups in priority areas, to develop their capacity and to facilitate and enable the development of clinical and non-clinical health research at the University of Limerick and in collaboration with partner institutions.


  • University of Limerick Executive Committee
  • University of Limerick Academic Council
  • EHS Faculty Board (Chair)
  • EHS Management Committee (Chair)
  • Health Research Institute Executive Committee (Chair)
  • Clinical Research Board (Chair)
  • Clinical Education and Research Centre Management Board
  • Clinical Research (Support) Unit Management Board
  • Health Sciences Academy Management Committee
  • HRB Clinical Research Coordination Ireland Senior Management Team