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Michal Tombs

Professor Michal Tombs


PhD, C. Psychologist, SFHEA, Postgraduate Research Lead in Medical Education

School of Medicine

+44 29206 87431
Neuadd Meirionnydd, Room 9th floor, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4YS
Available for postgraduate supervision


Michal's background is underpinned by Occupational Psychology, both as a practitioner and as an academic. She has spent over a decade teaching psychology and led and contributed to course developments at national and international levels. Michal moved into medical education as her research interests are aligned to this context. Teaching on both the face to face and the e-learning courses in Medical Education, she co-ordinates the MSc stage (dissertations) and leads the Learning & Teaching in Clinical Education module. Michal is also the PGR lead in Medical Education.

















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Michal currently leads the School of Medicine Medical Education Research (SoMMER) special interest group. An applied psychologist by background, her research focuses on the application of psychological theories in a diverse range of clinical settings and medical education. This includes research projects that span across the broad spectrum of occupational psychology such as training and development, evaluation, educational leadership, and recruitment and retention.

Michal is particularly interested in researching informal learning and the hidden curriculum in Medical Education, exploring the context in which clinicians work and study and how it impacts motivation and attitudes towards learning that are the bedrocks for progress and survival of organisations. Another particular area of interest is recruitment and retention in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education. 



PGR Lead in Medical Education at the Centre for Medical Education (C4ME)

Module Leader – Learning & Teaching in Clinical Education

Module Leader - Educational Research Skills

Dissertation / MSc Co-Ordinator

Member of the School of Medicine Research Degree Committee 


Michal studied Psychology at Swansea University (1994-1997) and completed an MSc in Occupational Psychology at Cardiff University (1998). After qualifying as a Registered Practitioner Psychologist (Occupational), she returned to Academia to study for a PhD under the supervision of Professor John Patrick into the topic of Motivation to learn (Completed in 2011). Before joining the medical education team she worked for University of Wales, Newport and the University of South Wales as a Course Leader of the BSc Psychology programme. Michal was responsible for leading the Psychology undergraduate course at Newport through BPS accreditation.

Honours and awards

2024 - Centre for Medical Education Nomination for Teacher Award (SURGAM) 

2003 - 2009 PhD funded by School of Psychology, Cardiff University 

2012 - Wales Leadership Programme for Senior Civil Servants in Wales under AcademiWales Flagship (£17.5K) in collaboration with colleagues at the Business School (Dr Jonathan Deacon) in USW. 

2010 - Co-applicant on a collaborative project with Glamorgan University and Powys Social Services, funded by Wales Office for Research and Development (WORD) (£80K). 

2012 - Awarded a Teaching Innovation Grant for the value of £3K to develop and maintain a web-based resource of psychological tests and measures. 

Professional memberships

A Senior Fellow of the Advanced HE Academy.

Member of the Association for the Study of Medical Education

Chartered Psychologist and Associate Memebr of the British Psychological Society (BPS)

BPS Certificate of Competence in Occupational Testing (Level A) and the BPS Certificate of Personality Testing (Level B) and a qualified Assessor for the BPS Qualification in Psychometric Testing.

Academic positions

2016-Present day: Senior Lecturer / Reader in Medical Education, Cardiff University

2010-2016: Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Wales Newport and University of South Wales

2003-2010: Professional Tutor in Occupational Psychology, Cardiff University

External Examining:

2023 - Present day MSc in Health Profession Education, University of Limerick 

2016-2021 MSc Occupational Psychoogy, Kingston University 

2010-2015 MSc Business Psychology,  Worcester University



Committees and reviewing

Chair, ASME Research Metgodology Group (RMG) SIG, Association for Medical Education

Events and RMG rep, ASME Educational Research Committee (ERC)

Editor of How To series (C4ME publicatiion)



Michal supervised numerous postgraduate students on a range of projects in Medical Education and Occupational Psychology and is keen to hear from you if you are interested in conducting research into informal learning and the hidden curriculum in medical education. As an expert in the field of Psychometric testing she will also be keen to hear from you if you are interested in researching selection and recruitment in Medical education.

Current PGR students

Majed Alqahtani (joint supervisoion with Professor Steve Riley) - High-fidelity simulation in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) education (2019-present day).

Mohammed Algabgab (joint supervisoion with Professor Steve Riley) - Feedback in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) education (2019-present day).

Hashim Samir (Joint supervision with Professor Mike Robling) - Simulation Education of Medical Ultrasound, current situation and future directions (2020-present day)

Assim Javaid - WCAT Clinical Fellow (Joint supervision with Professor Steve Riley) - Preparing medical students for the demands of clinical work through innovative educational solutions on decision making and priritisation. (2020-present day)

Current supervision

Hashim  Samir Samir

Hashim Samir Samir

Research student

Majed Abdullah Alqahtani Alqahtani

Majed Abdullah Alqahtani Alqahtani

Research student

Mohammed Algabgab

Mohammed Algabgab

Research student


With extensive experience of research in the field training, Michal is now a source of expertise for the BPS Occupational Psychology in Policy Group on the topic of continuous learning. She provided a range of research and consultancy services to organisations such as South Wales Police, Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, and the Ministry of Defence in the area of organisational training and presented her work nationally and internationally.