Dr David Owens

Dr David Owens


I am an Associate Professor in the Division of Psychological and Social Medicine and Deputy Leader of the Health Research programme. My research interests are in in the epidemiology of self-harm and suicide.

Previously a Clinical Psychiatrist, I am one of the principal teachers on the large postgraduate programme Health Research, which I set up in 1999. I have a longstanding research interest in the epidemiology of self-harm and suicide and have undertaken much funded and published research on the topic. I was formerly a Lecturer and a Senior Lecturer in Psychiatry in Leeds and a psychiatric clinical trainee in Nottingham. I joined the staff of the forerunner of the Leeds Institute of Health Sciences at the University of Leeds as a Clinical Lecturer in 1986. I held previous posts in the National Health Service in Nottinghamshire and in Leeds. I no longer work as a clinical psychiatrist but did so for many years. I am one of the principal teachers on the Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate in Health Research – a postgraduate taught programme that provides introductory research training to a wide range of health professionals (medical and dental practitioners, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals), research staff and research students.


Research interests

My research interests are in health services projects, on a clinical epidemiological basis. In particular I have been researching non-fatal self-harm and suicide for over 35 years. Funded and published work has included: clinical trials related to reduction in repetition of self-harm, and the monitoring of hospital attendance due to self-harm and its care and management.


  • FHEA – Higher Education Academy, 2001
  • MD – University of Leeds, 1990
  • MRCPsych – Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1983
  • MB ChB – University of Leeds, 1979
  • BSc Psychology – University of Leeds, 1976

Professional memberships

  • MRCPsych – Royal College of Psychiatrists, 1983

Student education

I teach about research methods on a number of programmes. In particular, I am one of the main teachers on the Postgraduate programmes (presently PGCert and PGDip) in Health Research in the School of Medicine. Much of the teaching that I undertake is in the form of problem-based learning. I have has extensive experience of supervising postgraduate students' research projects leading to dissertations and doctoral theses.

Research groups and institutes

  • Psychological and Social Medicine
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