School of Psychology

We share our expertise and enthusiasm for psychology with over 800 students. We offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses, and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology, all accredited by the British Psychological Society. As one of the largest and best resourced psychology departments in the UK, we can cover all areas of psychology.

Plymouth is in the top 20 of all UK universities in psychology, neuroscience and psychiatry with 83 per cent of our research output rated world-leading or internationally excellent by REF2014, placing us above Bristol, UCL, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, Portsmouth, and many others. Our research impact was equal to that of Exeter, and we were the top rated modern university overall.

The School holds a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to improving gender equality.

The University of Plymouth holds a Silver Award in the TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework), and was commended for its course design and assessment practices; its institution-wide focus on student employability, work-based learning and entrepreneurship; and the sustained and substantial institutional investment programme to enhance learning resources, both physical and digital.

We take our students' experience at Plymouth very seriously.  See what it is like studying here through the School of Psychology web pages, compare us with other Universities in the region, and find out about some of our recent graduates or about our international exchange year and optional work-placement year.

You'll also like to know that all students enrolling on our BSc and MPsych courses receive the core  textbooks free – worth around £1500.

We've redesigned the way we teach psychology

We have listened to our students' feedback and created a new curriculum, where the focus is on active learning instead of attending lectures.

We are building a brand new learning resource for our students, the Psychology Experiential Learning Lab or PsychEL, where you will get first hand experience of psychology. In PsychEL, and in tutorials, you'll work with other students, collaborating to apply your knowledge to solve problems.

You can read more about our new first year modules here.

Find out more by watching the short video, or get more detail from our web pages.

Full-time ESRC studentships in the School of Psychology - apply now

With over fifty qualified academics we can supervise doctoral research across the breadth of the discipline

You can start a PhD with the school in October, January or April, so you can start talking to us about your plans at any time.

Find out how to apply for a PhD in Psychology


Psychology at Plymouth – find out what it's like to study with us

Plymouth stood out from the rest. It's got a really good vibe – there's so much going on!

Join Abi for a tour of the School of Psychology.

Find out about the psychology course

Teaching and learning

Your experience will be enriched by a variety of teaching methods and you'll have your own personal tutor who will provide academic and personal support during your time at Plymouth

Teaching and learning in the School of Psychology

Study abroad or visit us from abroad

"I can proudly say that it has been one of the best and wisest choices I could have ever made!" – Simge Engelkiran spent a year in the USA

Psychology has links with universities around the world – we host their students and our students can study abroad.

Find out about our international opportunities

Wide range of careers

Our graduates go on to pursue a wide range of careers after studying their first degree. Whether you continue studying for a further degree or look for employment straight away our emphasis on employability will put you ahead of other graduates.

Successful graduates

If you would like to find out what other psychology graduates are currently doing, please visit the psychology and social sciences interest area.

School of Psychology in the media

Could robots be counsellors? Early research shows positive user experience

Jackie Andrade and Joana Galvão Gomes da Silva have shown for the first time that a social robot can deliver a ‘helpful’ and ‘enjoyable’ motivational interview (MI), a counselling technique designed to support behaviour change.

TOUGH LOVE? The meaner your friends are, the more they care about you, study shows (The Sun)

Research by Belén López-Pérez in the School of Psychology suggests that people who gave 'tough love' to their friends were actually more like to empathise with them and want them to succeed.

Psychology academic navigates Moral Maze on Radio 4

Dr Susan Blackmore, Visiting Professor in the School of Psychology, has appeared on Radio 4’s Moral Maze programme discussing whether religious orthodoxy is able to exist in a world of increasingly liberal values.

EU eyes high-tech cleanup for plastic pollution in rivers - Deutsche Welle

Dr Sabine Pahl, Associate Professor (Reader) in Psychology, urges scientists from different fields to work together to address the cause of the plastic pollution.

Plymouth develop resource to assist health services deliver more personalised care - Care Appointments

A study by Dr Helen Lloyd sees the development of a practical tool to support organisations and practitioners achieve the organisational change which needs to happen if they are to provide personalised and coordinated care for people with multiple long term conditions.

‘Social media culture can encourage risky and inappropriate posting behaviour’ (Telegraph)

A new study by Claire White in the School of Psychology has received national coverage after investigating why young adults might post content on social media that contains sexual or offensive material. 

Research on link between creativity and risk-taking (Guardian)

'The Guardian' invites readers to take a seven-question test, and, according to Vaibav Tyagi, Yaniv Hanoch, Stephen Hall and Sue Denham from the School of Psychology, if you score 6 or 7 out of 7, you count as more risk taking, and therefore more creative, than the average person.

Latest publications

Here is a list of some recent papers published by the School of Psychology: you can find a full list from this year and previous years on our research pages

  • Seabrooke T, Hollins T, Kent C, Wills A & Mitchell C 2019 'Learning from failure: Errorful generation improves memory for items, not associations' Journal of Memory and Language PEARL
  • Lloyd HM, Wheat H, Horrell J, Fosh B, Close J & Valderas J 2018 'Can practitioners use patient reported measures to enhance person centred coordinated care in practice? A qualitative study' Health and Quality of Life Outcomes , DOI PEARL
  • Lloyd HM, Whalley B, Fosh B, Close J & Byng R 2018 'Validation of the person-centred coordinated care experience questionnaire (P3CEQ)' International Journal for Quality in Health Care , DOI PEARL
  • Howarth S, Handley S & Walsh C 2018 'The logic sense: exploring the role of executive functioning in belief and logic-based judgments' Thinking and Reasoning , DOI PEARL
  • Hanoch Y, Choma B, Barnes A & Braun R 2018 'Dissecting the politics of “Obamacare”: The role of distributive justice, deservingness, and affect' Journal of Applied Social Psychology PEARL
  • Hanoch Y, Rolison J & Freund AM 2018 'Reaping the Benefits and Avoiding the Risks: Unrealistic Optimism in the Health Domain' Risk Anal Author Site , DOI PEARL
  • Edworthy JR, McNeer RR, Bennett CL, Dudaryk R, McDougall SJP, Schlesinger JJ, Bolton ML, Edworthy JDR, Özcan E & Boyd AD 2018 'Getting Better Hospital Alarm Sounds Into a Global Standard' Ergonomics in Design 26, (4) 4-13 , DOI
  • Boomsma C, Jones RV, Pahl S & Fuertes A 2018 'Do Psychological Factors Relate to Energy Saving Behaviours in Inefficient and Damp Homes? A study among English social housing residents' Energy Research and Social Science 47, 146-155 Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
  • Hanoch Y, Ganzach Y & Choma B 2018 'Attitudes Toward Presidential Candidates in the 2012 and 2016 American Elections Cognitive Ability and Support for Trump' Social Psychological and Personality Science , DOI PEARL
  • Colquhoun1 B, Lord A & Bacon AM 2018 'A Qualitative Evaluation of Recovery Processes Experienced by Mentally Disordered Offenders following a Group Treatment Programme' Journal of Forensic Psychology Research and Practice 18, (5) 352-373 , DOI PEARL
  • Seabrooke T, Wills A, Hogarth L & Mitchell C 2018 'Automaticity and cognitive control: Effects of cognitive load on cue-controlled reward choice' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Solbrig L, Whalley B, Kavanagh DJ, May J, Parkin T, Jones R & Andrade J 2018 'Functional Imagery Training versus Motivational Interviewing for Weight Loss: A randomised controlled trial of brief individual interventions for overweight and obesity' International Journal of Obesity PEARL
  • Smith AD, Scott C & Holloway AL 2018 'Inducing difference in search behaviour: Right parietal stimulation modulates efficiency but not learning' //0 //0 S31-S32
  • Smith AD & De Lillo C 2018 'Individual differences in spatial components of search and foraging' //0 //0 S31-S31
  • Baxter R, Jones PM, Hall SD & Smith AD 2018 'Using immersive virtual environments to explore the blocking of geometric information during spatial learning' //0 //0 S57-S57
  • Grzyb B, Cangelosi A, Cattani A & Floccia C 2018 'Children’s scale errors: A by-product of lexical development?' Developmental Science PEARL
  • Clements L, Lefebvre Sell NM, Redding E & May J 2018 'Expertise in evaluating choreographic creativity: an online adaptation of the Consensual Assessment Technique' Frontiers in Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Bach P, Hudson M, McDonough KL & Edwards R 2018 'Perceptual Teleology: Expectations of Action Efficiency Bias Social Perception' Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences , DOI PEARL
  • Bolton ML, Edworthy J, Boyd AD, Wei J & Zheng X 2018 'A computationally efficient formal method for discovering simutlaneous masking in medical alarms' Applied Acoustics 141, 403-415 , DOI PEARL
  • Smart C, Froomberg N & Auburn T 2018 'What a discursive understanding of interprofessional team meetings might reveal: an exploration of intellectual (learning) disability managers' performances' Journal of Interprofessional Care 1-10 Author Site , DOI PEARL