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 studentships in the School of Psychology - deadline 11 April 2019

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

Study full time for three years for a doctorate in Psychology.

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.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The three schools of Health Professions, Nursing and Midwifery and Psychology combine world-leading research and practical expertise across a wide range of scientific and practical disciplines.

Our staff and students form a diverse learning community and we are proud to support them in being themselves by celebrating how diversity enriches all of our lives.

In line with University policy, we do not tolerate bullying or harassment and we are continually working on how best to support everyone in being the best they can be.

Find out more about Equality, Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Plymouth

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

  • Wyles KJ, Pahl S, Carroll L & Thompson RC 2019 'An evaluation of the Fishing For Litter (FFL) scheme in the UK in terms of attitudes, behavior, barriers and opportunities' Marine Pollution Bulletin 144, 48-60 , DOI
  • Lloyd H, Byng R, Laura G & John A 2019 'A worked example of initial theorybuilding: PARTNERS2 collaborative care for people who have experienced psychosis in England' Evaluation , DOI PEARL
  • Cattani A, Krott A, Dennis I & Floccia C 2019 WinG Words in Game test. A vocabulary assessment for pre-schooler children. English adaptation and standardisation. St Mabyn PL30 3BN Stass Publications 0 0
  • Wogden F, Norman A & Dibben L 2019 'Treatment choice in Adolescents with Cleft Lip and/or Palate: the importance of Shared Decision-Making' Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal PEARL
  • Buckley M, Holden L, Spicer S, Smith AD & Haselgrove M 2019 'Crossing boundaries: Global reorientation following transfer from the inside to the outside of an arena' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition PEARL
  • Taranu M, Wimmer MC, Ross J, Farkas D, van Ee R, Winkler I & Denham SL 2019 'Children’s perception of visual and auditory ambiguity and its link to executive functions and creativity' Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 184, 123-138 , DOI PEARL
  • Cattani A, Floccia C, Kidd E, Pettenati P, Onofrio D & Volterra V 2019 'Gestures and words in naming: a cross-linguistic and cross-cultural comparison' Language Learning 1-38 Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
  • Holloway M & Norman A 2019 'Long Term Care Needs Following Acquired Brain Injury and Social Care Services in the UK' //0 //0 66-67
  • Holloway M, Norman A & Dean J 2019 'Brain Injury Case Managers' Experience of Mental Capacity and the UK's Mental Capacity Act: Supporting Decision Making' //0 //0 66-66
  • Cattani A, Floccia C, Kidd E, Onofrio D, Pettenati P & Volterra V 2019 'Gestures and words in naming: Evidence from cross-linguistic and cross-cultural comparison' Language Learning Publisher Site , DOI PEARL
  • Harris CM, Owen J & Sanders J 2019 'Arguments for the Adoption of a Nystagmus Care Pathway' British and Irish Orthoptic Journal 15, (1) 82-88 , DOI PEARL
  • Fouragnan EF, Chau BKH, Folloni D, Kolling N, Verhagen L, Klein-Flügge M, Tankelevitch L, Papageorgiou GK, Aubry J-F 2019 'The macaque anterior cingulate cortex translates counterfactual choice value into actual behavioral change' Nature Neuroscience 22, (5) 797-808 , DOI PEARL
  • Clark R, Blundell J, Dunn MJ, Erichsen JT, Giardini ME, Gottlob I, Harris C, Lee H, Mcilreavy L 2019 'The potential and value of objective eye tracking in the ophthalmology clinic' Eye , DOI
  • Coates JM, Feeney GFX, Gullo MJ, Kavanagh DK, Young RM, May J, Andrade J & Connor JP 2019 'Craving measurement and application of the Alcohol Craving Experience questionnaire' in Preedy V The Neuroscience of Alcohol: Mechanisms and Treatment Academic Press 603-610 , DOI
  • Hsu C-W, Begliomini C, Dall'Acqua T & Ganis G 2019 'The effect of mental countermeasures on neuroimaging-based concealed information tests' Human Brain Mapping , DOI PEARL
  • Dunn MJ, Harris CM, Ennis FA, Margrain TH, Woodhouse JM, McIlreavy L & Erichsen JT 2019 'An automated segmentation approach to calibrating infantile nystagmus waveforms' Behavior Research Methods , DOI PEARL
  • Barnes A, Karpman M, Long S, Hanoch Y & Rice T 2019 'More Intelligent Designs: Comparing the Effectiveness of Choice Architectures in US Health Insurance Marketplaces' Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes PEARL
  • Ward E, Ganis G & Bach P 2019 'Spontaneous vicarious perception of the content of others’ visual perspective' Current Biology 29, (5) 874-880 , DOI PEARL
  • Folloni D, Verhagen L, Mars R, Fouragnan E, Constans C, Aubry J-F, Rushworth MFS & Sallet J 2019 'Manipulation of subcortical and deep cortical activity in the primate brain using transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation' Neuron , DOI PEARL
  • Bacon AM, McDaid C, Williams N & Corr PJ 2019 'What motivates academic dishonesty in students? A Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory explanation' British Journal of Educational Psychology , DOI PEARL