School 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.

School of Psychology Twitter

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.

Seven lecturing posts available - apply by 23 September

The School’s REF profile places it in the top third of psychology departments in the UK, with 83% of its research activity rated as internationally excellent or better

Six Lecturerships and one Associate Professorship available in any area of psychology

Find out how to apply


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 – theres 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

  • Bugmann G, Goslin J & Thill S 2019 'Probing the early phase of rapid instructed rule encoding' Biosystems 184, 103993-103993 , DOI
  • Spicer S, Mitchell C, Wills A & Jones P 2019 'Theory protection in associative learning: humans maintain certain beliefs in a manner that violates prediction error' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition PEARL
  • Milton F, McLaren IPL, Copestake E, Satherley D & Wills A 2019 'The effect of pre-exposure on overall similarity categorization' Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition PEARL
  • Conti D, Cattani A, Di Nuovo S & Di Nuovo A 2019 'Are Future Psychologists Willing to Accept and Use a Humanoid Robot in Their Practice? Italian and English Students’ Perspective' Frontiers in Psychology 10, , DOI PEARL
  • Zaksaite T & Jones P 2019 'The redundancy effect is related to a lack of conditioned inhibition: Evidence from a task in which excitation and inhibition are symmetrical' Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology , DOI PEARL
  • Brennan M & Phippen A 2019 Child Protection and Safeguarding Technologies Appropriate or Excessive ‘Solutions’ to Social Problems?. Routledge
  • Anneliese U, Norman A & Sue J 2019 'Pituitary conditions: importance of geography and the Pituitary Foundation in patient support' British Journal of Community Nursing , DOI PEARL
  • Bolton M, Zheng XI, Meng L, Edworthy J & Boyd A 2019 'An Experimental Validation of Masking in IEC 60601-1-8:2006-compliant Alarm Sounds' Human Factors: the journal of the human factors and ergonomics societ , DOI PEARL
  • Wills A, Edmunds C, Le Pelley M, Milton F, Newell B, Dwyer D & Shanks D 2019 'Dissociable learning processes, associative theory, and testimonial reviews: A comment on Smith and Church (2018' Psychonomic Bulletin and Review , DOI PEARL
  • Lange N, Berry C & Hollins T 2019 'Linking Repetition Priming, Recognition, and Source Memory: A Single-System Signal-Detection Account' Journal of Memory and Language 109, , DOI PEARL
  • Minton S 2019 Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples From Genocide Via Education to the Possibilities for Processes of Truth, Restitution, Reconciliation, and Reclamation. Routledge
  • Vane J, Minton S, Ka'ai T, Norman-Hill R & Winder NN 2019 'Reflections' in Minton S Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples From Genocide Via Education to the Possibilities for Processes of Truth, Restitution, Reconciliation, and Reclamation Routledge
  • Minton S 2019 'Setting the scene' in Minton SJ Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples From Genocide Via Education to the Possibilities for Processes of Truth, Restitution, Reconciliation, and Reclamation Routledge
  • Minton S 2019 'Certain theoretical touchstones' in Minton SJ Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples From Genocide Via Education to the Possibilities for Processes of Truth, Restitution, Reconciliation, and Reclamation Routledge
  • Minton S & Thiesen H 2019 'Greenland' in Minton S Residential Schools and Indigenous Peoples From Genocide Via Education to the Possibilities for Processes of Truth, Restitution, Reconciliation, and Reclamation Routledge
  • Seabrooke T, Mitchell C, Wills A, Waters J & Hollins T 2019 'Selective effects of errorful generation on recognition memory: The role of motivation and surprise' Memory , DOI PEARL
  • Moore S, Wotus R, Norman A, Holloway M & Dean J 2019 'Behind the cloak of competence: Brain Injury and Mental Capacity Legislation' Journal of Adult Protection , DOI PEARL
  • Edworthy J, Bennett C, Dudaryk R, Crenshaw N & McNeer R 2019 'Recommendation of New Medical Alarms based on Audibility, Identifiability, and Detectability in a Randomized, Simulation-Based Study' Critical Care Medicine 47, (8) , DOI PEARL
  • Garofalo C, Lopez-Perez B, Gummerum M, Hanoch Y & Tamir M 2019 'Emotion Goals: What do Sexual Offenders Want to Feel?' International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology , DOI PEARL
  • Shearer J, Lynch TR, Chamba R, Clarke S, Hempel RJ, Kingdon DG, O'Mahen H, Remington B, Rushbrook SC 2019 'Refractory depression – cost-effectiveness of radically open dialectical behaviour therapy: findings of economic evaluation of RefraMED trial' BJPsych Open 5, (05) , DOI PEARL