School of Psychology

Plymouth is a centre of excellence in psychological research. In the last Research Excellence Framework assessment over 80% of our research outputs were rated as either international (3*) or world-leading (4*) quality. This puts us in the top 20 nationally on this measure, and above institutions such as Bristol, UCL, Manchester, Southampton, Bournemouth, and Portsmouth. 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

Studentships and Lecturing posts available now

Full-time PhD studentships (3 years; apply by 4 December) and ESRC PhD opportunities (apply by 31 January) available; Four lecturing posts available (apply by 6 Jan)

For Lecturing posts, search https://www.plymouth.ac.uk/about-us/jobs for Psychology

Find out about Studentships and Lecturing posts

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.

The Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC), the most advanced multi-modal brain imaging facility in the Southwest, provides the sea-change to enhance the quality of our research in human neuroscience.

With seven cutting-edge human research laboratories, including an MRI suite with the most advanced 3-Tesla scanner in the region, it will critically advance our enquiry, toward the most advanced brain research, improved radiological diagnostics and better patient care.

The partnership of University of Plymouth, University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust and DDRC Healthcare is central to our wider aims of delivering rapid improvements to health and well-being in the region and beyond, supporting commercial development and integrating research into education at the highest levels.

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

  • White MP, Bratman GN, Pahl S, Young G, Cracknell D & Elliott LR 2020 'Affective reactions to losses and gains in biodiversity: Testing a prospect theory approach' Journal of Environmental Psychology 72, 101502-101502 , DOI
  • Lopez-Persem A, Roumazeilles L, Folloni D, Marche K, Fouragnan EF, Khalighinejad N, Rushworth MFS & Sallet J 2020 'Differential functional connectivity underlying asymmetric reward-related activity in human and nonhuman primates' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, (45) 28452-28462 , DOI
  • Lloyd H, Britten N, Naldemirci Ö & Wolf A 2020 'Epistemic injustices in clinical communication: The example of narrative elicitation in person-centred care' Sociology of Health and Illness: a journal of medical sociology , DOI Open access
  • Martin L, White M, Pahl S, May J & Wheeler B 2020 'Neighbourhood Greenspace and Smoking Prevalence: Results from a Nationally Representative Survey in England' Social Science and Medicine , DOI Open access
  • Summers EMA, Morris RC, Bhutani GE, Rao AS & Clarke JC 2020 'A survey of psychological practitioner workplace wellbeing' Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy , DOI Open access
  • Edwards KJ, Maslin K, Andrade J, Jones RB & Shawe J 2020 'mHealth as a primary mode of intervention for women at risk of, or diagnosed with, gestational diabetes' JBI Evidence Synthesis Publish Ahead of Print, , DOI
  • Lanario JW, Hyland ME, Menzies-Gow A, Mansur AH, Dodd JW, Fowler SJ, Jones RC & Masoli M 2020 'Validation of subscales of the Severe Asthma Questionnaire (SAQ) using exploratory factor analysis (EFA)' Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 18, (1) , DOI
  • Baptie G, Andrade J, Bacon A & Norman A 2020 'Trauma after childbirth: The mediating effects of perceived support' British Journal of Midwifery 28, (10) 724-730 , DOI Open access
  • Blease C, Kharko A, Locher C, DesRoches CM & Mandl KD 2020 'US primary care in 2029: A Delphi survey on the impact of machine learning' PLOS ONE 15, (10) e0239947-e0239947 , DOI Open access
  • Ho N, Baker D, Karapanagiotidis T, Seli P, Wang HT, Leech R, Bernhardt B, Margulies D, Jefferies E & Smallwood J 2020 'Missing the forest because of the trees: Slower alternations during binocular rivalry are associated with lower levels of visual detail during ongoing thought' Neuroscience of Consciousness , DOI Open access
  • May J, Redding E, Whatley S, Lucznik K, Clements L, Weber R, Sikorski J & Reed S 2020 'Enhancing creativity by training metacognitive skills in mental imagery' Thinking Skills and Creativity 38, 100739-100739 , DOI Open access
  • Austin D, May J, Andrade J & Jones R 2020 'Delivering digital health: The barriers and facilitators to university-industry collaboration' Health Policy and Technology , DOI Open access
  • Austin D, Andrade J, May J & Jones R 2020 'Delivering digital health: The barriers and facilitators to University-Industry Collaboration' Health Policy and Technology , DOI Open access
  • Baptie G, Andrade J, Bacon AM & Norman A 2020 'Birth trauma: the mediating effects of perceived support' British Journal of Midwifery 28, (10) 724-730 , DOI Open access
  • Martin L, White MP, Pahl S, May J & Wheeler BW 2020 'Neighbourhood greenspace and smoking prevalence: Results from a nationally representative survey in England' Social Science & Medicine 113448-113448 , DOI
  • Tierney W, Hardy JH, Ebersole CR, Leavitt K, Viganola D, Clemente EG, Gordon M, Dreber A, Johannesson M & Pfeiffer T 2020 'Creative destruction in science' Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 161, 291-309 , DOI Open access
  • Kaur R & Stedmon J 2020 'A phenomenological enquiry into the impact of bereavement by suicide over the life course' Mortality 1-22 , DOI
  • Seabrooke T, Mitchell C, Wills A & Hollins T 2020 'Pretesting boosts recognition, but not cued recall, of targets from unrelated word pairs' Psychonomic Bulletin and Review , DOI Open access
  • Odor P, Bampoe S, Moonesinghe R, Andrade J, Pandit J & Lucas N 2020 'General anaesthetic and airway management practice for obstetric surgery in England: a prospective, multi-centre observational study' Anaesthesia , DOI Open access
  • Margraf J, Lavallee KL, Zhang XC, Woike JK & Schneider S 2020 'Mental health and the wish to have a child: a longitudinal, cross-cultural comparison between Germany and China' Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology 1-13 , DOI Open access

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