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Research in the Department of Psychology

The psychology department has seen significant investment in research facilities and it has appointed outstanding researchers in a wide range of fields. The laboratories offer a variety of technical equipment (eg. eye tracking systems-EyeLink and Tobii, BioPac, driving simulator, EEG, tDCS, behavioural telemetry), software (eg. Qualtrics, MatLab, Eprime, SuperLab), and audio-visual facilities. The department has over 26 registered PhD students and now offers five postgraduate masters programmes.

Staff are passionate about their work and publish in renowned international journals (eg. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, The Journal of Experimental Psychology, Experimental Brain Research, Journal of Vision, Current Biology, Cognition, Psychopharmacology, PLoS ONE, The British Journal of Psychiatry). Many publications achieved high national and international impact via mentions in Nature, The Sunday Times, BBC Radio 4, and Times Higher Education, among others.

Over the last five years, the department has secured research funds in excess of £1m, from The Economic and Social Research Council, The Leverhulme Trust, The British Academy, The Qatar National Research Fund, The European Commission, Alcohol Research UK, The European Foundation for Alcohol Research, The Fetal Medicine Foundation, Sanofi-Pasteur, and The National Grid. 

Research impact

The key beneficiaries of our research have been charities, local government, schools and social enterprises, and our goal has been to extend the reach of our research from the local community outwards. Some examples of projects include:

Regional schools

New methods for teaching numeracy in preschools were implemented (the "PLUS" system). Evaluations have demonstrated the efficacy of the methods and service providers were trained to deliver the programme in preschools throughout the region (Dr Jo Van Herwegen and Dr Claudia Uller).

UK-based Afghan refugee charities

A research project at two charities, Afghan Paiwand and the Klevis Kola Foundation, identified persistent psychological problems in Afghan refugee children to develop new mentoring and support mechanisms to address those problems (Professor Muthanna Samara).

Art exhibitions based on community issues

Psychology students curate pop-up exhibitions linked to problems or issues affecting the London communities. The first of such exhibitions was "Paper Boats" at Stanley Picker Gallery. (Students' supervision: Stanley Picker Gallery staff and Dr. Fatima M Felisberti)

Anti-bullying policies in the Arab territories of Israel

Work on the factors that contribute to bullying and the effectiveness of different approaches to intervention have led to widespread adoption of his research-informed recommendations in schools across the Arab territories of Israel and also by the Islamic Courts of the Arab territories - the first time that such policies have been adopted (Professor Muthanna Samara).

Public engagement activities

A series of different activities are organized to engage with the community outside academia. Some examples:

  • A Sensory Walk through Self-Perception: Dr Fatima M Felisberti led a walk through a London park discussing the human sensory system in a real scenario.

Read more about past events like this.

  • Young scientist days: Dr Jo Van Herwegen and collaborators guide parents and their children to learn about psychology and gain first-hand experience of psychological research. Research topics include how we learn about and perceive emotions, how maths ability develops, and how we solve puzzles.

Read more about past events like this.

Science Museum

The researchers recorded children's eye movements while manipulating different objects to learn more about how visuo-spatial abilities develop as we grow older and whether there are any strategies that lead to better performance (Dr Jo Van Herwegen, Dr Elisa Back, and Dr Sabira Mannan).

How to apply

If you are interested in studying for a research degree, the first step is to submit your research proposal to the Research Student Co-ordinator (tel: +44 (0)20 8417 2304). Please produce your proposal using the following research proposal guidelines.

Faculty of Business and Social Sciences
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