Professor Philip Terry


I conducted my PhD in physiological psychology at UCL and then worked as a researcher at UCL on a project funded by the Medical Research Council. I then moved to the US National Institute on Drug Abuse for 5 years before returning to the UK as a Lecturer (subsequently Reader) at the University of Birmingham. I have published over 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals, contributed to edited works and textbooks, made over 100 conference presentations, organized and chaired several international symposia, served as PI on grants from the ESRC, ARUK, ERAB, the Department of Transport and others. I have also served as a member of the ESRC peer-review college and as a panel member of Belgian FNRS. I am currently an Assistant Editor of the journal "Addiction" and Associate Editor of the journal "Substance Use and Misuse". I served as Associate Dean (Research and Enterprise) for the Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences (2017-18) and as Head of Research and Head of the Graduate Research School (2018-21).

Academic responsibilities

Emeritus Professor of Psychology


  • PhD in Psychology, University College London, 1987
  • BSc in Psychology, University College London, 1982

Teaching and learning

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught


My research over the last 30 years has centred on the behavioural pharmacology of abused drugs, from characterising drug action at the receptor level to the social psychology of problematic drug use. Much of my recent externally-funded research concerns people's understanding of how alcohol affects behaviour and health. I have particular interests in the role of learning processes in alcohol's effects and how conditioning processes contribute to the aetiology of alcohol abuse and other kinds of problematic drug use. I am also interested in the psychopharmacology of appetite and how monoamines and peptides (particularly, oxytocin) modulate eating behaviour. More broadly, I am in interested in functional drug use as a way of managing daily challenges. In a previous life, I published extensively on the neuropharmacology of cocaine.

Areas of specialism

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Quantitative Research Methods

Research student supervision

Main supervision

Other supervision

Leadership and management

I was Associate Dean for Research in the old Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and then Head of Research and Head of the Graduate Research School at the University (R&I Directorate)