Psychology research overview
The Department of Psychology at the University of Portsmouth has a thriving postgraduate research programme. We welcome enquiries and applications from prospective full time and part time UK, EU and international postgraduate researchers.
Our postgraduate research students conduct independent and original research on a chosen topic, working closely with a supervisor team led by a First Supervisor who guides and advises them throughout their study.
For more information about how to apply please contact the Faculty of Science using the Contact us page.
If you have any questions about studying for a research degree at the University of Portsmouth, please complete our enquiry form.
RAE rating: We are an active department committed to the dissemination of high quality basic and applied research. In the recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008, our researcher's work was rated 80% "internationally recognised or above", with 31% of the research outputs rated "internationally excellent or world-leading". The Department's research projects in each of our three research centres was assessed as "internationally excellent", with special mention to research in primatology, forensic psychology and visual attention.
Academic staff: 35, please see staff list webpage.
Department Postgraduate tutor: Prof Alan Costall
Postgraduate research students:32
Internal links: Our interdisciplinary interests are reflected in our links with the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and the Language across Borders research cluster of the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR), both in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
External links: The Department's research teams have attracted funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the British Academy, the Home Office, the Nuffield Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the European Union, the US government and the British Psychological Society.
Our current research collaborations include links with the Universities of Abertay, Campinas, Leicester, Maastricht, Minas Gerais, Rondônia, Sheffield, South Carolina, Staffordshire; Emory University, Flinders University, Florida International University, Aarhus University, Lund University, Macquarie University, and the Max-Planck Institutes for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) and Psycholinguistics (Nijmegen).
The Department of Psychology boasts a range of purpose-built facilities including practical and project rooms, a student computing suite, and several specialised laboratories for conducting research in colour vision, human movement, psychophysiology, visual and auditory perception.
Our research facilities allow postgraduate research students to gain experience on a wide range of techniques used in contemporary psychological research and practice. We place high priority on integrating our researcher's work and interests within the teaching programme, providing students with an opportunity to learn about many theoretical and practical issues of importance in psychology today.
Please see our Laboratories and Facilities webpage for more information.
Research Centres and Groups
International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology
The International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology has an established international reputation for conducting a broad range of criminological and forensic psychology research. The Centre comprises an impressive team of researchers and postgraduate research students.Our innovative work in forensic psychology has been a cornerstone of the Department of Psychology since 1990, delivering high quality research at national and international level.
Situated Action and Communication
The Centre has at its core a commitment to studying psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge. Its work covers a multitude of areas – such as developmental psychology, animal behaviour, understanding of object functions, autism and psycholinguistics. It also covers a multitude of methods – such as naturalistic observations, experiments, conversation analysis, cross-cultural studies, longitudinal studies and so on.
Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology aims to better understand human and animal behaviour and cognition through 1) comparison with other animals, and 2) through consideration of evolutionary processes. Our members are active research scientists, and we collaborate with international scientists and animal institutions, including zoos, international primate research centres, field stations and sanctuaries.
Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing
The main focus of the Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing Research Group is to enhance our diverse experiences of life. Our main research topics are; Enhancing quality of life at work, Empowering people with learning disabilities, Empowering people with Autism, Enhancing life in later years, Enhancing student experience and learning success, Enhancing human-environment interactions, Multisensory perception, Exploring techniques for enhancing wellbeing