Psychology

Psychology image of brain as jigsaw puzzle

Welcome to the Department of Psychology

We are a forward-looking and energetic department combining excellence in learning and teaching with a strong and active research culture. We strive to provide the best educational experience for you and take pride in doing so within a friendly, intimate and supportive learning environment.

We offer a growing portfolio of Psychology programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level. Our British Psychological Society-accredited degrees explore every aspect of human behaviour, from biological, social and developmental psychology to psychological disorders and cognitive neuroscience.

Our research feeds directly into our teaching, ensuring a fresh, vibrant learning experience with academics who have an international reputation in their specialist area. What’s more, there are opportunities for students to get directly involved with our research during your degree.

Our research activity is organised into various research groups (see below), reflecting our cognitive, developmental and social psychological research strengths.

We currently have two excellent examples of topical, engaged research and knowledge exchange:

Homeschooling during Lockdown

A project aimed at finding out about parents' and carers' experiences with home schooling. 

Find out more about the Homeschooling during Lockdown project

Covid-19 and Volunteering

A survey in collaboration with with Hampshire County Council and Hampshire's CVS Network aimed at helping to shape the future of volunteering in Hampshire.

Find out more about the Covid-19 and Volunteering Survey

Girl sitting at kitchen table in front of a computer

The Department of Psychology also offers consultancy services and has cutting-edge facilities and laboratories for psychology research, as well as cubicles for experimental work. We have also been able to invest in state-of-the-art software and equipment. Explore our excellent facilities.

The department is home to the Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology and organises an annual seminar series with internal and external guest speakers. These events are open to all staff and students, and students are actively encouraged to attend.

For all the latest from this dynamic department, follow Psychology at Winchester on Twitter

Meet the Psychology team

Academic team

Technical team

Visiting Research Fellows

Research in Psychology

REF 2014: 'world-leading' research

Research in Psychology at Winchester is wide-ranging and of international standard, with particular strengths in human perception and cognition, health and wellbeing, forensic investigation, and identity.

2014 Saw the first Research Excellence Framework submission from a rapidly growing department. Of our research output, 2.8% was rated as ‘world-leading’, and nearly 80% rated 2* or 3* (of international standing), with particular strengths identified in human perception and cognition. Studies that demonstrated impact included the effects on memory of nitrogen narcosis for deep-sea divers, and research that showed how the muscle-building culture of men’s magazines influences young male readers.

Since submitting our REF application in 2014, the Psychology Department has recruited many new staff, most with very strong publications and several with very high impact. Staff are highly active in the production of academic literature, editing peer-review journals, the reviewing and refereeing of grant proposals and articles, and presenting work at international conferences.

They are also involved in international research networks in areas relevant to cognition, perception, forensic psychology, social psychology and developmental psychology. Internally, several Winchester Psychology staff are involved in the interdisciplinary, collaborative Health and Wellbeing Research Group.

Research groups and centres

Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology

The aim of the Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology is to encourage and develop research opportunities, as well as dissemination of such research with interested parties, both within the University of Winchester and externally. Find out more about the Centre for Forensic and Investigative Psychology and meet the team.

Criminal Justice Research Network

A collaboration of practitioners and academics working in the field of criminal justice, led by University of Winchester forensic psychology, criminology and policing experts. Find out more about the Criminal Justice Research Network.

Brain, Behaviour and Cognition Research Group

This group researches a wide range of topics including creative thinking, cognitive and affective neuroscience, auditory and visual perception, face processing, attention, memory, human-computer interaction, categorisation of space and place, risk taking, deception, contemplative practice, abnormal cognition, and the effect of psychedelic drugs on cognition and mental health and wellbeing. Methods include behavioural, experimental, electroencephalography (EEG), eye-tracking, skin conductance response (SCR), psychophysics, connectionist and computational modelling.

Group members

  • Dr Sarah Bayless
  • Dr Valerie Bonnardel
  • Dr Clare Davies
  • Dr Daniel Gill
  • Dr Rhiannon Jones
  • Dr Gary Lancaster
  • Dr Jordan Randell
  • Dr Cassie Richardson
  • Dr Liam Satchell
  • Professor Paul Sowden
  • Dr Adrian Whyte

For more information, contact Dr Rhiannon Jones.

Healthy Lives Research Group

This group is interested in research looking at individual and population health across the lifespan and across different contexts and cultures. Much of the research undertaken by the group is focussed on 'behaviour', whether in terms of typical health behaviours, such as physical activity, or in relation to aspects such as patient decision-making, organisations’ working practices or engaging with support services. Specialists within the group undertake the design, implementation and evaluation of behaviour change interventions across a range of health behaviours and applications.

Much of the group's research would fit under the umbrella of Health Psychology; we contribute to the University’s Health & Wellbeing Research Group and the Hampshire Collaboration for Health Research and Education. Health Psychology aims to study the physical and psychological processes underlying health, illness and healthcare systems, and to apply those findings to optimise health outcomes for individuals and groups. The group does however adopt a broad, holistic approach to its research, looking at optimising health and wellbeing in relation to the wide range of aspects of living such as organisations, environments, social and political systems, working practices etc. 

The Healthy Lives Research Group is open to working with specialist groups and external partners and welcomes enquiries from external collaborators. For enquiries, contact Dr Margaret Husted.

Current research projects

INTEGRAL: Dr Margaret Husted & Dr Debra Gray in collaboration with Prof. Richard Hindley, Urology Surgeon (Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust)

This externally funded study is looking at men’s decision making over treatment options for non-cancerous urinary problems. This is a qualitative research study that involves interviewing male patients to understand the key factors and influences for men when trying to decide between the various treatment options. This first stage research study will then feed in to a much larger programme of research which will look to design, test and evaluate a decision-making aid to be used in practice.

PACT: Dr Margaret Husted & Dr Lynn McKeague in collaboration with Dr Tamara Everington, Clinical Psychologist at Basingstoke Hospital (HHFT).

This funded study is looking at patient experience and adherence to two types of medication currently offered to individuals with haemophilia. The patient interviews are providing us with data on the different treatment groups clinical experience as well as their perceptions of the broader impacts of both the treatment they are receiving and their clinical pathway to this point. The hope is that the findings from this research can potentially inform future clinical practice and patient treatment choice.

Postgraduate research

The group welcomes enquiries from prospective research students. Highlight current postgraduate research project: Shokraneh Oftadeh Moghadam: ‘Sleep Quality and Health: An Online Sleep Intervention for Adolescents' (supervisors: Dr Debra Gray, Dr Margaret Husted). Find out more about the project.

Group members

  • Dr Wing Yee Cheung
  • Dr Kim Bradley-Cole
  • Dr Michelle Cleveland
  • Dr Tim Gamble
  • Dr Andrea Gibbons
  • Dr David Giles
  • Dr Debra Gray
  • Dr Margaret Husted
  • Dr Lynn McKeague
  • Dr Joost Leunissen
  • Dr Dimitra Pachi
  • Dr Jordan Randell
  • Dr Cassie Richardson
  • Dr Adrian Whyte

For more information, contact Dr Margaret Husted.

Childhood and Youth Psychology Research Group

This group conducts research to understand children’s and adolescents’ social, emotional and cognitive development, with the aim of improving psychological wellbeing, relationships at home and school, and academic achievement.

We conduct research in collaboration with an extensive network of nurseries, primary and secondary schools in the South West of the UK, and with other universities and charities in the UK and overseas, from the Universities of Surrey and Edinburgh to the Universidad de Oviedo (Spain) and Maryland University (U.S.).

We regularly involve undergraduate and postgraduate students in our research as paid or voluntary research assistants.

Selected current research themes

  • How did parents/carers manage the demands of homeschooling and parenting during the coronavirus lockdown? (see below)
  • Maths anxiety in primary and secondary school aged children
  • Factors influencing student and parental anxiety and their relation with non-clinical inflated responsibility beliefs
  • Is moral disgust socially learnt?
  • The relation between mothers’ and children’s beliefs about the controllability of their emotions
  • Fear of Missing Out (FoMO): Why wasn’t I invited to the party?
  • Reading fictional stories: the benefits for cognitive and emotional development

Group members

  • Dr Ana Aznar
  • Dr Lynn McKeague
  • Dr Dimitra Pachi
  • Dr Merce Prat-Sala
  • Dr Kirsty Ross
  • Dr Liam Satchell
  • Prof. Paul Sowden
  • Dr Amy Warhurst
  • Dr Frances Warren

For more information, contact Dr Ana Aznar 

Find out more

Social and Organisational Research Group

This group comprises researchers who specialise in social psychology, organisational psychology, political psychology, personality and individual differences, and media study. Our goal is to delineate individual and social behaviours in social and organisational contexts. Our primary research interests are social identities, group processes, interpersonal interaction, citizenship, political, civic engagement, social movements, culture, organisational dynamics, and sense making. We adopt both qualitative and quantitative methods.

We also have a strong outward focus, seeking to build interdisciplinary links to organisations, communities and movements in local, national and international contexts. We have strong collaborative links with colleagues within the university and beyond.

Internally:

Externally:

  • The Centre for Research on Self and Identity, Southampton
  • National Citizen Service
  • The Royal British Legion
  • Universities in the UK and internationally e.g. Goldsmith’s University, Panteion University, Athens (Greece)

Key research interests

While our work has a strong focus on testing fundamental principles and theories on social phenomena, it also has applied implications on the development of a civil society within the domain of civic engagement and citizenship building. The Social and Organisational Research Group emphasizes both basic and applied research.

Selected ongoing projects and research themes:

  • What is the impact of volunteering on employability?
  • What are the predictors of civic and political participation amongst young people?
  • How efficacious are social movements that adopt non-conformative actions (e.g., Extinction Rebellion)? What are the factors that could enhance their inclusiveness?  
  • How do build strong citizenship among young people?
  • How do first impressions form at job interviews?
  • What are the factors contributing to our attitudes towards war and peace? What is contributing more, personality or social attitudes?

Recent events

July 2019: Subjective Coding Hackathon, a workshop that brought together researchers interested in developing better tools for coding complex social interactions.

Group members

  • Dr Kim Bradley-Cole
  • Dr Wing Yee Cheung
  • Dr Michelle Cleveland
  • Dr David Giles
  • Dr Debra Gray
  • Dr Lynn McKeague
  • Dr Joost Leunissen
  • Dr Dimitra Pachi
  • Dr Kirsty Ross
  • Dr Liam Satchell

For more information, contact Dr Wing Yee Cheung.

Postgraduate research

Supervision

We offer research supervision in a wide range of subjects. To find out more, explore our academic staff profile pages above for individual areas of supervision or use the Find an Expert search bar below.

Find out everything you need to know about studying for a research degree at the University of Winchester.

Current research students and topics

Our research students are studying a wide range of important and often interdisciplinary topics, supervised by our academic staff.

  • Debbie Collins: ‘Eyewitness skills and jurors' perceptions of adults with intellectual disabilities' (Supervisors: Dr Rachel Wilcock, Dr Wendy Kneller, Dr Genevieve Waterhouse)
  • Jack Hardwicke: ‘The other side of the wheel: An exploration into the culture of competitive road cycling with reference to masculinity, risk and injury with a principal focus around concussion’ (Psychology supervisor: Dr Tim Gamble)
  • Mick Jackson: ‘Stay Awake: a novel based on the wake-a-thons of the 1950s and 1960s, an exploration of the fiction of anxiety and how an assessment of the ‘hypnagogic’ state might inform our understanding of the creative process’ (Psychology supervisor: Dr Rhiannon Jones)
  • Mandy Jones: ‘Investigating second language learner (L2) motivations of Japanese students on an international Foundation Programme (IFP) at a University in the South of England' (Psychology supervisor: Dr Merce Prat-Sala)
  • Stewart Keating: ‘Investigating source credibility in political election candidates’ (Supervisors: Dr Debra Gray, Dr Jordan Randell, Dr Wing Yee Cheung)
  • Fabiana Lombardi: ‘Face representation in the memory of depressive and anxious individuals’ (Psychology supervisors: Prof. Paul Sowden, Dr Daniel Gill)
  • Clare Martin: ‘The New Creativity: Creative Thinking in the Digital Age’ (Psychology supervisors: Prof. Paul Sowden, Dr Tim Gamble)
  • Shokraneh Oftadeh Moghadam: ‘Sleep Quality and Health: An Online Sleep Intervention for Adolescents' (Psychology supervisors, Dr Debra Gray, Dr Margaret Husted). Find out more about the project
  • Becky Petley: ‘Developing an intervention to improve wellbeing of student nurses’ (Psychology supervisor: Dr Margaret Husted)
  • Gary Turner: ‘Taking the hits: An exploration to the risks faced from head impacts on the behaviour of fight sports athletes’ (Psychology supervisor: Dr Cassie Richardson)
  • Justine Sinclair: ‘Celebrity - Audience relationships: Exploring issues of Class and Mortality' (Psychology supervisor: Dr David Giles)
  • Campbell Williams: ‘The impact of significant infrastructure development upon the de-maculinisation of a traditional sports club' (Psychology supervisor: Dr Tim Gamble)

Research and teaching facilities

Our excellent facilities comprise:

  • A Psychology Research Laboratory
  • A Social Research Laboratory
  • An EEG Laboratory
  • Experimental Cubicles
  • A Psychometric Test Library

Find out more about Psychology reseach, teaching and Knowledge Exchange facilities

Find an expert