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The School of Psychology
Head:  Dr Claire Gibson

Psychology at Leicester is an expanding School committed to excellence in research and teaching

Formed in 1960, the School of Psychology is one of three schools in the College alongside Medicine and Biological sciences

It currently comprises some 35 FTE academic staff (plus associated NHS-funded units in Clinical Psychology and Child Psychiatry) with strong professional services support. It teaches approximately 630 students across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses including at undergraduate level: -

- Single Honours Psychology
- Applied Psychology
- Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience
- Psychology with Sociology

At postgraduate level we offer a range of BPS-accredited courses including: a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology; and MSc courses in Forensic Psychology, Occupational Psychology and Psychological Research Methods. 

Finally there is a large and thriving community of postgraduate research students.  In its last accreditation visit (December 2012), the British Psychological Society unconditionally commended the School on seven points including the overall comment that ‘These are impressive, high-quality and well-managed programmes which exceed the Society’s expectations’.

The School is presently accommodated in the Henry Welcome Building and the adjacent Maurice Shock Building with units in Clinical, Forensic and Occupational Psychology located a short distance away.  Members of the School benefit from the recently built Central Research Facility (CRF) in which the University invested £16 million to support all animal-based research with the University.  The CRF has state-of-the-art transgenic, small animal imaging, containment and behavioural facilities. 

Within the School a full range of laboratories include in vivo neurochemistry and electrophysiology laboratories; behavioural testing facilities; dedicated EEG and eye-tracking laboratories; a virtual reality laboratory; and a judgement and decision laboratory and there are laboratories dedicated to studies of human memory, attention and visual neuroscience.  Staff also have access to laboratory facilities elsewhere in the College and to the Clinical sciences and Education Libraries. 

In summer 2015, the entire School moves into custom-built accommodation in a new building currently under construction on the main campus.

Research in the School has developed strongly since 2008, with research funding from EPSRC, ESRC, MRC, AHRC, BBSRC, Nuffield, Leverhulme and Wellcome Foundation amongst others, and publications in prestigious journals including: Journal of Experimental Psychology (HPP, LMC, Animal Behaviour Processes and Applied), Psychological Review, Neuron, and Behavioural and Brain Sciences. In the same time, the community of research students and research assistants has risen significantly.

Research is largely oriented around four research groups:-

  1. The Behavioural Neuroscience group specialises in motivation, neurodegenerative processes, neurochemical modelling and spatial learning and memory.
  2. The Memory and Cognitive Science group includes specialists in cognitive neuroscience, judgement and decision-making, memory, attention and spatial cognition.
  3. The Vision and Language group uses a range of techniques including psychophysics, electrophysiology, computational modelling and eye movement recording to address key research questions in vision science.
  4. The Social, Developmental and Applied Sciences Group includes specialisms in child mental health, health and behaviour, forensic psychology, individual differences, and intervention and preventative science.


The School of Psychology is committed to promoting equality and does not tolerate discriminatory behaviour. In recognition of the School’s efforts to support women in science, it was awarded a Bronze Departmental Athena Swan award, and we are currently preparing our submission for a Silver award. The School’s activities dedicated to promoting the Athena Swan principles aim to benefit all members of staff. These include the establishment of a College-wide mentoring scheme and support with the promotion process. Some of our initiatives have resulted in creating a more family-friendly work environment. We have established a parent and carer support network as well as a flexible working mentor. Furthermore, we have formalised our core hours for important meetings to 10 - 4 and we are planning to move the external seminars to take place within these hours too.

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