Social Sciences and Humanities
The Department of Psychology is committed to conducting, publishing and disseminating high quality empirical research, both quantitative and qualitative. In RAE 2008 more than 70% of our research outputs were rated to be of international quality.
The source of our reputation lies in:
Research activity within the department falls into six main areas, some with subgroups. Members of the department may be affiliated to more than one research group.
Research within the Business Psychology Group is closely linked to the Business Psychology Centre (BPC), which works in partnership with organisations in applying business psychology to the workplace and linking personal competence to organisational competence.
The Business Psychology Centre is an agent of knowledge transfer based on a blend of disciplines such as human factors, informatics and business psychology. The centre holds the focus on “people matters” within diverse professions by introducing them to the Bpsy model through conferences and knowledge sharing workshops.
The centre partnered the Engineering Forum for Project Management (EFPM) to deliver the BEHAVE YOURSELF Conferences in 2005 and 2006 as well as iBEHAVE workshops and learning courses while working with the UK Facilitators Network to deliver the Behavioural Technology, also in 2006. The focus was showing how research grounded psychology plays a central role in deconstructing behavioural blocks to workplace performance and personal development.
More recently the BPC hosted the first Postgraduate Business Psychology Conference, held in February 2008.
Set up in March 2008, the Cognitive Neuroscience Group at the University of Westminster represents a cross-departmental group of researchers who bring together their different areas of expertise to explore a range of theoretical and clinical questions from an integrated cognitive neuroscience perspective.
The group studies many aspects of cognition but has particular interests in:
Our aim is to use a wide range of techniques to establish the precise nature and biological basis of these aspects of cognition in typical and clinical populations. We also have a particular interest in developmental cognitive neuroscience with projects that focus on adolescence and middle to old age.
We employ a range of techniques to establish the brain basis of these cognitive processes including ERPs, fMRI, EEG, neuropsychology and pharmacological interventions. We also work closely with our colleagues in computer science to ensure awareness and integration of evidence from connectionist modelling.
Research within the department, in the area of health psychology, is focused on several key areas:
The Psychobiology and Psychophysiology Group (PPG) has a focus on human health and strives to explore the biological underpinnings of some psychological conditions (such as psychosis and eating disorders) and psychobiological changes across the lifespan (such as adolescence and old age). In addition, the impact upon physiology and health of changes in psychological state (such as stress or well-being) is investigated. The Group has excellent collaborative links with a wide range of external institutions including the Institute of Psychiatry, the WestFocus Network of Universities and Bangor University.
The PPG has access to excellent laboratory facilities in the School of Life Science and laboratory facilities within the Department of Psychology of the University of Westminster. The PPG was singled out for special mention in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. The sub-panel noted particularly “strong work in the area of psychobiology”.
A sub-group of the PPG is the Psychophysiology and Stress Research Group (PSRG).
Research carried out in this area centres on learning and teaching in higher education and involves the following themes:
Psychology in Higher Education within the cluster is made up of four main groupings; some members are in more than one group. For more information on each group and its current projects:
Within the Department of Psychology there are several people who are working to provide research support for staff and students. General support for research within the department is provided by a research technician. In addition there is one full-time and one part-time psychology technician to provide support for staff and students with resources within the Department. There are also three research associates in the Department, one working within the Business Psychology Centre on a knowledge transfer project. Two others, whose work is supported by externally generated income, (the Nuffield Trust and Higher Education Innovation Fund: HEIF).
The research participation scheme will be of particular interest to first year students. In order to pass 1PSY408 (Research Methods in Psychology), level 4 students are required to spend some of their time taking part in current research projects conducted by staff and research students from the Department of Psychology. The research participation scheme is the mechanism by which students are credited with this time spent taking part in research.
The objectives of the research participation scheme are:
In any given year, the research participation scheme provides an opportunity for students to take part in a wide range of projects that employ diverse methodologies. Topics under investigation have ranged from "individual differences in the diurnal neuroendocrine cycle" to "race and cultural issues in counselling and psychotherapy". The variety of research techniques that students have had a chance to experience in a single year has included:
We offer an exciting breadth of activity across the Social Sciences, Psychology and the Arts and Humanities.
We offer a vibrant, multi-disciplinary research environment, at the centre of which are several innovative, high-quality research groups and programmes.