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Quality of Research

School of Psychology

Research Assessment Exercise (2008)

Unit of Assessment Staff submitted (FTE) By percentage, research activity in the submission judged to reach quality standard
Psychology (K44) 59.35 4star icon 3star icon 2star icon 1star icon UC
25% 45% 25% 5% 0%

The grading system explained

(Overall quality profile in blocks of 5%)

Research Profile

InstitutionResearch Power
Cardiff University 172.12  
University College London 169.26  
University of Birmingham 137.65  
University of Sussex 121.50  
University of Oxford 121.21  
University of Sheffield 109.22  
Bangor University 107.25  
University of Southampton 105.57  
University of Edinburgh 103.98  
University of St Andrews 96.62  

Table continues to 76

How this table was compiled

The School of Psychology is one of the largest and most successful schools of its type in the UK, the quality and relevance of its research has been recognised in every Research Assessment Exercise. The current results follow the highest possible ratings under the assessments in 1996 and 2001 (this consistency being recognised by membership of the elite 6* category by the Higher Education Council for England). As in previous RAEs, the rating we have achieved represents the output of all RAE-eligible staff in the School of Psychology, not a sub-set selected specifically for this exercise. Accordingly, we returned some 60 staff members (59.35 FTE) in RAE 2008, ranging from established professors to early career researchers holding prestigious fellowships from the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust and the BBSRC, among others. This combination of size and quality can be matched by very few others in UK Psychology and comes close to matching the very best internationally.

Research participant using eye-tracking equipment

Computer-controlled eye-tracking techniques are used to measure a participant's response to a range of visual images.

From this strong research base, the diverse research within the School strikes a balance between major issues of contemporary relevance in the applied domain and basic science, examining the fundamental cognitive, social and neurobiological determinants of behaviour. The School’s work is grouped into six themes: Behavioural Neuroscience, Cognitive Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Health & Mental Health, Perception & Performance, and Social & Developmental Psychology.

A distinctive feature of the School derived from its size and breadth is the integration across different psychological disciplines to provide unique opportunities for multidisciplinary research projects.  The School has secured more than £30M in competitive grant awards over the six years leading up to the 2008 RAE, including funding from ESRC, BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, Royal Society and the Wellcome Trust, as well as international, UK government and industrial sources. Reflecting this depth and breadth of research strength, in addition to the RAE-returned staff close to 100 research staff and some 80 postgraduate research students currently work in the School, supported by more than 20 research-dedicated administrative and technical staff.

The School is home to three specialist research centres including the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC), the Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN), both at the forefront of brain imaging research, and the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research (UNUM). The School of Psychology also co-hosts two further centres, the Cardiff Neuroscience Centre (CNC) and the Communication Research Centre (CRC), that reflect its strong interdisciplinary links with other academic departments.

Strong collaborative research and teaching links with local hospitals, mental care units, forensic psychiatric services and prisons means there is a culture of genuine interest in research-led practice and policy.  Researchers in the School are contributing to everyday health and social issues informing national and international debates across a wide range of subjects including post-natal depression, domestic violence, parenting action plans, child mental health, obesity, national defence policies, occupational health, climate change, nuclear power, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

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