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Welcome to the Department of Psychology

The Department of Psychology submitted 35 members of staff, comprising thirty-four Full-Time Equivalent (FTE), to the REF Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience UoA. The submission included three Early Career Researchers. 


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11th in the Complete University Guide 2025
Top 100 QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023
Top 10 in Graduate Prospects by The Times Good University Guide 2021
Athena SWAN Silver Award winner in 2013 and retained in 2017 & 2022, for promoting gender equality

Helping the rehabilitation of people with partial visual loss

Durham Reading and Exploration (DREX) is a computerised training for the rehabilitation of brain injury-related visual field defects, which has been converted into an app in order to maximise accessibility and effectiveness.

Use of the app increases general vision-related functioning and thereby confidence, independence, and quality of life. Through an iterative process involving NHS professionals, patients, and carers we addressed perceived barriers to use, and implemented changes that improved usability. With tablets being a more amenable technology to people with limited technical experience, having a multiplatform app has improved the reach of this vital rehabilitative aid.
Read the full case study
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About the Department of Psychology

Our vision is to be a broad-based, diverse, and inclusive community of psychological scientists where innovative and rigorous research is employed to understand the principles and processes of mind, brain and behaviour.  

Key REF highlights: 

  • 100% increase in world-leading research outputs
  • World-leading research environment
  • Excellent research that produces real societal benefits

Psychology REF Impact Case Studies

Psychology submitted three impact case studies about mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Click below to read more about our case studies

An app that is improving the quality of life of patients suffering with visual field defects after brain injury

Durham Reading and Exploration (DREX) is a computerised training app for the rehabilitation of brain injury-related visual field defects.
A pair of hands holding an open book

Normalising voice-hearing: from phenomenology to clinical practice

Our research is serving to normalise hearing voices, a highly varied experience with deep significance for people’s lives.
A computer monitor displaying an MRI brain scan

Saving lives; reducing prisoner suicides

Our research has contributed to a marked decrease in Self-Inflicted Deaths amongst the prisoner population in England and Wales.
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Research Themes

The department has three research groups, reflecting our major areas of activity: Cognitive Neuroscience, Developmental Science, and Quantitative Social Psychology. These groups provide a core ‘home’ for academics, research staff and research students.

More about our Research Themes

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The Cognitive Neuroscience Group hosts the Durham Centre for Imaging, the Centre for Vision and Visual Cognition, and Centre for Learning and Memory Processes.

Developmental Science Group hosts the Centre for Developmental Disorders.

Staff are additionally involved in external University Research Centres and Institutes, many of which are led or co-led by Psychology staff: 

Centre for Neurodiversity and Development

The Centre encompasses research across numerous neurodevelopmental conditions, drawing on many disciplines and experiences to improve understanding and intervention.
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Learning and Memory Processes Centre

We focus on the processes of learning and memory in both health and disease.
A Psychology technician calibrating an eyetracker