Unlocking the secrets of the human mind is one of modern science’s greatest challenges.  Psychology, the study of human behaviour, helps us make sense of how we understand the world, what makes us laugh or cry, why we are conscious, and why we make the choices we do.

Our research spans areas of pure and applied research that includes cognitive psychology, perception, learning, EEG, psychopharmacology, brain injury, sleep, and clinical and health psychology.  Our research benefits from extensive laboratory space, excellent facilities, good links with hospitals and education, and membership of the Wales Institute for Cognitive Neuroscience.

If you are interested in more information on being a student here, are interested in our research, or seeking collaborative partners for research projects and grant applications, then please browse below.

Our Research

With extensive research links with other colleges at Swansea University, and with other Universities worldwide, we are a rapidly growing field of research within the College.  Encompassed within a thriving research environment, that enthuses academic staff, research officers and students alike we have achieved international acclaim in recent years.

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 35% of our research was judged to be world leading (4*) or Internationally excellent (3*), and 45% was Internationally recognised (2*).. Through continuous investment in research infrastructure and by expanding staffing levels, we aspire to expand on our achievements to-date .

We also have a engaging seminar programme involving visiting experts in psychological research from across the World.  Seminars are open to all including visitors from other Universities and other bodies, such as the local NHS trusts.


Research Interests

Our research covers three broad areas;

We also have emerging interests in:

  • Learning and Behaviour

This group examines the mechanisms that allow behaviour and thoughts to adapt to the environment, and investigates the role of learning and memory processes in generating such flexible and adaptive behaviours. These behaviours allow efficient learning and processing of information in a wide variety of contexts, across the age range, and even across species. Although adaptiveness and flexibility promote psychological well-being, there can also be unfortunate negative effects of these behaviours.

  • Evolutionary Behavioural Science

This group explores how evolution and the credo ‘survival of the fittest’ prevails within our current society, and goes on to influence our continued development and growth through the exploration of modern day relationships and interactions. For example, why are some people jealous and possessive in their relationship while others take a more relaxed approach? 

We are also part of the University’s cross-College Language Research Centre. We are also part of the Wales Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience (WICN), a research initiative to enhance collaborations in neuro-imaging. The other constituent members of WICN are Cardiff and Bangor Universities.


One of key facilities is our Sleep Laboratory which we use to investigate sleep, dreaming, and what happens when people are deprived of sleep. This can sometimes involve studies in peoples own home to assess the sleep or dream content, or more usually we monitor people in the sleep lab, using EEG, and this can involve waking them up to collect dream reports. The laboratory is designed to be as comfortable and non-clinical as possible and includes 2 bedrooms, a lounge and kitchen facilities.

Examples of how the sleep lab can be used include explorations into the functions of sleep; the effects of sleep loss; the relationship of dream content to waking life experiences; the aetiology and characteristics of nightmares; whether dreaming has any function, or is associated with any functional brain process 


To view a list of staff from the Department of Psychology within the College of Human and Health Sciences, click here.