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Department of Psychology
  • DoP


We are amongst the Top 10 Psychology Departments in the UK with an outstanding academic staff highly rated for both teaching and research and are consistently ranked as one of the best Psychology departments for employability. In the REF 2014 ranking for Psychology, Neuroscience and Psychiatry, 83%
of our research was assessed as “internationally excellent quality” or “world leading". We are a collegiate and welcoming department committed to success for all who work here. One mark of our commitment is our Athena Swan Silver Award which the department received in 2013 and was renewed in 2017.

Mission completed!

Students and staff celebrated the end of the exam period at the annual Finalist Party. What a relief … for students and staff!

Employability Retreat 2017

The Employability Retreat 2017 was held in (sunny!) Allendale, Northumberland, where our undergraduate students and staff enjoyed three days of outdoor fun and informal, extra-curricular employability activities which, we hope, will make our students more likely to gain employment and to be successful in their chosen occupation.

The Psychology Department has entered the top 10 in the Guardian league table for 2018 and was ranked 7th up from 16th last year.

Postgraduate student was awarded £1000 for bringing science into public.

Miss Emine Gurbuz, Global Citizenship Programme (GCP) scholar, and Ph.D. candidate in Psychology, was awarded £1000 for her contribution to the Café Scientifique at Ustinov College. The Café Scientifique brings science from the lab into the café. Congratulations Emine!


Dr Sophie Hodgetts (Ustinov College) has successfully completed her PhD in Psychology. The title of her thesis: "The neuromodulatory properties of gonadal steroid hormones with regard to individual differences in cognition and brain organisation." Sophie has also completed a BSc Hons Psychology (Applied) and MSc Cognitive Neuroscience in our department. Recently, she has accepted a new post at the University of Sunderland, where she will continue her academic career as a Lecturer in the Psychology Department.


Miss Jasmin Amber Strickland (Hatfield College), has successfully completed her Masters of Science by Thesis (MRES) in Psychology. The title of her thesis: “Multiple processes in the short-term reduction of palatability in mice”. Jasmin will continue to study for her PhD in the Department.

Rising Stars Research Symposium.

Harriet Welch (left), Naina Kant (middle) and Lauren Jeffers (right) presented research from their undergraduate dissertation projects at the Faculty of Science's research symposium. The event showcases the success and breadth of research within the faculty at undergraduate level.

1.1 Million Euro Multi -Site Project.

Dr Dan Smith (Centre) was the lead applicant for a consortium that was awarded 1.1m euros for the multi-site project "A motor bias theory of attention" funded by ESRC (Durham, UK), DFG (Munich, Germany) and NWO (Utrecht, Netherlands).

The Psychology Department is ranked highly in national and international league tables focusing on research power, teaching quality and student satisfaction. We are proud of our Athena Swan Silver Award which recognizes our sustained commitment to gender equality.

Special seminar, Professor Nora Newcombe, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Cognitive Maps—An Individual Differences Approach.

The proposal that humans are capable of developing cognitive maps of their environment has a long and controversial history. But individual differences in navigation are large, and hence it is possible that only some people develop flexible map-like representations from information acquired during navigation. Indeed, recent research shows that people fall into 3 groups based on how well they learn routes and how well they relate routes to each other: Integrators, Non-integrators, and Imprecise Navigators. These groups show distinctive patterns of spatial skills and working memory. Age-related changes occur, with 12 or 13-year-olds showing adult levels of performance. It is likely, however, that even adults can improve their mapping accuracy with effort. These data have theoretical implications for the cognitive map hypothesis, and practical implications for improving navigational functioning.

Monday 24th July 2017, 16:00 - 17:00, L47, Psychology Department.

PsyPAG Annual Conference

Our 2017 Annual Conference will be hosted at Northumbria University on 26th-28th July 2017.

Our conference aims to bring postgraduates from across the UK together and allow invaluable presentation experience in a relaxed and friendly environment. Our keynotes this year are Dr Vincent Deary (Northumbria University), Dr Katie Milnes (Leeds Beckett University), Prof Merim Bilalic (Northumbria University) and Dr Lynda Boothroyd (Durham University). In addition to this, the BPS Trainee Conference will also be joining us at this event. We are offering 10 x £100 competitive Conference bursaries to help students attend.

Deadlines for abstract submissions are Wednesday 29th March for workshops and Wednesday 24th May for posters and oral presentations. Early bird registration rates close on Friday 24th March and general registration closes on Friday 7th July. Find more information, submit abstracts and register on our conference website:

Contact Details

Durham City
Psychology Department
Durham University
Science Laboratories
South Road
Tel:+44(0)191 3343240

Queen's Campus
Psychology Department
Durham University
Queen's Campus
University Boulevard
TS17 6BH
Tel:+44(0)191 3340101

Durham subjects in QS World Subject Rankings Top 100

We're recruiting

In May 2017 the Department of Psychology was delighted to achieve the 'Athena Swan Silver Award' recognising our commitment to advancing women's careers in STEMM academia. For more information please follow link.