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Department of Psychology

Department of Psychology

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.

People who hear voices can detect hidden speech in unusual sounds

People who hear voices that other people can’t hear may use unusual skills when their brains process new sounds, according to new research.

The study, published in the academic journal Brain, found that voice-hearers could detect disguised speech-like sounds more quickly and easily than people who had never had a voice-hearing experience. The research was led by Durham University and University College London (UCL).

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.

The role of attention in maths and reading achievement for children with and without an Autism Spectrum Disorder

Friday 24th November 2017, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L47, Miss Emily Grew PhD Researcher, Durham University

Are We Smart Enough to Know How Smart Animals Are?

Thursday 30th November 2017, 5:00pm - 6:00pm, D110, Professor Frans de Waal

Movement patterns in infants after perinatal stroke.

Tuesday 5th December 2017, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, L47, Anna Basu, Newcastle

The developmental origins of prejudice and dehumanisation

Friday 15th December 2017, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L47, Dr Harriet Over, York University

Executive functions and emotion regulation in children and adolescents.

Tuesday 16th January 2018, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, L48, Blossom Fernandes

'Coping with the job’: Prison staff responding to self-harm in English Women's Prisons

Friday 19th January 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L50, Dr Tammi Walker


Tuesday 23rd January 2018 - Tuesday 30th January 2018, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, L48, Dr Zanna Clay

Predictive processing and perceptual awareness

Friday 26th January 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L47, Dr David Carmel

Are we face experts?

Friday 2nd February 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L47, Dr Andy Young

Families and siblings of children with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Tuesday 27th February 2018, 1:00pm - 2:00pm, L47, Dr Debbie Riby

International Women’s Day 2018

Friday 9th March 2018, 4:00pm - 5:00pm, L47

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

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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.

World leading research across all Durham University subjects

Durham University REF results