Since becoming the Department of Psychology in 2011, we have celebrated many successes, all of which are as a result of the commitment and dedication shown by our staff and students. Here are some of our key successes we would like to share.
We have a consistent track record of supporting our students to gain good degree outcomes. In 2018, we celebrated 87% of our final year students receiving “good-class honours” (2:1 classification or above), with 37% of overall awards gaining a First Class Honours degree. The previous two years were also highly successful, with at least 80% or more of our graduates obtaining good class honours.
We have some very talented colleagues who have received awards and recognition for their hard work. Among these include Dr Joyce Humphries who was the Winner of University’s Student-Led Personal Tutor Award in 2018. The previous year, Dr Linda Kaye was also received the “Above and Beyond Award” for Teaching Excellence, and prior to this, Professor Philip Murphy received an award for Excellence in Personal Tutoring. Our other colleagues, Dr Damien Litchfield, Dr Helen Wall, Dr Felicity Wolohan and Dr Gray Atherton have also recently been shortlisted for excellence awards for their dedication in teaching and student support.
As well showing excellence in teaching and student support, our staff also are recognised for their successes in the wider science community. Professor Geoff Beattie has been widely recognised for his contributions, in which he has been awarded Fellowship both of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Royal Society of Arts.
Our dedication to providing an enriching student experience is captured through national exercises such as the National Student Survey (NSS). In 2018, we were ranked in the top 20 across UK universities, for “Academic Support” and “Assessment and Feedback” (NSS, 2018). In 2021, our Overall Satisfaction was ranked second in our region and 36th nationally out of 117 UK universities.
We have supported some fantastic students in our Department who are a credit to themselves and the university. We have a developing portfolio of “Visualising Success” stories which capture the range of successful achievements of some of our current students and alumni. Many of these have developed from our students engaging in work-related learning and volunteering their time in extra-curricular activities.
Awarded Recognition for Equality
The Department of Psychology is committed to promoting equality and diversity for all staff and students. In October 2018, we successfully obtained the Athena Swan Bronze Award.
Our Department has seen considerable investment into its research capacity and capabilities in recent years and is ambitiously pursuing research excellence. Our research excellence was evident in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014), where 23% of our research outputs judged to be ‘world-leading’ (4*), 27% assessed as ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) and an additional 41% judged to be ‘recognised internationally’ (2*).
Our research potential has recently been greatly supported by our move into our new building, which has been purpose-built to ensure we have bespoke research facilities and equipment to support our excellent research.
Student Involvement and Success
We find many ways to involve our students in our work. We include a well-established Research Participation Scheme where our students learn about psychological research by taking part in our studies. Further to this, our Paid Research Internship Scheme allows our students to be paid to be Research Assistants within our Department. We have had a great deal of success from our student involvement, in which we have an impressive list of published papers which include our students as co-authors.
We are attracting recognition internationally for our work. Recent books written by staff in our Department have been published and translated for international readers. These include Professor Philip Murphy’s recently published book on “The Routledge International Handbook of Psychobiology” and Professor Geoff Beattie’s book on “Rethinking Body Language: How Hand Movements Reveal Hidden Thoughts’.
As well as recognition for our scholarly work, we are consistently commended by international experts on the calibre of student work presented in our annual Dragon’s Den day. During the event, students are set the task of developing a practical application of psychology and making a commercial pitch to a panel of experts – Fran Cassidy, ex-Marketing Director of ITV, and TV Producer and Director Manus Wynne.
To support enriching student experiences, we embed a range of employability-related activities, events and guest sessions into our curriculum. One of these includes our annual Mock Assessment Day in which our second-year students experience the range of activities and assessments which they may encounter when applying for jobs. We work collaboratively with our Careers Centre, as well as external partners to allow students real-world experience of job applications, interviews, psychometric testing and group assessment work. This is part of their Applying Psychology module, in which we also invite in guest lecturers who work in a range of professional psychology careers (e.g., clinical psychology, occupational psychology), to enable our students an insight into the different ways their psychological knowledge can be applied in practice.
For our BSc (Hons) Educational Psychology course, we also work collaboratively with Educational Psychologists, to ensure students have opportunities to gain perspectives about the nature of work in this field. Our established partners Catalyst Psychology have provided a major support for us in which they regularly contribute guest sessions to our curriculum, as well as offer student placements for Educational Psychologist shadowing.
Media and Public Engagement
We also have success in disseminating our work to public audiences, via public engagement events and through popular media. Professor Geoff Beattie is regularly asked to contribute to media interviews and has a track record of being invited to public engagement events. For example, he has attended the British Academy Summer Showcase in which he discussed; “Why aren’t climate change messages getting through”.
Additionally, Dr Linda Kaye and Dr Helen Wall’s work on the psychology of emoji has gained considerable media interest. Most noteworthy, Dr Linda Kaye was invited to deliver at TEDx talk at the prestigious TEDxVienna conference in 2017 in which she revealed “What your emoji says about you”.