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Studying in the School of Psychological Science will give you the opportunity to be part of a vibrant postgraduate community and a world-class department. Our postgraduate students are a very important part of the departmental research culture and are a key component in maintaining our international research reputation.

Before submitting an application, we strongly recommend that potential applicants make informal contact with the member of academic staff who has expertise in the research area you wish to pursue. 

Research groups

Research activity in the school is currently organised into two research themes: Cognitive Processes and Brain, Behaviour and Health. Within each theme, there is a set of focused research groups.

An important feature of this research structure is the extent of collaboration across research groups and across the themes. All groups address fundamental questions and look at the impact of their work more broadly in industry, healthcare, education and society. Across these thematic research groups, there are particular strengths in computational neuroscience and neuropsychology.

Cognitive Processes

Focused research groups in cognitive processes are:

  • Developmental (includes the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre and Bristol Autism Research Group)
  • Language (speech comprehension, speech production, reading and dyslexia, language and thought)
  • Memory (short-term memory, modelling, dynamics, lifespan memory)
  • Social (social cognition and evolutionary social psychology)
  • Vision (fusing cognitive science and information technology to tackle research problems that cannot be comprehensively addressed by the single disciplines alone)

Brain, Behaviour and Health

Focused research groups in brain, behaviour and health are:

  • Neuropsychology (neural basis of both typical and pathological cognition, using a range of methodologies including EEG and fMRI)
  • Nutrition and Behaviour Unit (effects of substances on cognition and performance; appetite, weight control and diet)
  • Tobacco and Alcohol Research Group (social drugs and social cognition; plain packaging of tobacco products; carbon-dioxide inhalation model of anxiety)
  • Decision-making and rationality (areas of current focus include selecting the appropriate movement response; how properties of the environment shape decisions; structuring the world to facilitate good decisions; food choice and dietary decisions; the origins of supernatural beliefs)


Many of our PhD graduates work in academia; others work in the private sector or in government institutions.

Visit the Experimental Psychology - MSc by Research page on the University of Bristol website for more details!




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