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The Psychology Department was established when the University of Strathclyde received its Charter in 1964, and is situated in the Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences.
The staff of the department include 20 full-time members of academic staff, 11 research staff, two computing officers, and a Departmental Administrator, as well as 2 technical and 5 secretarial staff.
The department is situated in refurbished premises on the 5th and 6th floors of the Graham Hills Building on the John Anderson Campus in Glasgow City Centre. Accommodation includes several new laboratories, seminar rooms and a common room. All postgraduates have some office/lab space. Research facilities include observation rooms equipped with one-way vision screens, cubicles linked by audio-visual communication systems, light-proof and sound-proof laboratories, and a neuropsychological lab. Students have access to computers networked for statistical packages and a range of other software facilities.
Psychology is a popular subject in the B.A. Degree at Strathclyde, and because of the progressive speicalisation in the structure of this degree, we have over 675 students in first year, 140 in second year, 120 in third year and 72 fourth year honours students. Our postgraduate students include those doing the M.Sc Courses in Research Methods in Psychology, in Educational Psychology, in Occupational Psychology, and those doing Ph.Ds over the full range of psychology.
Departmental Research Areas:
The Department, which is recognised by the ESRC for training purposes, offers facilities for postgraduate study and research in a number of fields, focused on the following main areas:
Interactive Learning – Research in this area concerns the learning that occurs when individuals advance their knowledge or understanding through dialogue, either by working with each other, or interacting with a teacher, peer tutor or computer. The main objective is to specify the conditions which optimise learning under different circumstances and at different ages, the processes involved, and the implications for the design of instructional provision. Contexts in which this work has been conducted include: primary school science, road safety education, critical thinking skills amongst further education students, and the use of communication and information technology in higher education.
Developmental and Educational Psychology – The Department has a long-established tradition of research concerned with children’s development and education. Fields of expertise include: children’s language acquisition; language impairment; the development of perspective-taking and communicative skills; the role of parents in pre-school education; bullying and pro-social behaviour; children’s skills as witnesses; and conceptual knowledge in childhood and adolescence.
Road User Behaviour – The Department is recognised by the UK Government as a centre of excellence for its research on the perceptual, cognitive and social factors underlying child pedestrian accidents, the implications for intervention programmes, and the development of appropriate educational resources. As well as playing a lead role in national and international initiatives in this field, members of the Department are currently engaged in research on elderly drivers and pedestrians, and interactions between different groups of road user.
Applied Social Psychology – Members of this group undertake strategic and policy-oriented research into: the use and misuse of illicit drugs; problems of alcohol use in society; AIDS and other aspects of sexual health; suicide and attempted suicide; and human factors and safety issues. One large-scale project (CIRAS) investigates human error on the railways in a number of rail and rail infrastructure companies throughout the UK. Another project concerned with root cause coding in the nuclear industry has produced a system which is being trialled in ten nuclear plants.
Cognitive Neuropsychology – Much of the research conducted in this area focuses on the role of the frontal lobes in the regulation of behaviour and psychological function, including changes in functioning associated with depression, closed head injury and ageing. There is additional research on cholinergic and noradrenergic psychopharmacology, on perception, orientation and movement control, and on rehabilitation following brain injury.
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The University of Strathclyde is the first university to win the coveted University of the Year title twice, picking up the top prize at the Times Higher Education Awards 2019. Situated in Glasgow, one of Scotland’s most lively and interesting cities, there is an abundance of history and culture to be explored by visitors and residents.