Research in the Psychology pathway spans the breadth of the psychological sciences, and incorporates cross-disciplinary working with cognate areas such as linguistics, neuroscience, and the allied healthcare professions. Across the pathway, we have specific expertise in developmental psychology, language and cognition (typical and atypical), social cognition, mental health and healthcare, and perception and action. Many existing research collaborations span our partner institutions allowing cross-institutional supervision opportunities for students.

Research at Lancaster is focussed around four specialist areas; infancy and early development, language and cognition, perception & action, and social processes, as well as expertise in security threats, aging, and corpus approaches to social science. Research themes at Liverpool include health-related behaviours, language, learning and expertise, perception, and mental health (with specific interests in addiction, appetite and obesity, forensic & investigative psychology, language, cognition and expertise, mental health, perception, perinatal, infant and child mental health, and psychology of healthcare). At Manchester, research includes audiology and hearing, clinical and health psychology (including severe mental health problems, mental and physical health across the lifespan, anxiety problems, suicide and homicide, forensic mental health, health psychology), cognition and cognitive neuroscience (including emotion, language processing, memory, perception, action & decision making, and time perception), dementia, and language and communicative development and disorders (typical and atypical).

At all our partner institutions, a wide range of methodological approaches are used, with an emphasis on producing open and reproducible research. As psychological research crosses many interdisciplinary boundaries, potential applicants must ensure that their specific project fits within the overall remit of the ESRC more closely than with that of the other research councils (e.g. AHRC, MRC, BBSRC, EPSRC).

Programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding

N.B. Master’s programmes can only be funded as part of a 1+3/2+2 Studentship

Lancaster University

University of Liverpool

University of Manchester

For information on how to apply for funding, please visit our How to Apply page.

Pathway Representatives

Contact details for Psychology Pathway Representatives at each institution can be found here

Current Psychology NWSSDTP students

Rachel.jpegRachel Crone (2017 Cohort)

Sense of self, social functioning and response to multidisciplinary treatment for chronic pain

My research aims to understand how interpersonal dynamics and the quality of relationships with others can affect how people cope with and respond to multidisciplinary treatment for chronic pain. Grounded in attachment theory the project aims to understand why and how variability in patient and partner behaviour can influence treatment outcomes.

patsyPatricia Irizar (2017 Cohort)

The prevalence of alcohol problems in the UK police service, and the comorbidity with mental health problems and occupational stress

This project aims to determine the level of alcohol problems in the UK police service and explore the associations with mental health and occupational stress, using a representative sample of 40,000 police officers and staff. Taking a mixed methods approach, I will also qualitatively explore the drivers of alcohol consumption within UK police personnel, through interviews.

Emma ThorntonEmma Thornton (2017 Cohort)

Disentangling the causes and consequences of individual differences in language ability

The social value of improving early language skills will be evaluated by establishing how they are related to a variety of important life outcomes. 1970 British Cohort Study and Millennium Cohort Study data will be used to investigate adult outcomes such as employment and relationship status and adolescent outcomes such as mental health, academic performance and peer relationships.

Picture for profilesSamantha Booth (2018 Cohort)

Enhancing Working Memory through Combined Cognitive Training and Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (tACS)

With a worldwide ageing population the development of interventions against age-related cognitive decline are more important than ever. For my project, I will be using Transcranial Alternating Current Stimulation (a form of non-invasive brain stimulation) concurrent with Cognitive Training to investigate whether we can improve Working Memory in older adults.

HannahHannah Sawyer (2018 Cohort)

Investigating the underlying causes of the verb-marking deficit in English-speaking children with Developmental Language Disorder

This project will investigate the causes of the verb-marking deficit in English-speaking children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) by developing a new sentence repetition paradigm and using it to test three different accounts of differences in the performance of children with DLD and language-matched controls: The Defaulting Account, The Competing Sources of Input Account and The Impaired Sequence Learning Account.

Bio picGabrielle Humphreys (2019 Cohort)

The Development of Supportive Modules for a Transdiagnostic E-Health Programme.

This research focuses on the development of eHealth interventions. It aims to identify effective behaviour change techniques in alcohol, gambling and emotional eating online interventions to inform the development of transdiagnostic programmes. Once developed, the effectiveness and feasibility of the transdiagnostic programme will be assessed.

Photo of meHannah Thomas (2019 Cohort)

Children’s Mathematical Development: The Emergence of Cardinality and Associated Neural Correlates.

With advancements in technology there is an increasing requirement for mathematical proficiency. Development of the cardinal principle, the understanding that the final number in a count represents the total number of items, is a key competency and a significant predictor of mathematical achievement in young children. This project aims to provide a more complete account of how this skill develops.

Heather Turnbull (2020 Cohort)

Testing the Role of Statistical Learning in Language Development

This project will test the hypothesis that infants’ ability to track statistics in the speech they hear plays a foundational role in their language development. It will also investigate whether individual differences in statistical learning are related to real-world language development.

Camilla Woodrow-Hill (2020 Cohort)

Observation and Imagery of Action in Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s is a neurodegenerative condition which can drastically affect movement, with symptoms including rest tremor, postural instability and bradykinesia (slowness of movement). Emerging evidence indicates that observing others move (action observation) and imagining movement (motor imagery) can stimulate movement-related areas of the brain. This project explores whether these techniques could be used to improve movement in people with Parkinson’s.

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