The Department of Psychology was founded by Professor Louise Higgins in 1981, and is now headed by Professor Andrew Guppy. The Department has been growing steadily since it was set up, and is now housed in modern, purpose-built accommodation on the Chester campus of the University. It is a small and friendly department with 23 members of academic staff, supported by administrative and secretarial staff, technicians, and research assistants.
The Department has around 450 undergraduates who are studying for BSc Psychology (Honours) degrees, or who are studying Psychology as part of combined or joint honours programmes. Students taking modular pathways which have been accredited by the British Psychological Society are eligible for the Graduate Basis of Registration (GBR), which is an essential requirement for those who wish to go on to further study and training in order to become chartered psychologists.
The Department also offers a number of postgraduate taught programmes in applied psychology and related fields. The programme in Cognitive and Behavioural Therapy was set up set up jointly with the NHS and now has approximately 50 professional students studying for Master of Science, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate qualifications. Also available are programmes in Legal and Criminological Psychology (MSc and PGDip) and Occupational Psychology (MSc). Students who wish to pursue postgraduate study without specialising too early may study on the more general MSc or PGDip in Psychology: Theory, Methods, and Applications.
Academic experience and expertise is diverse, with staff interests covering most professional areas of applied psychology, including forensic psychology, educational psychology and occupational psychology and ergonomics. In addition, the department also has staff with interests in animal behaviour and comparative psychology, cross-cultural psychology, mental health, counselling, and therapeutic applications of psychology. Postgraduate students may opt to study for a research degree within the department, working under the supervision of an experienced member of the academic staff.
The Department has many links outside academia, working with local organisations such as Chester Zoo, Cheshire Constabulary, several schools, and hospitals across Cheshire, Merseyside and North Wales. In addition, several staff undertake consultancy work for local, national and international organisations. The Department also has research links with the People's Republic of China, and with Egypt and Mexico.
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