School of Psychology researcher examines graphs on a computer screen

Our research

We deliver relevant, recognised research that changes behaviour and challenges global policies

From protecting children to influencing disaster planning, improving mental health services, or finding the best way to interrogate terrorism suspects, our research has a huge impact on society and directly feeds into our approach to teaching.

We are home to some of the world’s leading academic experts, research centres and laboratories and we are widely recognised for the strength of our research.

Our work focusing on food marketing to children has guided government policy in the UK and internationally. Our studies showed how much food advertising children were exposed to and how it persuaded them to want the product. This evidence has been used by groups such as Public Health England, the Department of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO) as they work to try to tackle the huge problem of childhood obesity.

Our researchers interact with emergency and law enforcement agencies nationally and internationally and that has had a significant impact on improving emergency planning. We have tested the responses to firearms and terrorist attacks on shopping centres and underground rail networks and taken part in Europe’s largest disaster training exercise, working with 4,000 practitioners and 2,500 casualty role players.

Terrorism always makes the headlines, and our research into interrogating high-value detainees has improved interview training. That has enabled law enforcement specialists to collect more meaningful information and we work regularly with UK, European and US law enforcement and government agencies.

Our research has also shaped global mental health policy, in particular WHO mental health policy in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Our treatment interventions have been adopted by the WHO on a global scale and are being used in the management of common mental disorders in populations affected by conflict and disaster.

We have also had an impact on local and national policy to prevent mental health difficulties in refugees and asylum seekers, improved mental health services in low-income countries, and even helped design urban spaces to promote wellbeing in the UK and beyond.

Thanks to our research in the field of child protection, an assessment tool called KIRAT is helping law enforcement agencies effectively prioritise resources in the investigation of child sex offenders. KIRAT has been used in national police operations to assist with case prioritisation, resulting in more than 1,300 arrests and around 750 children being protected.

Our students are hands-on from the day they start their courses, helping to make a difference all over the world.