UOA 4: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience

REF Highlights 2021

Our researchers

32 researchers submitted to this Unit of Assessment.

Our outputs

90% of research outputs were recognised internationally for originality, significance and rigour.

Our performance

One third of our impact was judged outstanding in terms of reach and significance.

Our REF submission

For REF 2014, we did not make a separate submission to UoA 4: Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience. Instead, our researchers in Psychology were included in submissions to UoA 3: Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy, UoA 22 Social Work and Social Policy and UoA 25 Education.

However, between REF 2014 and REF 2021, we saw substantial growth in the scale of our teaching and research activities in Psychology.

Our submission to this unit of assessment featured 32 people, 79 outputs and three impact case studies:

  • Is there a right way to learn to read? Embedding rhythmic activities into literacy tuition
  • Mindful Construal Reflection: A novel intervention which promotes healthier eating habits
  • Developing tools to support the dietary practices, health, and wellbeing of people with cystic fibrosis

This area of our work also saw seven doctoral awards and a substantial increase in research income during the REF2021 period.

Our research

Psychology research sits in the School of Social Sciences, within our Faculty of Business, Law and Social Sciences.

Since 2016 we have fostered a rapid and sustainable strategic expansion of research in Psychology, and we have invested substantially in the recruitment of research active staff, appointing established and early career researchers to the department of Psychology.

The School of Social Sciences supports five interdisciplinary research centres spanning Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience (UoA 4), Social Work and Social Policy (UoA 20) and Sociology (UoA 21), with Psychology researchers having a leadership role in four of five centres:

  • Identities and Inequalities: Researching social identities and diverse inequalities in local, regional, national and global societies.
  • Crime and Society: Researching societal, criminological and psychological processes underpinning crime, criminality, and criminal justice proceedings.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Researching key challenges in the field of health and wellbeing with real-world benefits for individuals and wider society.
  • Lifespan and Behavioural Science: Investigating and developing understanding of the psychological processes that underlie an individual’s physical, cognitive, social and emotional development throughout the lifespan.
  • Security and Extremism: Developing insights into hate crimes, Islamophobia, political and human (in)security, within a security studies framework.

We foster a strong ethos of collaboration and active contribution to psychological research and practice and to partnership working across our research clusters and with researchers in other disciplines. Psychology has strong links with external partners, including NHS services, schools and prisons across Birmingham and the West Midlands. Through a growing network of alliances in national and international contexts, we ensure that our research addresses real-world problems and that we have effective pathways to impact.

Our results in detail

Figures relate to the percentage of the submission meeting each standard:

Overall 14 17 43 2.19
Outputs 10.1 27.9 51.9 2.38
Impact 33.3 0 0 2.00
Environment 0 0 75

See our full results on the REF 2021 website.