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Our research

Expertise and vision

Our research investigates the human mind and behaviour in society.

In the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science (PBS) our research investigates the human mind and behaviour in society. We seek to understand and shape how people are influenced by and relate to social, cultural, political, economic, historical, and evolutionary developments, and how this impacts health, wellbeing, inclusion, and diversity, taking our research to real-world problems.

Our experts draw on and contribute to a wide-range of disciplinary agendas, working with policymakers, think-tanks, NGOs and professional bodies around the world, from the Global North to the Global South. 

Our research centres on the following areas of expertise:

We believe the social sciences are central to understanding these challenges. We use our research to inform public debates and help improve the world’s economic, environmental, political and social future.

REF 2021


For the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) we submitted to four Units of Assessment (UaA), including Business and Management, Social Work and Social Policy, Sociology and Economics. In addition, our staff were featured in 4 impact case studies.

This result saw the Unit of Assessment Social Work and Social Policy, of which we contributed nearly half of our outputs, ranked 1 overall, with 70% of outputs rated 4*.

A further third of outputs were submitted to UoA 17 (Business and Management), where 68% of outputs were rated 4* with an overall GPA of 3.56. Our remaining outputs were submitted to Sociology, which had an overall GPA of 3.37. We are proud of our department’s contribution to three successful Units of Assessment.

Read about the REF 2021 results in detail and access our Impact Case Studies here.

Research themes

Our current research themes bring together our multi-disciplinary expertise in psychological and behavioural science to address some of the most pressing issues in the world today. Our experts advise on policy and lead research projects around the world on issues including climate change, inequality and wellbeing.

Our current research themes: