About us

About the Psychology department

The Psychology department at the University of Edinburgh was established in 1906 by the estate of George Combe. The first permanent post was known as the Combe lectureship in General and Experimental Psychology. The first incumbent, Dr W.G. Smith, was a PhD student of Wilhelm Wundt, a founding father of modern psychology. The second incumbent, James Drever, became the first Professor of Psychology in Scotland. After a philosophically oriented start, the appointment of a biologist, Professor D.M. Vowles, as chair in 1968 saw psychology develop strongly as a scientific discipline. 

The department was incorporated into the School of Philosophy, Psychology, & Language Sciences in 2003. We currently have around forty members of academic staff spanning all major areas of academic psychology: cognition, development, individual differences, neuroscience, and social psychology. We offer both undergraduate and postgraduate training, including several taught and research Masters, and PhDs.

The quality of our research and researchers have been recognized as world leading. As part of the wider community of neuroscience research at Edinburgh, our research was ranked 1st in Scotland and 3rd in the UK according to the Times Higher Education REF Rankings 2014, based on volume of world-leading and internationally excellent research.

Our research environment is rated as 100% conducive to world-leading research, and 82% of our research is rated as outstanding in terms of its reach and significance (REF 2014).

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Getting in touch and how to find us