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.

Equality and Diversity

Since 2012, the School has been building awareness and support of policies and actions to improve experience of the workplace for all staff and students. These actions are in line with the University of Edinburgh's Equality and Diversity policy. The University has a zero tolerance approach to bullying, harassment or discrimination and will respond promptly and sensitively to formal complaints, and where appropriate take disciplinary action.

Equality and Diversity


Contact us

Getting in touch and how to find us