Pathway Details

Overview of the pathway
This pathway focuses on the social science aspects of Psychology, which is a broad discipline that extends from examining human behaviour in social contexts to neurological analyses of brain structure and function, and understanding issues of social importance such as climate change.

The pathway comprises Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, and Swansea universities and involves specialist input from practitioner psychologists focused on research methods and psychological interventions that can improve outcomes for some of the most vulnerable community members, working directly with stakeholders via public involvement and co-production.

The four institutions involved in this pathway are ideal partners because of the complementarity in their research strengths, which include work on to attitudes, motivation, decision-making and emotion, their developmental profiles, and how they relate to and are underpinned by the environment and sustainability, health and well-being, nutrition and diet, and sleep.

Environment for doctoral research and training
Advanced training draws on the complementary strengths of the four institutions, e.g., mixed-methods and co-production approaches to social science research and intervention development, Bayesian statistics, and artificial neural networks for analysis and simulation. Specialist training for British Psychological Society Stages 1 and 2, e.g., forensic/health psychology is available to increase skills for non-academic careers in the NHS or industry.

There are ample opportunities for further training and development throughout the doctoral programme. The partners hold an annual shared postgraduate conference showcasing excellence and innovation in the shared training and research environment.

Knowledge exchange and careers
Research in practice is enabled via pathway collaborations with multiple and varied institutions, for instance the Wildfowl and Wildlife Trust, Innovate Trust (Autism community), Llamau (homeless charity), Alcohol Change UK, National Cyber Security Centre, National Fire Chiefs Council, as well as placement schemes, e.g. MSc in Counselling (Bangor).

Students can also engage with multiple inter-disciplinary research centres such as Sustainable Places at Cardiff, Mindfulness at Bangor, DECIPHER at Cardiff and Swansea, as well as from interactions with projects supported by a range of UK Research Council and European projects. All institutions have a track-record of successful inter-disciplinary co-supervision of PhD students (including with Business, Dentistry, Engineering, Social Science and Medicine).

Involvement in outreach events such as Pint of Science and Soapbox Science, on-campus ESRC Festival of Social Science and the British Science Festival promote awareness of outreach and impact.

Cardiff University – Prof Marc Buehner –
Bangor University – Prof Kami Koldewyn – 
Cardiff Metropolitan University – Dr Rhiannon Phillips –
Swansea University – Dr Hayley Young –

Student Profiles