School research

The School of Psychological Sciences is proud to have our key disciplines, Psychology and Cognitive Sciences, officially rated as performing "Well above world standard" (ERA rating of 5) in the 2018 Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) rankings.

We have state-of-the-art electroencephalogram (EEG) facilities, access to brain imaging equipment, well-equipped wet and dry laboratories, and computer facilities.

Our PhD and research masters students are provided with opportunities to participate in international conferences to present their research to the global community, and are often supported by research grant funding.

The School has a strong commitment to supporting the local community through programs such as the Psychology Clinic, which also provides a training facility for students.

Our research strengths

Biological psychology

Biological psychology is the study of the biological bases of behaviour. We examine the ways in which environmental and genetic factors influence the development and functioning of our brain, and in turn, how our brain drives and controls our behaviour in different contexts.

Clinical psychology

Clinical psychologists work with individuals and groups to improve their mental health and general wellbeing. They work under an evidence-based practice model which relies on rigorous research to inform their clinical practice. This research takes the form of single case experimental designs, feasibility studies and larger randomised controlled trials to examine the efficacy of different treatment options before they can be considered for use with the general public.

Cognitive psychology and human factors

Cognitive science is the investigation of the human mind and how it processes information, stores information, and uses that information to make decisions, communicate with other people, and navigate through the complex environment within which we live. Cognitive scientists in our school apply their knowledge and techniques to study real-life behaviours of drivers, pilots, commercial consumers, and the general public.

Developmental psychology

Developmental psychology applies the concepts of physical, cognitive, social and personality changes that occur across the lifespan to methodically and ethically investigate the complex combination of factors affecting both typical and atypical development. This important research contributes to the diagnosis and classification of childhood and adolescent mental disorders.

Organisational psychology

Through the scientific study of Industrial and organisational psychology, we learn about human behaviour in the workplace and within organisations. Applying psychological knowledge to the context of work allows the improvement of organisational efficiency and improving the quality of work life.

Health psychology

Health psychology explores the relationship between mental and physical health, including the impact of physical illness on mental wellbeing, the ways in which individuals can improve their physical wellbeing using behavioural change, and how organisations and psychologists can promote healthy behaviour in individuals as well as populations.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.