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Psychology and Counselling

An image to illustrate studying psychology with The Open University

The School of Psychology is noted as being among the leading departments of psychology in the UK. It is reputed for its contributions to the development of psychology: in critical social and developmental psychology, especially the theoretical and methodological development of studies of identity, subjectivity and experience; areas of migration and cultural psychology, in the application of psychological methods and principles to questions of policing and justice; and in other areas of cognitive and applied psychology. In addition, there is  expertise in diverse areas of counselling and therapeutic practice.

The School has a strong interdisciplinary orientation (contributing to its Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) success) and plays a leading role in the UK-wide psychosocial studies network. Members of the department hold editorship or editorial board positions of some leading UK and European journals.

We welcome applications for PhD study in social, cognitive, and forensic psychology as well as mental health and counselling/psychotherapy, including applications that situate psychological research in wider social, political or cultural contexts and/or explore the policy or applied relevance of psychological research.

Key facts

  • Established record of externally funded research projects, including Directorship of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) £4m Identities and Social Action Programme.
  • Leader in theoretical and methodological developments in different areas of psychology, including applied and psychosocial approaches.
  • Publications in high impact journals including British Journal of Social Psychology, Narrative Inquiry, Feminism and Psychology, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Children & Society, and European Journal of Cognitive Psychology.
  • Keynote lecture programme with distinguished speakers under auspices of Culture and social Psychology (CuSP) research collaboration and the International Centre for Comparative Criminological Research.
  • Regular departmental seminars and reading group meetings
  • ESRC recognition for distance learning training in psychological research methods
  • A thriving interdisciplinary community of researchers with international reputation


  • State-of-the-art remote eye-tracker
  • Dedicated experimental software
  • An extensive online Virtual Participant Panel

Further information

If you have an enquiry specific to this research area please contact:

David Kaposi
+44(0)1908 652589

For general enquiries please contact the Research Degrees Team via the link under 'Your Questions' on the right of the page.