Applied Psychology is a vibrant and active department offering a number of programmes for undergraduates and postgraduates. With 20 members of academic staff, supported by administrative and technical support, and with a growing number of research students the department is a lively place to be. We have grown over the last ten years, recruiting staff and investing in new spaces and equipment in order to support the needs of students.
An academic department consists of people and students. In 2006 the Centre for Psychology validated its first MSc programme in Health Psychology, and two years later this programme was successfully accredited by the British Psychological Society. The centre had grown so much by then that it had been renamed as the Department of Applied Psychology to reflect the particular focus of work being done. As the MSc in Health Psychology expanded a new MSc was added, this time in Forensic Psychology. A Foundation in Social Sciences joined the portfolio of programmes, and so from a single successful undergraduate BSc in Psychology the department now has 6 taught programmes, offering qualifications and new educational opportunities to a growing number of students. These undergraduate and postgraduate programmes are accredited by the British Psychological Society and the Health Professions Council (see webpages for specific details). As the programmes have grown so has our research and enterprise we now have a number of funded research projects in areas such as “green” activity and teenage pregnancy. We also run training courses for the Welsh Government.
Psychology has been based in D Block of Llandaf Campus for more than 10 years, and has dedicated spaces for teaching and research. In 2006, as Psychology expanded and as a new school of Health Sciences was created, a new teaching laboratory was opened. The Experimental and Speech Science laboratory allows students to develop research, take part in experiments and develop their statistical skills. At the same time we opened the Cognition and Speech Science laboratory, this smaller laboratory allowed for small group testing, and was used predominantly by postgraduate students. These two laboratory spaces have been used extensively, but their use highlighted the need to support research further. In 2009 a new space was opened, Psychology Postgraduate and Research Centre (PPARC). This consists of one teaching space for postgraduates that doubles up as a base-room for our postgraduates to work in. There are also six research cubicles, housing new equipment such as a static and a mobile eye-tracker, observation software, as well as ePrime, SuperLab and BioPac. This brings the number of dedicated research cubicles in the department to nine. We have a new observation/interview room for focus groups and interviews. This investment into the department continues apace in the new decade as an upgrade for the Cognition and Speech Science laboratory is being designed and as new equipment is purchased.
As the Department of Applied Psychology has grown offering more opportunities for students at all levels of their studies the staff continue to look for new ways to support students and to deliver exciting and challenging programmes of study that will equip students into the future. This can be seen as we appoint new staff to support employability and work-based learning and in how we continue to invest in resources to support students develop their potential.