Exploring the themes of Cognition, Perception and Attention and Social Cognition.

Study Information

At a Glance

Degree Qualification
MSc or PhD

Want to know more?

Contact by Phone
+44 (0)1224 274242
Email Us
Enquire Now
Via our online form
Next Steps
Find out how to apply

Our researchers use techniques from experimental psychology and neuroimaging to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of attention, perception, language, memory, social interactions, and decision making, better understand their potential disruption in special populations, and apply the resulting insights to current societal problems.

Our Research

Our research activity is grouped around four themes: Cognition, Perception, Social Cognition and Applied Psychology. Within these themes, specialist groups conduct research funded by research councils, government, charitable groups, and industry. The research topics range from the fundamental processes of the human mind and the underlying brain structures to the application of this theoretical knowledge to current societal problems.

We welcome applications from self-funded students. You may already have a PhD project in mind, however, if you are still deciding, there is a list of exciting PhD projects available to self-funded students on the School of Psychology webpages.

Research Interests


Research in the Cognition theme explores processes such as attention, language and memory. There is a particular focus on how cognition and emotion are influenced by lifespan development and neuropsychological conditions. Recent projects have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), National Institutes of Health (NIH) and The Leverhulme Trust.

Theme leader: Professor Louise Phillips



Research in the Perception theme explores the relationship between perception and physical parameters of the environment in healthy and clinical populations, using a wide range of behavioral and electrophysiological techniques. Our research activities are funded by various Medical Charities and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Theme Leader: Professor Ben Tatler


Social Cognition

Research in the Social Cognition theme investigates the factors involved in social interactions and decisions using a wide-range of behavioural and neuroimaging techniques. Recent projects have been funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the European Research Council (ERC).

Theme Leader: Professor Neil Macrae

Social Cognition

Applied Psychology

Research in Applied Psychology draws together expertise from across the School to apply psychological techniques to understand everyday behaviour. This includes work in human factors, clinical psychology and pedagogical research addressing a range of important issues in everyday life.

Theme Leader: Dr Amy Irwin

Applied Psychology

Entry Requirements

Please contact Postgraduate Research Admissions for more information about entry requirements

Fees and Funding

Please refer to our Tuition Fees page for fee information for this Research Area.

Our Funding Database

View all funding options in our Funding Database.


There are many opportunities at the University of Aberdeen to develop your knowledge, gain experience and build a competitive set of skills to enhance your employability. This is essential for your future career success. The Careers and Employability Service can help you to plan your career and support your choices throughout your time with us, from first to final year – and beyond.

Get in Touch

Contact Details

Postgraduate Research School
University of Aberdeen
Crombie Hall
AB24 3TS