We have consistently excelled in assessments of research quality. Over 80% of our department's research is internationally excellent or world-leading in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. According to the recent ESRC International Benchmarking exercise, the Department is currently the 5th highest in terms of QR and 7th in terms of research funding within the UK.

Research groupings

The research activities in Psychology fall into the six broad groupings shown below,



The Clinical Psychology Unit (CPU) is committed to delivering new and cutting-edge clinical research of international standard that informs developments in clinical practice and national policy through the dissemination of research findings, that provide the basis for the delivery of high quality evidence-based professional training.

Developmental Psychology


We work to understand child development with a focus on cognition (executive functions, maths, language, spatial awareness and memory), emotion regulation, and social interaction (social communication and antisocial behaviour). We cover both typical and atypical development, using a range of research methods.

Social Health and Environmental Psychology


We undertake basic and applied research on issues of social and public health significance, with a particular emphasis on self-regulation. Our current work focuses on developing interventions to promote more positive attitudes and behaviour in various domains.

Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience demonstration

The cognitive neuroscience group in Sheffield focuses on identifying the neural processes underlying cognition and applying this knowledge to better understand human behaviour in both clinical and non-clinical populations. We use a range of techniques for this work including EEG, eye-tracking, fMRI, sMRI, fNIRS, TDCS and physiological measurements.

Computational Neuroscience

Computational neuroscience

The computational neuroscience group construct and test theories of brain development and brain function by building mathematical and computational models of neural systems. We are particularly interested in the networks that give rise to decision-making and sensory-motor integration, and how these networks are shaped on perceptual, developmental, and evolutionary timescales.

Systems Neuroscience


The systems neuroscience group seeks to understand how specific cellular, physiological and anatomical components of the nervous system operate together to orchestrate brain function and behaviour in humans and animals. We use a range of brain imaging, neurophysiological recording and behavioural techniques to study how brain systems operate in health and disease.

PhD opportunities 

We welcome applicants for PhD research in any of our research areas. Please review the web page for the theme that you're interested in for more details on the projects on offer, or explore our PhD opportunities page.

PhD Opportunities

Independent Research Fellowships

Our programme for Independent Research Fellows is designed to establish you as a research leader in an ambitious, vibrant and supportive environment.

Long-term Fellows in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield get:

  • the offer of an academic position after their Fellowship
  • a PhD student to kick-start their research portfolio

Learn more and apply