On 13 June, the Psychology Department at Queen Mary University of London’s School of Biological and Chemical Sciences (SBCS) celebrated the ten-year anniversary of its founding with an event attended by current and former staff, students and guests.
13 June 2019
The event began with welcomes from Lecturer in Social Psychology Dr Janelle Jones, Head of SBCS Professor Richard Pickersgill, and from Principal Colin Bailey. Professor Pickersgill highlighted the skills and expertise within the department. He said, “There has been fantastic research on the biological side of psychology - in bees, chicks, songbirds and zebra fish. On the human side, the department has excelled in the areas of behaviour, positive psychology, resilience and well-being.”
Principal Colin Bailey was keen to praise the work of the department, “The Department is doing a fantastic job and that’s because of the staff and students. Thank you for all your great work.” Head of the Psychology Department Professor Michael Pluess was next to speak, discussing the past, present and future of the Department.
Launched in 2008 by Professors Peter Heathcote and Lars Chittka as a result of existing expertise in the School, especially in comparative cognition and neuroscience, the department has grown in numbers and skills. Looking to the future, Professor Pluess talked about the Department’s aims - to play a leading role in research, continue to deliver excellent teaching, provide a positive environment, and to grow in size, strength and significance.
After the welcome talks, a panel of Psychology students from year one undergraduate level through to PhD level discussed their experiences of the Psychology programme at Queen Mary. One particular recurrent theme of the panel was how the students felt they had an active role in what they studied, that they were listened to, and that there is a strong community in the department. Second-year undergraduate student Isha Malhotra spoke about how after providing feedback to the Department about the possibility of a placement year, it was acted on with the ‘Psychology with Professional Experience’ programme beginning in September 2019.
In addition to a wide array of psychology posters presented by undergraduate and postgraduate students, attendees were able to actively engage with some of the research that’s taking place in the Department. This included painting with bees, a mind-controlled ball game, and a number of virtual reality challenges.
The Psychology Department has made great strides in research and teaching at SBCS in the last ten years, and we’re looking forward to its continuing development and success.