Our Society theme explores Mental and Physical Health, Learning and Education, Governance and Social Responsibility.


Research within the Society theme is aimed at understanding and improving human performance and interaction in different social contexts. Our research is focussed around three broad areas Mental and Physical Health, Learning and Education, Governance and Social Responsibility. It draws on expertise in Business and Management, Law, Mental Health Nursing and Counselling, Psychology, Sociology and Sport and Exercise Sciences:

Mental and Physical Health

Counselling session between a man and a woman

Research on mental and physical health aims to help people live healthy, productive and fulfilled lives for longer.

Research in Mental Health Nursing and Counselling focuses on pluralistic therapy for long-term conditions like sight loss and diabetes, and on strategies and processes that improve mental health in older adults. This research is conducted in collaboration with partners like the Royal National Institute of Blind People, Diabetes UK, Age Concern, as well as the private care sector.

Research in Sports and Exercise Sciences is aimed at increasing welfare in sport and at using exercise for healthy, successful ageing. The research addresses mental and physical health of elite athletes, coaches, and different sporting population and considers moral and legal implications of a ‘duty of care’-perspective. It also focuses on using High Intensity Training to find optimal time periods to gain benefit from exercising in different age groups.

Research in Sociology examines shared decision-making in doctor-patient interactions with the view of improving GP training.

Learning and Education

Student in library

Research on learning examines the cognitive and social processes that can improve learning efficiency in children and adults in various educational settings.

Research in Psychology addresses how self-processing biases affect children’s memory development and whether incorporating reference to the self can boost learning in school settings. This research is funded by the ESRC, the Leverhulme Trust and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Research in Psychology also capitalises on the rich dialectal heritage of Scotland to study the acquisition and representation of dialects and whether dialect exposure can benefit literacy acquisition. This research is funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland.

Governance and Social Responsibility

Group of men talking

Research into societal processes aims to understand the driving forces behind various social phenomena in the past and present and how they affect governance and social responsibility.

Research in Sociology is aimed at effective assessment and reporting of risk in mental health settings, as well as at aiding nursing students in effective identification and reporting of poor practice in health and social care settings. It is also concerned with citizenship as an educational policy outcome and with improving environmental responsibility, e.g. how people talk about their engagement in sustainability practices.


Theme Leader

Professor Vera Kempe

Professor Vera Kempe

School of Applied Sciences | Professor of Psychology and Language Learning

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