Psychological and Social Medicine

What we do

Most of our staff are practising psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and social scientists. Our division, led by Dr Cathy Brennan, conducts applied research into psychological and social aspects of health and healthcare.

Our research

We work across clinical contexts including:

  • Causes and impacts of co-existing physical and mental disorder
  • Self-harm and suicide.
  • Health risks such as alcohol and substance misuse, obesity, eating disorders
  • Chronic or long-term illness such as diabetes and renal failure 
  • Disorders associated with ageing such as stroke and dementia 
  • Genetic disorders.

In our research we use diverse methods quantitative, qualitative, often in a combined (mixed-method) approach.

Our research teams:

  • Develop and evaluate psychological interventions such as family therapy and brief individual therapies
  • Apply psychological approaches to health-related behaviour and decision
  • Evaluate psychological and social outcomes in physical healthcare
  • evaluate health services

Our research also underpins our undergraduate and postgraduate training for doctors, health services practitioners and researchers. We play a significant role in the undergraduate MBChB progamme helping to develop tomorrow’s doctors. Our postgraduate taught provision includes Health Research Methods, Systemic Practice and Family Therapy, Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry.

Our projects include:

Who we work with

We work closely with service users and carers, local NHS Trusts, and research groups nationally and internationally. We recognize diversity in cultural and social backgrounds and the different healthcare needs within communities. Accordingly, much of our work is collaborative, providing the required psychological, social and methodological expertise within multi-disciplinary research teams.

Who we are


Division Lead
Dr Cathy Brennan

Academic Support Secretary
Helen Walters

Other Staff

View our team members