School of Psychological Science

Answering questions around how and why we behave the way we do

Our School centres on the teaching and research of mental processes. We are proud to consistently rate in the top 100 psychology departments in the world, and have a strong record of turning out first-rate practitioners who are widely educated in the theory, practice and research of this discipline. Our students leave as critical thinkers, innovators and future leaders.

The School has received the top ranking (five out of five) in all three Commonwealth Excellence in Research for Australia rankings since 2010, meaning our research is classified as ‘well above world standard’. We’re one of only two schools in Australia to have achieved this.

We offer undergraduate and postgraduate programs that are fully accredited by the Australian Psychology Accreditation Council (APAC), as well as flexible, non-accredited options to get job-ready, upskill or complement other studies.

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One of two psychology schools in Australia to have its research rated as ‘well above world standard’ (ERA)

Ranked first in Western Australia for Psychology (QS 2020)

The School of Psychological Science at The University of Western Australia acknowledges that it is situated on Noongar land, and that Noongar people remain the spiritual and cultural custodians of their land, and continue to practise their values, languages, beliefs and knowledge.
We pay our respects to their Elders both past and present. 


Our research is at the forefront of global developments in contemporary psychology. We have particular strength in the following areas:


The School is home to three collaborative research centres.

ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders
The centre offers opportunities for interdisciplinary and international collaborative research in order to link theoretical models and basic research findings in the cognitive sciences with outcomes focused on people with cognitive disorders.
Centre for the Study of Social Change

The Centre for the Study of Social Change applies the social sciences to understand humanity's most urgent problems and devising evidence-based solutions to address them.

Based in the School of Psychological Science, the centre is in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Studies and provides an opportunity, unique in Australia, for collaborative research into social change.

The centre conducts research and sponsors conferences, symposia, seminars and other forums for interdisciplinary dialogue and encourages the publication of discussion papers, lectures and proceedings which result from these events.

A committee comprised of academic, government, business and community representatives provides advice to the centre.

The centre:

  • applies research findings to devise workable public policy solutions to current and emerging problems
  • brings together researchers and scholars from many disciplines
  • creates a dynamic focal point for research, analysis and debate across academic and policy divides
  • helps educate a generation of academics and policy makers and increases their awareness of the complexities of social change
  • links academics in Australia and the region in developing a generic, cross-cultural understanding of social change
  • links academics with policy makers in business and government

Director: Professor Carmen Lawrence

Contact Professor Carmen Lawrence or Dr Nicolas Fay

Elizabeth Rutherford Memorial Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE)

The Centre for the Advancement of Research on Emotion (CARE) commemorates the work of the late Dr Rutherford, a world leader in research into emotion.

The aim of the centre is to advance our understanding of emotion by bringing together research in the areas of cognitive psychology, biological psychology, social psychology, developmental psychology, and clinical psychology.

Key objectives and focus areas of the centre include:

  • bringing together world leaders in different research areas to establish new innovations in the understanding of emotion
  • investigating patterns of selective information processing (or cognitive biases) that may underpin mental health problems, and examining the causal contribution of these biases to anxiety, worry, and depression
  • evaluating recent developments in cognitive bias modification (CBM) techniques to contribute to the emotional well-being of the Australian community

Director: Professor Colin MacLeod

CARE website


Our students leave as critical thinkers, innovators and future leaders.

New course - Master of Business Psychology

With the average person spending 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime, psychological skills and training are increasingly sought by employers nationally and internationally.

Our staff

To view a full list of our staff visit the Contact Directory

Community program

Our School has a strong community outreach program.

  • We offer psychological assessment and treatments through the School’s Robin Winkler Clinic.
  • We invite members of the community to participate in our research and run many studies that require voluntary, community assistance. For example you can do a Face Memory Test here.
  • We maintain collaborative links with a wide range of health and industry partners. Come work with us.
  • We welcome enquiries by the media.
  • We run a series of community events including the annual Robin Winkler Lecture and the annual Psychology Film Night.
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Community Research Participation Pool

We run many research studies that require volunteer assistance. These studies are quite diverse, interesting to take part in and serve to advance understanding of the ways we think, feel and behave across a variety of contexts. This pool is made up of those willing to consider taking part in some of this work.

Members of the pool are informed of studies and can freely choose whether or not to take part. In most cases, participation involves one visit to UWA, lasting about an hour, though sometimes a study may require more than one visit, or can be completed online without coming to campus. We provide a small token of appreciation to offset cost and inconvenience.

Find out more

Community participation
Robin Winkler Clinic 

Robin Winkler Clinic

The Robin Winkler Clinic is a clinical psychology unit linked to the School of Psychological Science. Under the expert supervision of experienced clinical psychologists, provisionally registered postgraduate clinical psychology trainees carry out individual and group therapy treatment.

Find out more

Staff and student awards

Events, seminars and workshops

The School of Psychological Science hosts a number of events, seminars and workshops throughout the year for students, staff and members of the public. Details of all our upcoming events can be found on our events calendar below.

Find out more


  • 1 in 10 university students getting away with online cheating

    Tue, 31 Aug 2021

    New research suggests 8 to11 per cent of Australian university students submitted assignments written by someone else and the majority are not caught.  

    Read More

  • Imagination the key to a more rewarding life

    Mon, 23 Aug 2021

    People struggling to motivate themselves to engage in activities that are good for them should tap into their imagination to visualise themselves carrying out the activity, according to new research.

    Read More

  • National research funding awarded to pioneering UWA projects

    Wed, 18 Aug 2021

    An investigation into the future of human mind-uploading that could extend life indefinitely and a project that will map Australian preventive justice have been awarded Federal Government funding.

    Read More

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