Psychology Undergraduate Summer Research Project

In this six-week course you will work with University academics to complete an independent research project in Psychology. Guided by your supervisor, you will be carrying out studies and running statistical analyses to support your research. You will learn new practical skills and techniques, and gain experience of analysing data. You will also attend weekly research seminars, developing your research skills and knowledge, and immersing yourself in International Summer School research community. 

Your project will see you using University’s outstanding facilities, as well as working with our world-class academic staff. You will work closely with your supervisor to produce a scientific report and give an oral presentation of your work to your peers. 

To begin with, you will prepare a summary of the known literature around your project in collaboration with your supervisor. You will get to know, analyse and evaluate the literature related to your project, and develop the skills required to carry out research in your specialist area. 

To join us for this course, you should be a student enrolled at another higher education institution, majoring in Psychology or a related subject, and have GPA of at least 3.0 (or equivalent). You should also have a proficiency in English (for example, IELTS level 6 with a score of no lower than 5.5 in any subtest) and introductory level of statistical knowledge either in Psychology or a related discipline.   

A range of topics are available, and these will be confirmed before applications open on Friday 20 January. You will be required to indicate your top three choices on your application. 

Please note: Places on this course are limited and applications will be considered on a first come, first served basis. If demand dictates, we will open a waiting list for this course. For more information, please contact us: 

Research projects 2023

Exploring the use of VR for enhancing learning

Head-mounted virtual reality displays provide high fidelity graphics and immersive content to allow students to explore complicated subjects in ways that traditional teaching methods cannot. To date, much of the pedogeological research involving virtual reality have focused on surface level knowledge and do not explore deep and meaningful learning. The purpose of this project is to investigate how the use of immersive virtual reality as a teaching tool might enhance learning compared to traditional teaching methods (i.e., video presentations). The project will introduce students to basic experimental design, reproducible data analysis, and science communication.

Interested students should read the paper: Hamilton, D., McKechnie, J., Egerton, E., & Wilson, C. (2020). Immersive virtual reality as a pedagogical tool in education: a systematic literature review of quantitative learning outcomes and expeirmental design. Journal of Computers in Education, 8(1), 1-32.

Supervisor: Dr. Jamie Murray ( 


Disgust sensitivity and mental health stigma

Our behavioural immune system keeps us safe by alerting us to potential infection threats in our environment and we tend to avoid stimuli that display signs of infectious disease. One type of disgust, pathogen disgust, is triggered when we are exposed to infection-related stimuli (e.g., stepping in dog poop). However, the behavioural immune system has become overgeneralised and can trigger a “false positive” when stimuli are actually harmless (e.g., facial lesions, obesity).  This project looks at how the overgeneralisation of the behavioural immune system may predict stigmatising attitudes towards mental health conditions that carry no threat of infection. Students will develop skills in survey platforms and reproducible data analysis while engaging in an exciting and novel theoretical area. 

Interested students should read this paper for a fuller review of the general project area: Dawydiak, E. J., Stafford, H. E., Stevenson, J. L., & Jones, B. C. (2020). Pathogen disgust predicts stigmatization of individuals with mental health conditions. Evolutionary Psychological Science, 6(1), 60-63.

Supervisor: Dr. Jude Stevenson ( & Courtney Taylor Browne Lūka


Sensory perception and neurodiversity

In the Simmons Lab we explore aspects of sensory perception and how these interact with neurodiversity. Current projects include using online and Virtual Reality (VR) drawing packages to investigate neurodiversity and creativity; using VR drawing packages to explore sensory experiences in synaesthesia, autism and aphantasia; how aspects of sensory processing vary with personality; the induction and amelioration of anxiety due to the sensory environment and the accessibility of multi-user VR for educational purposes. Students will interact with one of these projects and either gather data themselves or help in analysis of previously-gathered data.

Supervisor: Dr David Simmons (

What you will learn

This course aims to provide an opportunity to undertake a research project and present the results both in the form of a research article and as an oral presentation.

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Prepare a preliminary list of goals to be achieved during the project in collaboration with the project supervisor
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the literature related to the research project
  • Demonstrate research skills appropriate to the area of specialisation
  • Deliver a short talk, giving the background to the project and summarising its key outcomes
  • Write a cogent, clear and concise written report summarising your findings and/or the state of research in your chosen field.

Teaching pattern

Project supervision meetings, practical workshops, and weekly seminars as part of the wider Summer School research community. This course is full time for 6 weeks.

Entry requirements

  • GPA of 3.0 (or equivalent). 
  • You should be currently enrolled at an international higher education institution.
  • You should be a Psychology major or minor
  • Experience of working with statistics is essential and of using R Studio is desirable.

If your first language is not English, you must meet our minimum proficiency level:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) overall score of 6.0, with no sub test less than 5.5  (if English is not an applicant’s first language) and a GPA of not less than 3.0
  • We also accept equivalent scores in other recognised qualifications such as ibTOEFL, CAE, CPE and more.