Research is one of the two main driving forces for members of staff in the Psychology division of the University of Bolton, the other being the provision of excellent and stimulating teaching, which is informed by our research.

Our particular strengths are Occupational Psychology, Criminological and Forensic Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, Loneliness, Gender Studies, Cyberpsychology, Positive Psychology and Happiness, Mental Health and Recovery and Social Neuroscience.

Members of staff have the following current research interests:

  •  Dr Gill Allen: Joint crisis planning with mental health services, disparities for ethnic minorities in mental health research and treatment.
  • Dr Michelle Lowe: Violent crime, criminal justice, trauma, post-traumatic stress and growth, effects of crime on victims, victim blame, attitude research. 
  • Dr Gill Allen and Dr Michelle Lowe have recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Greater Manchester Police, to collaborate on research projects.
  • Dr Nadhim Al-Talib: Offending behaviour, health related issues, psychological assessment.
  • Tobyn Bell: Compassion focussed therapy, imagery in psychotherapy, cognitive behaviour therapy.
  • Professor Jerome Carson: Positive Psychology and happiness, occupational stress, mental health recovery.
  1. Sandie McHugh and Professor Jerome Carson have been conducting research into Happiness and comparing present day surveys with research conducted in Bolton in 1938. They have also just agreed to conduct joint research with psychologists in India.
  • Dr Rebecca Harris: Has been leading research into Loneliness (particularly health implications and social cognition), social neuroscience, adjustment and resilience, applications of   neuroscience to education, social and cognitive development and is involved in studies both here in Bolton and elsewhere. This area involves a number of projects that examine social isolation and factors affecting social connection, understanding of others and social cognition. Projects are being conducted to examine the association of loneliness and social anxiety and the use of social networking sites, cognitive processing, threat perception and social behaviour in lonely people, transition and  adjustment to secondary school, and neural and cognitive underpinning of social decision making.
  • Dr Jacqui Harrison: Developmental psychology with a specific interest in children’s moral reasoning and moral behaviour. In addition, research exploring novel approaches to teaching quantitative methods to non- scientists and Foundation students.
  • Dr Richard Jagger: Neuropsychology, dementia, EEG.
  • Jo Luckhurst: Unemployment issues, health and wellbeing at work, disability and employment.
  • Dr Lynn Mackie: Cognitive behavioural therapy; child and adolescent mental health; educational psychology; identity structure analysis; competence and professional training.
  • Pauline Matthews: Occupational psychology, psychological assessment including psychometric testing, individual differences, sports psychology.
  • Dr Julie Prescott: Cyberpsychology, gender studies, organisational psychology, health psychology. Dr Prescott has been conducting research projects in a diverse range of areas from computer gaming to the study of arthritis. This is just a flavour of the research work that is ongoing in the Department
  • Dr Sharon Preston: Developmental studies, analogical reasoning, cognitive psychology
  • Dr Pedro Vital: Autism Spectrum Disorders: ability, imitation, understanding of action; the cognitive phenotype of Autism.


Members of staff also supervise a number of PhD students.

See our PhD page, to discover the range of topics our PhD students are engaged in.