The history of the School of Psychology and Neuroscience

The University has been involved with study of Psychology for over a century.


The School is renamed the School of Psychology and Neuroscience, following the incorporation of neuroscientists from the School of Biology.

School of Psychology and Neuroscience plaque


The Living Links to Human Evolution research centre opens at Edinburgh Zoo, where researchers can study the behaviour and cognitive abilities of capuchins and squirrel monkeys.

Brown Capuchin monkey


The results of the national Research Assessment Exercise are published, and the School is placed 7th out of 76 UK psychology departments in the UK.

RAE 2008 logo


The Sutton Trust, which is dedicated to improving social mobility through education, sends children to a summer school at the School. This summer activity has continued annually.

Sutton Trust logo


Marie Johnston is appointed as the first female professor of psychology and the third female professor in the University, following Margaret Fairlie (Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 1940) and Ursula Martin (Professor of Computational Science, 1992).

Professor Marie Johnston


Richard Morris designs the ‘water maze’ task, which is now a standard rodent behavioural task, in the School. His article has been cited over 1,500 times.

Diagram of Morris Water Maze


The department moves from St Katherine's Lodge, The Scores, to its current location in the Old Library building, dating from the Victorian era.

Psychology building


‎Malcolm Jeeves is appointed Foundation Professor of Psychology in St Andrews and creates the modern School.

Professor Malcolm Jeeves


Queen’s college becomes an independent institution, the University of Dundee.

Dundee University plaque


The psychology department relocates to Queen’s College of St Andrews in Dundee, under the leadership of Alfred Flook, while Ferguson and others remained in St Andrews.

Department of Psychology building, Dundee University


Henry Ferguson (1906-2004), one of Stout’s students, returns from Otago University, New Zealand, to take up a lectureship in psychology. He holds his post for 24 years, retiring in 1971.

Otago University crest


South-African born Oscar Oeser (1904-1983) arrives and carries out pioneering research on social deprivation and unemployment in Dundee. After the war, Oeser moves to the University of Melbourne.

Melbourne University crest


Cecil A Mace (1894-1971) is appointed to the University and sets up a laboratory for psychological experiments, originally housed in St Salvator’s Quad and then in the basement of Younger Hall.

Cecil A Mace


George F. Stout (1860-1944) joins the University of St Andrews from Aberdeen as Professor of Logic and Metaphysics. Stout is one of the leading psychologists in Britain at this time.

Portrait of George Stout