1921 - 2021
In 1921, the University of Reading appointed its first lecturer in Experimental Psychology laying the groundworks for the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences. In 2021, we will be celebrating our 100th anniversary and highlighting the incredible achievements carried out staff and students at one of the UK's oldest psychology departments.
Psychology was still a relatively new field of research when Albert Wolters was appointed as the university’s first lecturer in psychology. However, using state-of-the-art equipment and an experimental approach he believed psychology could broaden our understanding of the human mind – a legacy our school has continued to carry on throughout its history.
In the 1960s, Professor Corinne Hutt was one of the first researchers to recognise the biological basis for autism. Today, the Centre for Autism continue to improve our understanding of autism and support the development of new clinical interventions using a variety of techniques such as MRI, eye-tracking and measuring behaviour.
At Reading, Professor David Crystal’s ground-breaking work using linguistics in educational and clinical contexts led to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic techniques in the field of language therapy. Today we are proud to be ranked as one of the top five departments for oral and aural sciences in the UK and continue to develop new treatments for people living with speech disorders such as stammering, aphasia and apraxia.
We continue to place priority on staying at the forefront of psychological and neurological research. Taking advantage of our modern facilities we are able to develop research that is helping current issues whether it is developing new treatments for epilepsy, using virtual reality to better understand perception or how gut bacteria affects our brain.
Alongside our legacy in research, we are proud to have trained generations of talented psychologists, researchers and speech and language therapists across the world. Our first ever Honours Degree in 1926 was considered radical at its time for its emphasis on independent research, but now can be considered a model for psychology degrees today. We continue to encourage and enable students to develop their talents through utilising our School’s excellent research facilities.
In 1979, we received our first ever accreditation by the British Psychological Society – enabling our students to go on to successful careers in mental health. We have remained accredited ever since and continue to develop new ways to innovate and support our students in their careers after Reading.
New for 2020, we have developed a brand-new curriculum which puts greater focus on fostering the skills needed for a successful career in psychology and a greater variety of teaching methods from seminars and tutorials, to workshops and debates.
The School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences are proud of our long history of not just teaching psychology but putting it into practice on campus. In 1936, the department launched the Child Guidance Clinic to support mental health of children and young people in the local community. Its success soon led to the clinic becoming the University’s mental health service where students could receive support and treatment.
In 1998, we partnered with the NHS to launch the Berkshire Child Anxiety Clinic that soon was treating around 400 families per year. In 2007, we continued to expand our NHS support with the launch of the Charlie Waller Institute which provides professional training and development for medical health professionals. Today, our School is home to four on-site clinics supporting patients living with a variety of
conditions and challenges including speech disorders, autism, anxiety and depression. This clinical expertise enables us not only to provide life-changing treatment but helps enhance our mental health research and provides our students with opportunities to learn alongside practising clinical professionals.