Professor Vicki Bruce
Professor of Psychology

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6579
  • Address: School of Psychology
    Ridley Building 1
    Queen Victoria Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU

Roles and Responsibilities

I am a Professor of Psychology, now working part-time.


BA Natural Sciences, Newnham College, Cambridge 1974
PhD Experimental Psychology, Newnham College, Cambridge 1978
Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Chartered Psychologist.

Previous Positions

I was previously a Professor of Psychology at the Universities of Nottingham and then Stirling. In Stirling I additionally assumed a role as Deputy Principal for Research, and from 2002-8 I was Vice Principal and Head of the College of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Edinburgh. I continued to do some teaching and research in Psychology during this period. I was Head of School in Newcastle from 2008-2015.

Honours and Awards

OBE (1997),  DBE (2015)

I am a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh,

Honorary DSc from Goldsmiths, University of London (2002),  from the University of St Andrews (2007), and the University of York (2010). Honorary Fellowship of University College Cardiff (2006) and of the Edinburgh College of Art (2008).

Research Interests

I research all aspects of human face perception and person memory, including face recognition and recall by eye-witnesses and gaze and other aspects of social cognition. I am also interested in visual cognition more generally.

Current Work

I collaborate with Charlie Frowd (University of Central Lancashire) and Peter Hancock (University of Stirling) on the design of systems to help eye-witnesses remember faces. I collaborate with Debbie Riby (Newcastle) on aspects of social cognition, particularly in children with Williams syndrome.

Future Research

I hope to develop new interests in the ways in which non-verbal signals from non-human sources (companion animals, avatars) may create a sense of social presence and/or personal support.

Research Roles

I have played significant roles in research-related administration, having served on or chaired committees for the ESRC and MRC. I am currently a member of the EPSRC College of Experts. I have also played major roles in the RAE as chair of the psychology panel in 1996 and 2001 and of main panel K in 2008. I will chair the Social Sciences panel for the Hong Kong research assessment exercise in 2014.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am co-supervisor of PhD student Rachel Cole-Fletcher in Newcastle, and of two current trainees on the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.  I jhave co-supervised five DClinPsy students who completed in 2011 and 2012.

Esteem Indicators

I am an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Socity, a Fellow and currently a Vice-President of the British Academy, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. I was awarded the OBE for services to psychology in 1997. I received the Presidents' Award from the BPS in 1997. I was co-recipient of the BPS book award (with Andy Young, 2001), and the BPS Cognitive Psychology Award (with Mike Burton and Peter Hancock, 2000).  I was President of the Experimental Psychology Society 2010-12.


I have had awards totalling over £2 million principally from ESRC and EPSRC and with smaller grants from a variety of other funders.

Industrial Relevance

When I was working at the University of Nottingham I conducted research for the Royal Mint on the design of £1 and other coins, to ensure that coins can be distinguished from each other by sight and by touch.

Undergraduate Teaching

I direct modules on the History of Psychology Module (Stage 1) and Face Perception (Stage 3).