School of Psychology

Staff Profiles

Professor Vicki Bruce

Professor of Psychology


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 am collaborating with Rob Dudley through co-supervising projects investigating the impact of eye gaze direction and paranoia on aspects of person perception.

Future Research

I am hoping to continue forensically relevant research on eyewitness memory.

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 chaired the Social Sciences panel for the Hong Kong research assessment exercise in 2014.

Postgraduate Supervision

I am currently co-supervisor of three PhD students and one DClinPsy student.  

Esteem Indicators

I am an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society, 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 and DBE for services to Psychology and Higher Education in 2015. 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).