A representation of Psyche, taken from the BPS logo

Wessex Branch

The Wessex Branch covers the South of England from Dorset in the west to East Sussex in the east and up to Berkshire in the north, and includes the Isle of Wight.


We organise workshops and conferences in the south and south-east area of England and send regular bulletins to members to publicise events and other items of interest.

Wessex Branch


Wessex Branch




Useful links


Follow the links below to see programmes of research seminars etc. at Psychology Departments in Universities in the Wessex region.

Undergraduate Prize

Awarded for the best undergraduate dissertation at each BPS-accredited Wessex Branch University.

The BPS Wessex Branch Undergraduate Prize was founded in 2007 (previously known as The Tony Gale Prize).

Each university nominates its top final year undergraduate dissertation, and each winner is awarded a monetary prize of £100.  Winners are invited to write a 1500-word summary article which will be published in the annual publication, BPS Branch Awards.

The Board of Examiners at each University will decide on the dissertation submitted to the Wessex Branch.

Eligible universities

  • Kingston University
  • Southampton Solent University
  • University of Bournemouth
  • University of Brighton
  • University of Chichester
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Reading
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex
  • University of Winchester
  • The Open University (students placed in Region 02 and Region 13 for their studies)

How to apply

Only eligible University Psychology Departments can nominate students to the BPS Wessex Branch.

Please note: nominees (students) cannot apply for this prize directly through the BPS Wessex Branch.

If you consider yourself eligible to be nominated for this Prize and have not been, please contact [email protected].

  • 21 June:  deadline for universities to submit nominations.
  • 30 June: Wessex Branch will email successful nominees asking if they wish to submit a 1,500-word shortened dissertation for publication in BPS Branch Awards
  • 23 August: deadline for submission of shortened dissertations (if applicable)
  • 15 September: nominees receive initial feedback on their submissions.
  • 30 September: Re-submission deadline.
  • 31 October: Wessex Branch will issue the prizes.  Please note that we will not accept any submissions after this date

Previous award winners

2023 winners

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Awarded to

Dissertation Title

Bournemouth University

Jack Robinson

Comprehension ability in monolingual and bilingual speakers and the effect subtitles have on comprehension

Solent University

Bailey Foreman

"At what point will they know": A Thematic Analysis of how UK University men experience menstrual education.

University of Portsmouth

Elizabeth Georgina Louise Evans

Turtle-snorkel Activities Negatively Impact the Behavioural Budget and Evasive Responses of Green Turtles (Chelonia mydas) in Akumal Bay, Mexico.

The University of Winchester

Emmie Millson

Investigating Deception in a Mock Police Identification Line-up

University of Chichester

Kara Francis

Attachment and Mental Health Utilisation: A Police Perspective

University of Surrey

Lucy Ruth Deeprose

The Profile of Autism Characteristics in Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder

University of Brighton

Leann Stollenwerk

Can priming a concept actually affect how intensely people feel? Exploring the connection between sense of control and fear.

University of Southampton

Bethan Gale

The Relationship Between Behavioural Inhibition, Parenting Behaviour and Anxiety Disorders in Children

University of Sussex

Dylan Watts

Cortical Colour Tuning Using SSVEP

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2022 winners

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Awarded to

Dissertation Title

Bournemouth University

Liberty Alice McCaffrey

Can specific attributes predict Rape Proclivity in heterosexual men?

Solent University

Zechariah Daniel Perry

A Natural Connection: An Interpretative phenomenological analysis and autoethnographical reflective account, exploring how nature connection affects mental wellbeing'

University of Portsmouth

Georgia Whitwham

"Not so transitional objects": The Extent to which relationships with transitional objects persist beyond childhood

The University of Winchester

Charlotte Hollands


The Virtual Jury Is Out: How Do Mental Health Beliefs Affect Deliberations & Verdicts


University of Chichester

Charlotte Hall

Problematic Smartphone Use and Daily Cognitive Failures Among University Students:  The Mediating Roles of Sleep Quality and Academic Stress


University of Surrey

Georgia Tomlin

Spatial skills and driving ability; Is there a link?


University of Brighton

Frankie Meade

Is intimate partner abuse normalised in the digital world?


University of Southampton

Jessica Hylan

Factors Influencing Health Anxiety

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2021 winners

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Awarded to

Dissertation Title


Sophie Hurman Fathers' experiences and support received following their baby's admission to a neonatal unit

University of Southampton

Rachel Francois Walcott


University of Surrey Ashley Williams Exlpring the relationshop between spatial play and mathematical outomes in middle childhood
University of Brighton Eve Watson "Pushy" Vegans and "Unevolved" Meat-eaters: A thematic analysis exploring individual's rationalisations for their diets
University of Portsmouth Rachel Woods The relationship between depression, anxiety and flow amongst elite youth footballers
Solent University Southampton Leah Gwilliam "It's like I'm a sheep" - an interpreative phenomenological analysis of adolescent's experience of social media and online behaviour
The OU Region 2 Emily Day Investigating associations between pro-environmental behaviour and environmental concern, social norms and educational level, in a UK population
The OU Region 13 Matyas Bach Multi-talented or joystick junkie: A discursive analysis of how the British press construct the identities of computer gamers
University of Sussex Abigail Wyllie Invesitgating the influence of low-level scene statistics on perceived naturalness and preference ratings or images
Kingston University Maria Dalipaj An initial investigation on the concept of trust and trustworthiness based on personality traits 
University of Winchester Joshua SMith The effect of football supporter's involvement on their well-being
University of Chichester Emmanuel Obine A quantitative study investigating Self-Esteem and interpersonal relationship predicting social media addiction through trait emotional intelligence, loneliness and escapism.
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2020 winners

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Awarded to

Dissertation Title

University of Chichester

Monika Halls

Acute and training effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation of the prefrontal cortex on anxiety-related implicit associations

The Open University Amy Brownlie

Personality traits and social media use as predictors of wellbeing: A survey of adults in the UK

The Open University

Malgorzata Dzielak

The romance of darkness: The association between the dark tetrad of personality and self-efficacy in romantic relationships in subclinical adult population

University of Surrey Terpsichore Panayotidis

Temporal interference: Examining a novel, non-invasive stimulation technique for memory modulation

University of Southampton Alainah Beglane

Future self-continuity promotes healthy goal pursuit through authenticity

University of Brighton Holly Cooper

The birds and the bees: A thematic analysis of young adults' perceptions of parent–child sex-related communication

University of Portsmouth

Amber Wing

The calming effects of progressive muscle relaxation and its potential for treating misophonia

Bournemouth University Katherine Bills

The effect of tones on reading and letter-scanning: An eye-tracking study

University of Sussex Lucile Fiorentino

Impulsivity and sensation-seeking differences between sweet-liker phenotypes: The importance of valid categorisation methods

Solent University Imogen Moody

The impact childhood family environment has on wellbeing in adulthood, and the mediating effect of personality traits

Kingston University

Renata Ruffatto Rech

Visual imagery and interactivity in problem solving

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2019 winners

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Awarded to

Dissertation Title

University of Surrey

Jessica Green

"Soaring in Nature: The Effect of Bird Wildlife Within Natural Environments on Feelings of Restoration and Well-being"

University of Winchester

Lauren Budd

Parenting Characteristics and School Stress: Examining Their Relationship with Paediatric Non-Clinical Inflated Responsibility Beliefs

Kingston University

Sofia Alves Branco

Judgements of sexual consent and the language of the eyes: An eye-tracking study

University of Chichester

Emma Jayes

Construct validity of the prospective memory evaluation measure (PMEM)

The Open University

Region 13

Clare Louise Meeson

"That's what friends are for": a phenomenological study of friendship in the final year of university

The Open University

Region 2

Desmond Fox

"I don't have time for this": A Phenomenological Study of the Experience of Having a Cold

University of Reading

(Shared prize)

Victoria Beesley


Megan Heraty

The influence of positive affect on the attentional blink: A replication of Olivers and Nieuwenhuis (2006)

An investigation into the similarity between friends' mood and lifestyle choices

University of Southampton

Michalia Siemiatkowska

Making Empathy Appealing to Narcissists

Solent University

Amy Bowers

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: How do Funeral Directors understand their coping with occupational death exposure

University of Brighton

Sarah Smith

Maintaining Meat Consumption: Exploring the Role of Exposure to Animal Suffering on Perceptions of Pain-Sensitivity and Moral Status in Animals We Consume and Those We Keep as Pets

University of Portsmouth

Joseph Benbow

In the Midst of Gorillas: Determining the Effect of Inhibition on Inattentional Blindness

Bournemouth University

Natasha Vann Baker

Investigating pupillary response, sexual appeal, and age estimation of age ambiguous stimuli

University of Sussex

Sarah Hurdman

Non-coercive intelligence gathering: evaluating the effectiveness of two frame-adapted, and non-framed, persuasive interview techniques

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Bursary Scheme for Members

Bursaries are available for students to attend conferences or events in the region. All bursaries will be of equal value. 

The number of bursaries available each year will depend on resources and award of a bursary cannot be guaranteed even if all requirements for eligibility have been met.

Precedence will be given to those who have not been awarded a BPS Wessex Branch Bursary previously.

Decisions will be final, and no correspondence will be entered into regarding unsuccessful applications.

Judging process

These Bursaries will be allocated to students who are Wessex Branch members (i.e. members of the British Psychological Society either living or studying in the Wessex area), up to a maximum of 100% of the conference fee per student.

Within these parameters the awards sub-committee can determine the number and monetary value of the bursaries they wish to grant, subject to confirmation by the Wessex Branch Committee.

In the event of there being competition for the Bursaries the awards sub-committee will act as the judging panel.

Please note:

  • An annual Bursary Prize might be offered to a Wessex Student to attend a conference of their choice providing that they were presenting a paper. 
  • An individual may only be in receipt of one bursary within a 12 month period.
  • Bursaries may be offered for BPS events within the region organised by either sub-systems or universities. 
  • Previous applications may be taken into account in the decision making process.
  • Recipients will be required to pay their conference fees and then submit their receipt to the Branch. The bursary will be paid by bank transfer on receipt of the conference report. 
  • Recipients will be required to submit a 500 word report on the conference for use as the Branch decide. 

There may also be additional requirements for specific events and these will be detailed on an event-by-event basis. 

Applicants must :

  • live or study in Wessex area
  • be a student member of the British Psychological Society
  • provide details on how the bursaries will benefit their studies

How to apply

Applications are now open.

Submission must be received by 30 September 2024.

Apply for a bursary


Chair: Richard Pemberton ([email protected])

Chair Elect: Vacant

Past Chair: Vacant

Honorary Treasurer: Alan Gilbert ([email protected])

Honorary Secretary: Vacant ([email protected])

E-Newsletter Editor: Vacant ([email protected])

General Committee Members:

  • Shakiba Moghadam
  • Tracey Elder
  • David Hancock
  • Luke Basford
  • Patrick Chan
  • Izzy Ball
  • Valentina Canessa-Pollard
  • Stephanie Bennett
  • Elif Yuce

Wessex Dorset: Sarah Hodge ([email protected])

Wessex Solent & Thames Valley: Vacant ([email protected])

Wessex Surrey: Vacant ([email protected])

Wessex Sussex: Vacant ([email protected])

PsyPAG Representative: Izzy Ball

Student Ambassador: James Prentice


When you join the BPS you are automatically made a member of your local branch.

The Wessex Branch of the BPS covers the following areas/postcodes:

  • Bournemouth (BH)
  • Brighton (BN)
  • Croydon (CR)
  • Dorchester (DT)
  • Guilford (GU)
  • Kingston-Upon-Thames (KT)
  • Portsmouth (PO) 
  • Reading (RG)
  • Redhill (RH)
  • Sutton (SM)
  • Southampton (SO)
  • Salisbury (SP)

Member e-newsletter

The Wessex Branch uses its e-newsletter to inform its members of activities and initiatives that are relevant to their interests and to make requests for engagement on topical issues. 

To receive this you will need to:

  1. become a member of the Wessex Branch
  2. check your email preferences that you have opted into receiving emails
  3. ensure that your email address is correct

You can check your preferences by logging into your member portal.

If you have any queries, please contact Member Network support - Wessex Branch.

Getting involved with the Wessex Branch Committee

The Wessex Branch relies on a wide range of people getting involved, and the work of the Branch is largely achieved through the dedication of unpaid volunteers.

Our volunteers come from a wide range of different backgrounds, whether they be practitioners or academics, or full members or in-training members, and together form an open and inclusive community.