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Annual Conference - Psychological perspectives on global issues

8th-10th May 2020, Warwick University
Online booking has now closed, please contact secretary@oups.org.uk for availability.

Every year OUPS holds an applied psychology conference, inviting top psychologists to talk on a specific area of psychology to give delegates the opportunity to hear experts in the field present up to date research on a specific area of psychology and to provide a forum for informed discussion.

Coronavirus statement (updated 18 March 2021)

The current covid-19 pandemic is a highly unusual and a stressful situation, but hopefully we are seeing the possibility of things returning to more normal in the coming months. As the OU student psychology society and as a registered charity, OUPS exists to support you as OU psychology students. We are continually assessing our situation in the light of the official advice, and we want to make our position clear to any of you who are anxious about an existing booking or who are thinking of making a booking on one of our forthcoming events.

We are currently planning our future programme based on the public health guidance. The long-term situation for our weekends is not yet clear, but we are planning to resume face-to-face events when the situation permits. 

We hope to announce our next face-to-face events to support students starting new modules as the new academic year begins in October 2021 and in the meantime we are running both study events and online social events through the London and South region, and would love to welcome as many of you to these as possible.

Our 2020 conference will consider how individual behaviour and sustained well-being can contribute to resolving major global issues.

With the exception of a few notables, most obviously Skinner, psychologists have not devoted effort to the big global issues of our day, such as war, poverty and the unsustainable exploitation of resources. Psychology has mainly looked at the micro-level. However, what happens locally, nationally and globally to a considerable degree reflects individual behaviour. For example, it is estimated that about 40% of all deaths in the USA are caused by a failure to restrain desires (e.g. food, drugs, sex and aggression). 

We have assembled a panel of expert speakers who will bring the benefit of their individual perspectives to bear on examining how psychology can explain these kinds of planet-wide phenomena.


Our currently confirmed speakers are: 
  • Frederick Toates (Open University) Introduction and overview
  • Owen Green (University of Bradford) War and peace: psychological perspectives in a multi-disciplinary field.
  • Liz Gulliford (University of Northampton) A positive psychology perspective
  • Alison Green (ex Open University) tba - on psychology and climate change
  • Gillian Ragsdale Can empathy save us from ourselves?’
  • Steve Taylor (Leeds Becket University) A spiritual perspective
  • Abraham Buunk (University of Groningen, Netherlands) A view from evolutionary social psychology
  • Stephen Palmer (University of Wales Trinity Saint David & Aalborg University) An ecopsychology perspective
  • Morten Kringelbach (University of Oxford) tba - on the brain and the future
The timetable for this event will be available closer to the date.

What to expect

The lectures are conducted in management conference seminar rooms within the University campus, and you will have been provided with a timetable of talks and lecture notes before you arrive.

You can choose how you spend your time. If you book the residential package then you will have a very comfortable ensuite room in management conference facilities complete with bedding, towels, a hairdryer, coffee-making facilities and desk. Wifi is also included. The training centre has a small exercise room within the building and you also have complimentary access to the  gym and pool on campus, so if you do want to relax then there is the option to do so.

The cost is inclusive of all meals, including Friday night and Saturday night dinner. There are no extra costs involved (except for drinks at the bar!). As well as your room and all meals this includes refreshments at break times, extensive handouts which are only available to attendees, revision of key course material, advice on revision techniques and assessments, welcome drink on Friday night. Non-residential places are available for a reduction, all meals are still included.

The welcome drinks and psychology book stall are both excellent places to meet other students. All students and staff wear name badges, so it is easy to find somebody to help if you have any questions. You can enjoy your meals with a group of students in the comfortable dining room. The food is fresh, healthy buffet style catering, and there is something to entice everyone.

Finally, whilst most students leave exhausted from the learning and socialising, they comment that it is such a worthwhile weekend, and we see many of them each year as they progress their studies!


The weekend takes place at Radcliffe Conference and Training Centre, University of Warwick. Both accommodation and lectures are located in the same building unless you have been informed otherwise.

Warwick is an award winning conference venue with excellent facilities. Access to the sports facilities, including the swimming pool, are included in the price. The university's central location with excellent transport links makes it easily accessible from all over the UK and Europe. There is ample free car parking.


Click here for information on accessibility, parking and other related facilities.

Travel and directions

Click here for satnav postcodes and directions to the University of Warwick.

For campus maps go to Warwick Campus Maps.


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