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A Brief History of The British Psychological Society

The Psychological Society was founded on October 24 1901 at University College London. Its aim was 'to advance scientific psychological research, and to further the co-operation of investigators in the various branches of Psychology.' 

The Society has restructured a number of times over the years, forming various Divisions, Boards, committees and sub-systems to accommodate members' many interests.

A register of professional psychologists was set up in the 1930s. The Society was Incorporated in 1941. The Quarterly Bulletin of the British Psychological Society was launched in 1948. 

The Society was granted a Royal Charter in 1965. On December 18, 1987, at Buckingham Palace, the Queen granted amendments to the Charter, thereby allowing the Society to maintain a Register of Chartered Psychologists. 

British Psychological Society

For a full article on the History of the BPS prepared by
 Dr. Geoff Bunn, BPS Research Fellow at the Science Museum.

Please Click Link

"A Short History of The British Psychological Society".

Why Join? - The BPS is open to membership to all mental health professionals

The Society is a learned and professional body controlled by our Royal Charter. This means that our primary duty is to preserve and nurture the discipline on behalf of the nation. Our main objective is to advance and diffuse knowledge of psychology.  This combines with our charitable status which says that as an organisation we are not permitted to do anything outside of the objectives as specified in the Charter. So, although we are not constituted as a member club nor as a trade union there are benefits which arise from membership:

Bullet Conferences.
      The Society organises many scientific conferences which are open to all Society members with special rates for students.

bullet Books and Journals.
      The Society publishes both books and ten primary science journals all of which are available at special reduced
      member prices.

billet Subsystems
      Integral to the Society's organisation is a series of subsystems. These are either geographically based (Branches);
      scientifically based (Sections); qualifications based (Divisions); or employment based (Special Groups).

bullet Branches
      Exist in the North of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, South West England, Wales, Wessex & Wight, and the
       West Midlands. Membership is automatic, and based on a members geographical location.

bullet Sections
      Exist where members have decided to pool and exchange scientific interest and knowledge. Any member may
      belong to a Section.

bullet Divisions
      Exist where there is a clear professional grouping and professional training. Divisions' main work is in pursuing and
      enhancing professional practice. Only those who have completed an approved training may join a Division as a full

bullet Special Groups
      Exist to represent groups of members working in a particular field. The members of a Special Group all have some
      defining characteristic that is less rigorous than that required for a Division. Almost all these subsystems run their
       own events and conferences and publish newsletters for their own members.

bullet Representation.
     As an organisation we are regularly asked by Government and NGOs to contribute evidence to topical enquiries.
     Our diversity of membership allows us to represent the widest possible views based on the latest research and best

Bullet Jobs.
      The Society publishes the Appointments Memorandum each month which contains details of just about all the
      psychology jobs currently available. This publication is only available to Society members.

Bullet The Psychologist.
     This monthly publication is the Society's 'house magazine' - for members - by members.

Bullet Student Membership Group
      Resource run by psychology students for postgraduate and undergraduate members.

The basic design and content is Copyrighted by the British Psychological Society and reproduced here with kind permission