CORE is the British Psychological Society's Centre for Outcomes Research and Effectiveness.

It was established in December 1995 and is based in the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology. It aims to use psychological theory and expertise to promote the increased effectiveness of a broad range of health care interventions.

CORE has a number of major research themes:

  • Clinical guidance, particularly in mental health
  • Theories and techniques of behaviour change
  • Novel health service interventions
  • Psychological interventions, in particular low intensity interventions
  • Competence frameworks for psychological interventions

CORE is involved in the development and implementation of clinical guidelines for the National Health Service, in the following ways:

Core - Training and Education Programmes

In addition the unit has a strong commitment to the development, delivery and evaluation of training programmes for psychological interventions and evidence based medicine. The unit also welcomes applications from PhD students.

CORE has a strong track record of applying psychological theory and expertise to promote the increased effectiveness of a broad range of health care interventions. The TRG and CORE already have close links through joint projects including a study of factors affecting GP referrals to the stop smoking services and establishing and evaluating behaviour change interventions used by English stop smoking services.

Health Psychology

Susan Michie leads UCL's Health Psychology Unit within CORE. The focus of this successful research team is designing and evaluating interventions to change behaviour, drawing on psychological evidence and theory. Susan Michie has been a consultant to the Department of Health for many years, currently to its Public Health Strategy & Social Marketing Department.  

She was key in developing the NHS Health Trainer role, producing the NHS Health Trainer Behaviour Change Handbook and supporting the roll out of the NHS Health Trainer Programme. She conducted the pilot evaluation, demonstrating that the service was successfully engaging the "hard to reach". The majority of clients were unemployed, without educational qualifications and from ethnic minorities; the biggest demand amongst clients was to quit smoking.

CORE has audited the national service for the last two years, demonstrating good uptake by target groups and implementation of the behaviour change components of the programme.

CORE is a central partner within the Training Centre, co-ordinating the research, training, accreditation and NHS liaison.


Susan Michie helped to establish and is now a Director of the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training (NCSCT). For more information, click here.

CORE - Key Collaborations

Core has a number of key collaborations with groups internal and external to UCL. These include:

1. The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health

2. Health Psychology Unit

3. Anna Freud Clinic