Prof James Kirkbride

Prof James Kirkbride

Professor of Psychiatric and Social Epidemiology

Epidemiology & Applied Clinical Research

Division of Psychiatry

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2014

Research summary

I am Professor of Psychiatric and Social Epidemiology at the Division of Psychiatry, UCL, interested in the social determinants of psychosis at multiple levels of causation across the life course. My research focusses on investigating why migrants and their descendants experience elevated rates ofpsychosis, and why rates of psychosis are elevated in urban environments. My research group, PsyLife (www.psylife.eu), addresses these inequalities by applying several epidemiological techniques (multilevelmodelling, Bayesian modelling, multiple imputation, causal inference methods) to various datasets, including large epidemiological studies of first episode psychosis (AESOP, ELFEP, SEPEA, EU-GEI) and longitudinal cohort data (ALSPAC, Swedish register data, Chilean registry data).

Using this knowledge, we have developed a translational epidemiological prediction model to forecast expected need for psychosis in different populations (www.psymaptic.org). This informs Early Intervention in Psychosis service commissioners and planners about expected need for psychosis in the populations they serve. It has informed NICE guidance in England on EIP service provision since 2014, and has also been developed for use in Wales, the Republic of Ireland and Chile. 

I am currently accepting PhD invitations from prospective students interested in undertaking Ph.D. training in psychiatric epidemiology. Please see my website www.psylife.eu for details of how to get in touch.

Teaching summary

I co-convene and teach on the module on "Epidemiology Research Methods in Mental Health" on the MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences in the Division of Psychiatry, UCL. I hold a Fellowship of the Higher Education Authority for my teaching. 

I currently supervise 3-4 MSc students per year for their final dissertations, and 2 full time PhD students. I am willing to accept new PhD students. Interested students should contact me with an idea of their project proposal in the first instance, with an indication of any potential funding support.


Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow |


I am Professor of Psychiatric and Social Epidemiology at the Division ofPsychiatry, UCL. 

I trained in geography at the University of Nottingham, supervisedby Professor John Giggs (2002). I completed an M.Sc. in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (2003) and my Ph.D. in Psychiatric Epidemiology under the supervision of Professor Peter Jones at the Universityof Cambridge (2007). I have held both a Sir Henry Wellcome and Sir Henry DaleFellowship from the Wellcome Trust, joining UCL for the latter in 2014. I became Professor of Psychiatric and Social Epidemiology at UCL in 2021.