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Mr Chris Cosgrave


PhD Research Student


Faculty of Health and Life Sciences


Chris is currently undertaking a PhD funded by a Nigel Groome / Oxford Brookes University Studentship. His PhD supervisors are Dr Mark Burgess (Reader in Psychology), Dr Adam Lonsdale (Senior Lecturer in Psychology) and Professor

Chris is assisting on the ‘Qualitative Methods in Psychology’ module (U24171), and also teaching small-group tutorials across a variety of first-year modules (U24101, U24104 & U24111).

Chris’s research interests are focused around the social psychology of music, aiming to better understand how people use music in social contexts. In particular, Chris is exploring how music is used by people to help negotiate ‘transformative experiences’ in their lives. Such experiences change people’s sense of who they are in a deep and personally fundamental way, experiences whose effect could not have been fully appreciated in advance. Chris is using interviews and qualitative data analysis to explore the role music has played in helping young adults develop their sense of self. The theoretical background Chris is using combines theories of the self from social psychology, socio-cultural approaches and sociology.

Research group membership

Chris is a member of the Applied Social and Health Psychology group at Oxford Brookes University.

Further information

Chris read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University (New College) graduating in 1999 with a BA Honours degree. After a period working in local authority financial management and training Chris returned to studying. Completing the Short Qualifying Certificate in Psychology he then took the Master of Science course in Psychology at Oxford Brookes. His Masters Dissertation was titled Musical preference and I-sharing. This was a social psychological experimental study testing the idea that perception of similarity in subjective response may override the in-group bias predicted by social identity theory. After being awarded his MSc in Psychology in December 2014 Chris began his PhD studies at Oxford Brookes in September 2015.