We're a centre of excellence for psychological and interdisciplinary, patient-centred research in appearance, disfigurement, body image and related studies.

Our research and consultancy services inform and support:

  • healthcare and education provision
  • social policy
  • media
  • corporate social responsibility agendas, and
  • other areas of society. 

Our collaborations

We actively collaborate with charitable organisations, NHS Trusts, businesses, schools, universities, the media, and policy-makers across the UK and overseas.

We also lead a European Union research network with members from 36 countries.

Why we study appearance


Our key aims are to:

  1. conduct innovative research that creates and promotes knowledge and understanding about the psychosocial and cultural aspects of appearance
  2. enhance CAR's position as the leading international centre of excellence for appearance research and source of authoritative advice for researchers, policy makers, practitioners, the media, public and third sector
  3. relate knowledge and understanding to policy, practice and the needs of people affected by appearance concerns.
  4. increase acceptance of diversity in appearance.

Supporting best practice

Racial equality

See our full statement on the steps we are making as a research centre to support racial equality.

Gender equality

We support and promote best practice in the recruitment, retention and promotion of staff via the Athena SWAN initiative.

Athena SWAN addresses gender inequalities in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine in higher education.

The University and the Department of Applied Sciences, achieved Athena SWAN Bronze Awards.

Sources of support

View a list of organisations and support forums that can provide support.


Centre for Appearance Research recent funding, from The Healing Foundation, National Institute for Health Research and many more.