University of Bath

Professor Dame Glynis M. Breakwell DBE, DL President and Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor, social scientist Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, is both the academic leader and chief executive of the University.


Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell DBE, DL was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath in 2001. She is one of Europe’s leading social psychologists and in 2014 was named in the Science Council’s list of ‘100 leading UK practising scientists’.

Since her appointment as Vice-Chancellor, Dame Glynis has led the growth and development of the University of Bath, enhancing its reputation as a world-class University for both its research and teaching. She has led the establishment of a flagship sports facility on the campus where many international and medal-winning athletes now train, and more recently led the development of The Edge – the University’s new arts and management building.

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The Vice-Chancellor holds a number of senior positions both nationally and internationally, acting as an advisor to the higher education sector, government organisations, multi-national corporations and not-for-profit organisations.

Current roles include:

  • Director of Universities UK (UUK)
  • Chair of the UUK Funding Policy Network
  • Member of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) Leadership Governance & Management Advisory Group
  • Director of Student Loans Company
  • Director of Universities Superannuation Scheme
  • Member of the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • Chair of the ESRC Research Committee
  • Deputy Lieutenant of Somerset
  • Member of the Science & Technology Honours Committee
  • Non-Executive Director of NHS Improvement Board


  • Leadership
  • Identity processes
  • Risk management


View a list of books and publications by Glynis M. Breakwell


Dame Glynis is an active public policy adviser and researcher specialising in leadership, identity processes and risk management and has produced over 20 books including, most recently, the second edition of The Psychology of Risk.

Dame Glynis has nationally championed the role of universities in scientific and technological innovation, exploitation and economic regeneration, and has worked over many years to widen participation in science and achieve knowledge transfer from higher education to business. In 2012, this work was recognised when she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen's New Year Honours for services to higher education.

She has been a Fellow of the British Psychological Society since 1987 and is a chartered health psychologist. In 2002 she was elected an Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences, and in 2006 became an Honorary Fellow of the British Psychological Society – an accolade currently shared with just over 30 others.


BA, MSc, MA, PhD, DSc, LLD(Hon) CPsychol, FBPsS, FRSA, PFHEA, HonFBPsS, FAcSS

Dame Glynis took her PhD from the University of Bristol and an MA and DSc from the University of Oxford where she held a Prize Fellowship at Nuffield College.

In 2004, in recognition of her contribution to the social sciences, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Bristol and in 2004 became an Honorary Professor at the University of Shandong in China.