PhD Psychology

Find out about our PhD Psychology by Research programme based in our vibrant and inclusive School of Psychology.

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Course overview

  • 2024
  • 2025
  • 2026
  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Sep, 3 Years
  • Sep, 6 Years
  • Jan, 3 Years
  • Jan, 6 Years
  • Apr, 3 Years
  • Apr, 6 Years
  • Sep, 3 Years
  • Sep, 6 Years
  • Jan, 3 Years
  • Jan, 6 Years
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Research
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • Doctor of Philosophy
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £8,267 per year*
  • From £4,133 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • From £14,500 per year*
  • From £7,250 per year*
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • Buckingham
  • *See below for full fee information

    Buckingham Campus Open Day

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    13 July 2024

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    About the course

    The School of Psychology fosters a culture of collaborative, multidisciplinary research and you will join a vibrant community that includes regular work-in-progress seminars to foster an active research environment. You will join this environment and have the opportunity to engage with the postgraduate research group and attend seminars with external speakers. We hold an annual postgraduate conference, giving you the chance to showcase your research and further connect with other students and staff. There are also opportunities to connect with the wider research community by presenting at national conferences.

    We are happy to consider research proposals on a wide range of topics relevant to our staff interests. Click on the link to each research area below to find out more.

    Study can be on either a full-time or a part-time basis. The minimum period of study for achieving your PhD is three years full-time and six years part-time

    For study at PhD level a MSc in psychology or a closely related subject is desirable but not essential. If you do not have a MSc then you would need a very good undergraduate degree and be able to demonstrate a solid understanding of psychology research methods and statistics.

    Our research areas

    Our research spans a wide range of psychological areas, using a variety of quantitative and qualitative research methods. These can be broadly aligned with the following: Social and Cognitive Experiences; Creativity and Performance; Self and Identity. Further details about this can be found below.

    Cognitive and Social Experiences

    This research area explores social and cognitive experiences in a variety of populations including those with a religious identity, and those with expertise in problem solving. Some specific areas of interest include a focus on human-robot interactions, spatial and temporal attention, the way time is perceived and the cognitive appraisals made following serious spinal cord injury. These areas are researched by focusing on both individual experiences and group processes. Click on the names below to find out what our lecturers’ specific research interests are.

    CREATIVITY AND PERFORMANCE

    Our research is at the forefront of the exploration of creativity in the UK. We have a strong focus on applied aspects of creativity and performance. This includes research into psychological correlates to dance performance, the development of expertise in areas such as music, quizzing and cryptic crosswords, performance in sport, and the use of everyday creativity. Additionally, creativity is looked at through the lens of cyberpsychology exploring its relationship with artificial intelligence. Click on the names below to find out what our lecturers’ specific research interests are.

    Self and Identity

    As researchers, we explore the ways our selves and our identities are constructed through individual experiences and through social norms. This includes how we identify ourselves through religion, through dance, through gender, through our experiences of injury, pain, and health conditions, and how these identities are created with the use of technology. Additionally, we explore how people experience different versions of themselves and how these different versions may be better integrated into the whole “Self” for both therapeutic and performance purposes. Click on the names below to find out what our lecturers’ specific research interests are.

    Contact us

    If you would like to contact us to enquire about this research programme, please complete this contact form.

    View course modules

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    Entry requirements

    Applicants are normally expected to have the minimum of a 2:1 degree in Psychology or related discipline.

    Mature students

    Age is no barrier to learning and we welcome all applications from suitably qualified students.

    International students

    We are happy to consider all international applications and if you are an international student, you may find it useful to visit our international pages for details of entry requirements from your home country.

    The University is a UKVI Student Sponsor.

    English levels

    If English is not your first language, please check our postgraduate English language requirements. If your English levels don’t meet our minimum requirements, you may be interested in applying for our Pre-sessional English Language Foundation Programmes.

    Selection process

    Prior to applying, if you would like to discuss your research ideas please contact our Admissions team to arrange a chat with our Research Officers.

    If your application is considered suitable, you will be invited to the University for an interview with one of the Research Officers and one or both of your potential supervisors. This will also give you the chance to have a look at our campus. If you are an international applicant, it may not be possible for you to visit in person, so the Research Officer will arrange an interview by Microsoft Teams.

    Student Contract for prospective students

    When you are offered a place at the University you will be notified of the student contract between the University and students on our courses of study. When you accept an offer of a place on the course at the University a legal contract is formed between you and the University on the basis of the student contract in your offer letter. Your offer letter and the student contract contain important information which you should read carefully before accepting an offer. Read the Student Contract.

    Teaching and assessment

    Quality supervision

    The aim of the Research Programme is to help students develop the following:

    • A systematic and in-depth understanding in the subject area of choice of research by the student.
    • To give students the opportunity to undertake a substantial independent research project at Level 7 of writing for an MSc and level 8 of writing for a PhD.
    • Research skills necessary to demonstrate familiarity with and understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities.
    • To develop research skills necessary to display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the opinions of other authors in the subject.

    High calibre staff

    Most of our academic staff teach for three terms out of four, with the remaining term used for research. Because of this, we have no difficulty in attracting high calibre, highly respected lecturers.

    Supervisory methods

    Candidates spend a considerable part of their studies undertaking supervised research, at the end of which they submit a thesis demonstrating the research they have completed. This thesis must demonstrate familiarity with, and an understanding of the subject, its principal sources and authorities. It should display critical discrimination and a sense of proportion in evaluating evidence and the judgements of others. The subject should be dealt with in a competent and scholarly manner. In addition to this:

    • All postgraduate research students must attend supervisory meetings.
    • All postgraduate research students must attend any other training required to assist with the completion of the MSc or PhD.
    • Students must be able to attend the university in person when required.

    Course fees

    The fees for this course are:

    StartType1st YearTotal cost
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)
    UK£00,000£00,000
    INT£00,000£00,000
    Month Year
    Full-time (2 Years)
    UK£00,000£00,000
    INT£00,000£00,000

    The University reserves the right to increase course fees annually in line with inflation linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI). If the University intends to increase your course fees it will notify you via email of this as soon as reasonably practicable.

    Course fees do not include additional costs such as books, equipment, writing up fees and other ancillary charges. Where applicable, these additional costs will be made clear.

    POSTGRADUATE LOAN SCHEME

    A system of Postgraduate Doctoral Loans for postgraduate doctoral courses in the UK is supported by the UK Government. The loans can be used for tuition fees, living expenses or both.

    SCHOLARSHIPS

    Details of scholarships can be found on our Bursaries and Scholarships page. You should make an application to study at the University and receive an offer letter confirming our acceptance of your application before applying for a scholarship.

    You may also find it useful to visit our External Funding page.

    After your course

    Graduate Employment

    Our graduates have gone on to further study at PhD level and to employment in a variety of Psychology roles. This includes careers in academic roles and in health professions.

    How to apply

    Apply direct

    Apply online from this page as:

    • The most flexible option.
    • You can apply until shortly before the course starts.
    • There are no application fees.

    You can apply directly through our website by clicking the ‘Apply now’ button below.