Postgraduate Research Studies
For information about our Professional Masters courses see:
The degree of PhD
The Department of Psychology has a thriving postgraduate research programme and welcomes enquiries and applications from prospective full time and part time UK, EU and international PhD researchers. PhD researchers conduct independent and original research on a chosen topic, working closely with a team led by a supervisor who guides and advises them throughout their study.
At the end of the period of study, the results of the research are reported in a thesis, which is examined at a viva voce examination when the candidate is required to verbally defend his or her thesis to an external examiner. PhD researchers in the Department of Psychology are encouraged to submit their research findings for publication during the later part of their study, in order to maximise their chances of finding a job as a newly qualified PhD.
For enquiries about our PhD or MRes Science programmes please contact our Postgraduate Tutor for further details:
Professor Alan Costall
Tel: 023 9284 6316
Department of Psychology becomes centre of excellence for Legal Psychology in Europe
Maastricht University, the University of Portsmouth and the University of Gothenburg are pleased to announce an exciting new collaborative PhD programme in psychology and law, funded by Erasmus Mundus. This programme, called the House of Legal Psychology, combines three centres of excellence in Europe and offers a unique educational programme to PhD students in the field of legal psychology.
The House now is enrolling EU-funded fellowships (open to EU and International Students). Key research themes include police decision-making, detecting deception, interviewing witnesses and suspects, eyewitness identification and evidence evaluation. For more information about the programme and details of the application process, see http://legalpsychology.eu/. Full article here.
Applying to do a PhD in the Department of Psychology
It is not essential to have a specific research project in mind, although many prospective PhD researchers do. You should at least have a definite idea of what area you wish to focus on. Most (but not all) postgraduate research in the Department takes place in the context of one of our Research Centres:
Or the research group:
The Department has internationally renowned experts in several research areas, and you are encouraged to use the staff pages to look for a possible supervisor with expertise in your area of interest. You should then contact the potential supervisor, and ask them if they would be prepared to supervise a research project.
Often the supervisor will have ideas they would like to pursue in the area. It is possible that they have funding or are applying for funding and that the applicant could be involved at this stage. It is also the responsibility of the the supervisor to ensure that the student has the qualifications necessary to undertake postgraduate research (normally a first or upper second class honours degree in Psychology or related discipline.
If you find a member of academic staff willing to act as your supervisor, you should then discuss your project with her or him in more detail, and when you have agreed a topic for your PhD project you can make your application. Applications are made through the University postgraduate applications page.
As well as your application form, you should send a research proposal outlining the programme of work to be undertaken. The application form will be considered by the Departmental Postgraduate Research Degrees Committee, normally chaired by the Department Postgraduate Tutor, Prof. Alan Costall, who may decide to interview the prospective student, either in the Department or by phone. At the interview the applicant will have the chance to learn about the research environment of the Department, and the members of the Committee can assess the applicant, and decide whether resources are available to supervise and support the proposed PhD project.
International students whose mother tongue is not English will need to meet an English Language Requirement of IELTS 6.5 average and 6.0 in Reading and Writing bands.