Psychology postgraduate research degrees
If you want to further your psychology knowledge through your own research, start your journey at Portsmouth.
Our Department of Psychology is home to internationally-renowned experts in psychology and exceptional facilities for practical and theoretical research – 100% of our research impact in the area of psychology, psychiatry and neurosciences was rated as outstanding or very considerable in terms of reach and significance in the Research Excellence Framework 2014.
Our fundamental and applied research reflects the broad scope of psychological study, exploring topics including child development of social skills, eye witness testimony, the evolution of primate facial expressions and factors affecting drug use.
Our researchers are addressing important issues in society, whether helping law enforcement agencies prosecute, developing methods to improve wellbeing and quality of life, supporting animal conservation and welfare initiatives, or unpacking the basics of psychological functioning – and as a postgraduate researcher, you'll play your part in transforming our expertise into action.
Find out about our PhD, MPhil, Professional Doctorate and PhD by Publication opportunities in Psychology below, including how to apply, entry requirements and funding your degree. For more detailed information about the application process, visit our How to Apply pages.
Psychology PhDs and MPhils
Explore our pre-approved funded and self-funded PhD projects in Psychology, or submit your own research idea.
PhD and MPhil projects
If you're a working professional interested in pursuing work-based research in the field of Psychology, find out more about our Professional Doctorate in Forensic Psychology (DForenPsy).
PhD by Publication
A PhD by publication is a postgraduate research degree based on research you've already undertaken and had published (excluding self-publishing) before registering with us.
Eligible research outputs include peer-reviewed academic papers, complete books or chapters in anthologies, and other materials accepted for publication, exhibited or performed. You'll have to submit these materials for examination between 6-12 months after registering with us.
For more information, please visit our PhD by Publication page.
Duration, fees and funding
How long will my research degree take?
- MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
- PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
- PhD by Publication: 1 year part-time
How much will my research degree cost?
PhD and MPhil
- Home/EU full-time students: £4,327 p/a
- Home/EU part-time students: £2,164 p/a
- International full-time students: £16,400 p/a
- International part-time students: £8,200 p/a
PhD by Publication
- External candidates: £4,327 p/a
- Members of University of Portsmouth staff: £1,550 p/a
*All fees are subject to annual increase
MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan.
For information on other sources of funding, visit our funding your postgraduate research degree page.
The entry requirements for a PhD, MPhil or Professional Doctorate include a good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject, or a master’s degree in an appropriate subject. Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications may be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.
If English is not your first language, you'll need English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.
Support and facilities
When you join us, you'll be supported by our Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team, who'll help you get the most from our facilities. The Graduate School will help you become part of our thriving, collaborative research community, and help grow your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.
You can use our specialised laboratories for conducting research, including spaces in which to study human movement, eye movement, psychophysiology, visual and auditory perception, primate behaviour, infant development, and autism. You can also access our virtual reality labs, mock police interview suite, digital analysis and video editing suite, photo booth and applied cognition lab.
By using our research facilities as a postgraduate research student, you'll experience many techniques used in contemporary psychological research and practice.
What can a postgraduate research degree do for my career?
Once you complete your postgraduate research degree, you'll be a highly-skilled researcher with the knowledge and skills to make an impact in many different industries.
Your postgraduate research qualification demonstrates to potential employers that you're an intelligent, capable and motivated person, with provable abilities and experience in critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.
Explore the work we're doing across the 4 areas of expertise within our Psychology research.
In the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology, we're exploring evolutionary processes and the comparison of humans with other animals, in order to study the origins of behaviour.
We're translating ideas in psychology into practical solutions to develop tools to improve lifestyles and wellbeing.