Psychology MPhil and PhD

Qualifications and durations

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) programme will enable you to conduct supervised research into your chosen topic and produce a written thesis (typically up to 70,000 words). You can complete the MPhil in 1 to 3 years (full-time) or up to 4 years (part-time).

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a more significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a larger written thesis (typically up to 90,000 words). You can complete your PhD in 2 to 4 years (full-time) or up to 6 years (part-time).

During your enrolment on the MPhil and PhD programmes you must either be resident in the UK or be available in person for face-to-face supervision at least twice in semester 1 and three times in semester 2 (i.e. make a minimum of 5 visits per year and preferably more). Failure to keep to this condition may result in your registration being discontinued.


Current staff and students discuss their work within our growing Psychology department, and why they chose to study a PhD in Psychology at the University of Bath.

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Students will carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen field. Potential research fields in the Department of Psychology include social, cognitive, health, clinical and environmental psychology and cognitive/affective neuroscience.

Students registered for a PhD will need to pass an assessment process at the end of their first year of study, which normally involves submission of written work and a presentation and discussion with examiners. PhD studies will conclude with submission of a thesis and an oral examination, the final viva voce.

South West Doctoral Training Partnership

This programme is recognised as being part of the following ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) pathways, through which applicants can apply for funding to support their studies:

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • Undergraduate qualifications - a First (1st) or Upper Second Class Honours degree (2:1) in Psychology or its equivalent from a recognised University or College is usually required. A good Lower Second Class Honours degree (2:2) may be considered if the applicant has relevant work experience (certificates and transcripts must be scanned and uploaded via the online application system).
  • Postgraduate qualifications - a master’s degree or appropriate research training may be required. We typically expect your master’s degree to be at or equivalent to distinction or merit level, although wider suitability for PhD studies is also taken into account.

We will also consider applications on a case-by-case basis where candidates have an appropriate combination of the following:

  1. A relevant diploma passed out at a high level (e.g. a Higher National Diploma)
  2. Published papers or other academic work of a high standard
  3. Relevant professional qualifications
  4. Extended and responsible experience in a relevant field

Research requirements

Entry to the MPhil or PhD programme is subject to an appropriate supervisor being available with relevant expert knowledge. Students are normally expected to identify and contact a potential supervisor prior to submitting an application.

Applicants are typically required to develop a research proposal of not more than 1,000 words (excluding references), unless they are applying for a pre-defined project. For more details of each of these routes, view guidance on how to apply.

English Language requirements

Certificates must be dated to within two years of the start of the programme of study.

  • IELTS 7 (with no less than 6.5 in each component)
  • PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component

If you wish to improve your English proficiency before commencing your studies, pre-sessional language training can be arranged through the Academic Skills Centre.

How to apply

You can apply to study online.

Financial information


Funding opportunities

The Department is eligible for ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, GW4, AHRC and University Research Studentships (URSAs). Prospective research students wishing to apply for funding will need to submit their application by key deadlines. See further information on University of Bath funding schemes.

To find out more about potential funding sources see our guide to searching for postgraduate funding.


Tel: +44 (0)1225 385949

View further information and advice for overseas students (including international students' impressions of life at the University of Bath)