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).

The Department of Psychology also offers the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology programme.

Part-time enrolment for the MPhil and PhD programmes is possible but 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.


Staff and students discuss the PhD experience.

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The MPhil and PhD programmes in Psychology covers four broad research areas:applied cognition and technology; health psychology; social processes; and Clinical Psychology/Psychopathology. Students are expected to carry out supervised research at the leading edge of their chosen subject in just one of these areas (some students combine two areas) - for further details see the section "Our Research". The research must be written up as a substantial thesis. The transfer from MPhil to PhD is subject to students passing an assessment process, which normally involves submission of written work and a transfer seminar. The final stage of the PhD degree is the oral, or viva voce, examination in which students are required to defend their thesis to a Board of Examiners.

South West Doctoral Training Centre

This programme is recognised as being part of the following ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC) pathways:

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, 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 Masters degree or appropriate research training is normally required, applicants may be asked in their first year to complete some or all units of our MRes or MSc Health Psychology (subject to approval from the appropriate Director of Studies)(certificates and transcripts must be scanned and uploaded via the online application system);

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 (eg 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 proposal

Applicants must write their own research proposal which must include details of at least 2 supervisors who you think may be interested in considering your application. You should describe how your research interests match theirs and refer to at least 1 published article of theirs that you have read. Please mention whether or not you have already been in contact with them. Also state how your undergraduate qualifications, postgraduate qualifications and work experience have prepared you for the research you wish to carry out and why you are seeking a place at Bath. Your proposal should not be more than 4 pages in length and must include a brief description of your proposed objectives, methods of investigation, the historical background to the project; and how it will contribute to the field (who will benefit from this research; how will they benefit; what will be done to ensure that they have the opportunity to benefit).

View guidance on how to develop your research proposal.

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.


  • Two references are required. At least one of these must be an academic reference.

How to apply

You can must apply to study through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding

You can find our more about funding opportunities by viewing our webinar.

Unique funding opportunities

The Department is eligible for ESRC, EPSRC, MRC, AHRC and University Research Studentships however prospective research students must submit an application for a place and obtain an offer before they can be considered for most funding opportunities hence the early deadline for those seeking funding.


Tel +44 (0) 1225 38 5233

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

Main areas of research

For further details about individual staff research interests check out their profiles at Search for psychology in the ‘south west’ region.



The rapidly expanding Department of Psychology has a distinctive research profile and a long-standing record of cutting-edge, theoretically-informed research in applied aspects of psychology. It has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary work and collaborates with other departments in the University of Bath, local and national institutions, and international networks.

Facilities and equipment

The Department of Psychology is part of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.  We currently have 300 undergraduates and 90 postgraduates in our department who benefit from:

  • an enthusiastic and approachable staff team with 21 academics, 9 administrative or technical support staff and 2 research officers;
  • a lively research environment; and
  • outstanding computing facilities;
  • regular seminar programmes establish a sense of community.

The Department of Psychology (the main foyer, Department Office and Reception Hatch) is based in building 2 South where most lecturers and support staff have offices. Student pigeonholes, assignment submission boxes and noticeboards are also in this building. Some staff and our postgraduate research students are located in 6 West (mainly level 0), 5 South (not open to visitors) and 1 West 3.12 (for MPhil/PhD queries).

International and industrial links

The Cognition, Affective Science and Technology Laboratories (CASTL) group has collaborative links with human computer interaction groups within the UK (e.g. London Knowledge Lab and The Mixed Reality Lab at Nottingham) with education groups in America (at Harvard) and with industrial partners on collaborative research projects including Sciencescope (an educational sensor design company), Vodafone and BT.

The Social and Cultural Psychology group is allied with the Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment and the National Children's Bureau. All groups are supported by research grants from research councils such as the ESRC and EPSRC.

The Health Psychology group benefits from both a theoretical, methodological and applied focus and has strong interdisciplinary research links with the Department of Pharmacy (research on psychoneuroimmunology and stress, pain and pain management, well-being and quality of life) and the Department of Social & Policy Sciences (work on coping responses and substance abuse). They are supported by links with: the Royal United Hospital (RUH); Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (RNHRD); Transition to School Research Project-funded by the Economic and Social Reseach Council (ESRC); the WHO Field Centre for the Study of Quality of Life (WHO-QOL) (based within the department); Wellbeing in Developing Countries Research group; Centre of Death and Society; Department for Health (incorporating the Mental Health Research & Development Unit (MHRDU), the Centre for Pain Reseach (CPR) and the Division of Sport & Exercise Science).

Careers Information

For free information about careers and postgraduate training in psychology contact:

The British Psychological Society,
48 Princess Road East, Leicester LE1 7DR

You are strongly advised to become acquainted with the different career options in Psychology, so that you can make an informed choice about which degree programme, in which University, will best suit your interests.

Visiting the Department

The University of Bath campus is open to the public. Visitors are welcome in the Department of Psychology during the normal working week (Monday – Friday excluding Bank Holidays). Reception hours are 10 – 12 or 1.30 – 3.30 (the building is not accessible outside these hours).

If you are seeking specific information about one of our postgraduate research programmes you should e-mail the PGR Admissions Team at or telephone them on +44 (0)1225 38 6753.

The date of the next University Open Day is to be confirmed see : for further details or contact the Admissions Office on +44 (0) 1225 383019. Information on the full range of undergraduate and postgraduate Psychology programmes on offer at the University of Bath will be available at these events.