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.


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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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 Partnership

This programme is recognised as being part of the following ESRC-funded South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) 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 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 (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 online.

Financial information


Potential sources of funding

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 385949


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.