PhD Environment Energy & Resilience

Qualifications and durations

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme comprises a significant piece of research which will enable you to contribute to the academic community through a large 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).


This interdisciplinary pathway generally explores the interface between security, energy and the environment through engaging the latest critical thinking on risk management, critical infrastructure, public regulation, policy studies and the environmental sciences.

This pathway considers the impacts of living with environmental change and the diverse responses needed to foster behaviours, practices and policies which promote sustainability and resilience.

Recent collaborations between the Department of Psychology at the University of Bath and the Geography Department at Exeter University include the study of ecological citizenship and volunteering and public reactions to alternative energy generating sources (e.g. wind farms and tides). Other potential collaborations drawing on the strengths of the Department of Psychology include empirical studies of interventions to reduce energy consumption in the home, transport psychology, green investing and the evaluation of personal carbon trading schemes, risk perception and management challenges of environmental change around tree health and animal disease.

This is an interdisciplinary programme and whilst you will be based in the Department of Psychology, depending on the emphasis of your research, you can also draw on expertise from other departments including:

South West Doctoral Training Centre

This programme is also delivered collaboratively with the University of Bristol and the University of Exeter, as part of the South West Doctoral Training Centre (SWDTC). You will have a second supervisor based at the University of Bristol or Exeter, enabling you to also draw on those institution's resources and expertise.

Research proposal

Your proposal should address a problem or question with strong links to the themes of this interdisciplinary pathway. Wherever possible you should try and match your research interests with those of a potential lead supervisor.

Potential supervisors with relevant research interests to this theme:

The proposal itself should include;

  • a brief review of relevant background literature (to contextualise the issue)
  • a core research question or theme
  • an outline of the possible methods that could be used to address this question.

Interdisciplinary approaches are very much welcome, which seek to approach a common question by drawing on methods and approaches from different disciplinary perspectives.

View further guidance on developing your research proposal.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

  • A good first degree in a social science subject, or
  • an equivalent degree in another subject, together with substantial relevant work experience.

Underlying these conditions is a belief that students must bring a minimum combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience to the programme. Marginal cases are often dealt with at interview, and it is not uncommon for relatively inexperienced students to be asked to defer entry.

English requirements

  • IELTS 7.0 (with no less than 6.5 in each of the four components)
  • PTE Academic of 69 with no less than 62 in any component

Financial information


You will find details of available University postgraduate research funding opportunities by checking the Graduate School funding pages. We also welcome applications from candidates who are able to self-fund or who have funding from elsewhere.

Unique funding opportunities

  • This is an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme, suitable for ESRC-funded 1+3 awards or subsequent +3 applications.

ESRC-funded students are able to claim (during their studies) for three additional allowances:

  • Overseas Fieldwork Allowance
  • Difficult Language Training
  • Overseas Institutional Visits

For more information on these allowances please see the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide. Please note that if you anticipate such activities you should outline the details in your application.

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

How to apply

Applications must be made through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School.

Two references are required for this programme (at least one of these should be an academic reference).


Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 5233

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.