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Psychology PhD

Most students complete this programme in 4 years full-time

Develop your specialist knowledge and conduct a significant piece of research in your chosen field of psychology.

Potential research fields in the Department of Psychology include; social, cognitive, health, clinical and environmental psychology, and cognitive/affective neuroscience.

Department of Psychology

Programme structure

Most students complete this programme in 4 years. You cannot take less than 2 years to finish your research and the maximum time you are allowed is normally 4 years.

You may start this programme at any time. Most students start in September.

Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Your academic progress and general welfare will be monitored by your supervisor.

Academic milestones

  1. Registration
  2. Induction
  3. Candidature
  4. Confirmation
  5. Research
  6. Writing up
  7. Give notice of intention to submit a thesis / portfolio
  8. Submission for examination
  9. Examination (Viva Voce)
  10. Examiners report
  11. Final submission of thesis / portfolio
  12. Graduation

Programme content


  • Doctoral skills online
  • Doctoral skills workshop
  • Research project
  • Supervisory team

Research content

You will be expected to undertake multiple studies – either involving the collection of new data, analysing secondary data or conducting a systematic review – during your PhD, and the intention is that some or all of the work should be of publishable quality. You will have at least two supervisors and would usually meet with your lead supervisor on a weekly or fortnightly basis (in the case of full-time students).

Professional Development

Professional development is a crucial element of doctoral study, not only in supporting your research but also as part of your longer term career development. Our DoctoralSkills workshops and courses will help you build your skills and help you succeed in your doctorate.

Read more about professional development support


Assessment methods

  • Thesis
  • Viva Voce

Assessment description

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.

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

A First or Upper Second Class Honours degree iin Psychology or its equivalent from a recognised University or College as well as Master’s degree or appropriate research training. We typically expect your master’s degree to be at or equivalent to distinction or merit level.

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

  • Published papers or other academic work of a high standard
  • Relevant professional qualifications
  • Extended and responsible experience in a relevant field

English Language requirements

You will normally need one of the following:

  • IELTS: 7.0 overall with no less than 6.5 in all components
  • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic): 69 with no less than 62 in any element
  • TOEFL IBT: 100 overall with a minimum 24 in all 4 components

You will need to get your English language qualification within 24 months prior to starting your course.

If you need to improve your English language skills before starting your studies, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course to reach the required level.


Two references are required. At least one of these should be an academic reference from the most recent place of study.

Fees and funding

Fees and funding information for Psychology PhD


Your tuition fees and how you pay them will depend on whether you are a Home or Overseas student.

Learn how we decide fee status

Tuition fees are liable to increase annually for all University of Bath students. If you aren't paying your fees in British pounds, you should also budget for possible fluctuations in your own currency.

Find out more about student fees

How to pay

Funding options

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.

Find funding for Doctoral research

Payment options

You can pay your tuition fees by Direct Debit, debit card, credit card or bank transfer.

Paying your tuition fees

Application information

Applicant profile

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.

See our guide about how to apply for doctoral study

Selection process

Applicants will typically be interviewed by the prospective supervisor and an independent member of staff, and would be expected to submit degree transcripts and arrange for academic or work references to be submitted along with a 1000 word research proposal. We strongly recommend that you contact your preferred supervisor ahead of writing the proposal to discuss the topic with them and ensure that they are willing and have capacity to take on PhD students.

Immigration requirements

If you are an international student, you can find out more about the visa requirements for studying in the UK.

For additional support please contact the Student Immigration Service for matters related to student visas and immigration.

Programme enquiries

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