School of Psychology

PhD Psychology

Study for a PhD degree with the School of Psychology and join a supportive community of researchers who make Plymouth a centre of excellence in psychological research

You work on an advanced research project with a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies. You are expected to fully engage with your personal skills development and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts.

Course details
  • Programme overview

  • This full time or part time doctoral programme is suitable for people who have a particular research question or topic in mind, and wish to explore this through independent study in order to produce an original contribution to the subject. If you aspire to a research career this is the most appropriate research degree to undertake. You will be guided by a small supervisory team of academic experts under the direction of a Director of Studies and will be expected to fully engage with skills development and training and to present your research in a range of scholarly contexts.

    Your PhD will be assessed via submission of either a written thesis (up to 80,000 words) and a viva voce (an oral examination).

    For full details of what doing a PhD entails at the University of Plymouth, please visit our postgraduate research degrees pages.

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.
Entry requirements

All applicants must meet the entry criteria for a Faculty of Health research degree which are:

  • you'll usually need a 2:1 degree from a UK University or equivalent and an academic IELTS score of 6.5 (with no less than 6 in each component test area) or equivalent if you are a non-UK applicant
  • two satisfactory academic references
  • evidence of funding for the duration of your course.

For more general guidelines and application requirements, please visit the research degrees applicants page.

Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. For more information about fees and funding please visit www.plymouth.ac.uk/money.

Please visit tuition fees for postgraduate research for information about fees. MPhil/PhD Psychology is in Band 2 for fees purposes.

You are responsible for meeting all of the costs related to your own research project, beyond the resources available in the department.

Please visit our postgraduate research money matters page to find out more about issues related to fees, funding, loans and paying for your programme of study.

How to apply

The first step in the application process is for you to tell us about your area of interest so that we can help you identify potential main supervisor(s). You can identify potential research areas of interest by browsing the Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research, the research strands in the School of Psychology and individual staff pages. Once we have identified a potential supervisor, your application can be sent to them for consideration.

After a potential supervisor has been identified, in order to formally apply, please complete the online application form and ensure you upload the following documents:

  • a brief research proposal and personal statement
  • an up to date CV which includes dates with all gaps accounted for and the location of your activities
  • two academic references
  • a copy of your highest qualification certificate and final transcript of grades
  • information on how you meet our English language requirement, which is 7.0 academic IELTS overall score with at least 6.5 in each component test area
If a non-UK national:

  • a copy of the information page of your passport
  • copies of any UK visas you previously held
  • information on how you intend to pay your fees.
Please note our application deadlines. Overseas applicants must submit their application 4.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. For Home/EU applicants the deadline is 2.5 months prior to the proposed programme start date. There are three possible start dates per year, 1 October, 1 January and 1 April.

Submitting your application

Complete your application and upload supporting documents to the Doctoral College by completing our online application form.

Questions on the application process?

We're here to help. Please contact the Doctoral College team and we'll be happy to assist you.

You can view or download our postgraduate research admissions policy.

If you have a disability and would like further information on the support available, please visit our Disability Services website.

International Student Advice (ISA) provides support for our international students.

Find more information about how to apply for a research degree.

Research in the School of Psychology

83% of our research is world leading or internationally excellent (REF 2014)

From animal behaviour to neuroscience, embracing applied and experimental psychology

Discover more about our research