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The University of Southampton
PsychologyPostgraduate study

PhD by research

This PhD psychology doctorate is a pure research programme, normally completed within 3-4 years of full-time work, or up to 7 years of part-time study.

Introducing your degree

The PhD by research in Psychology gives you an opportunity to engage in world class research at the University of Southampton. Students will, with the help of a supervisory team, develop and conduct novel research in Psychology. We have a number of excellent laboratories across the different disciplines in Psychology; your work might make use of our fMRI or ERP facilities, VR labs, or our other cutting-edge research tools. Visit our facilities page to find out more.

Below, you’ll find key information regarding the course. Read through our typical entry requirements, and our opportunities for funding through School of Psychology studentships and the new South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership.

If you still have questions, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to answer any enquiries. Visit our contact us page for our telephone, email and address information.

Unlike our other doctoral-level programmes, this PhD psychology by research is not tied to a particular area of professional practice, but can lead to a broad range of careers in academia and industry.

You might be funded by a UK research council, an overseas government, or the University itself.

View the doctoral programme profile for this course

To Apply

Application for the PhD psychology doctorate is through the University of Southampton online system. You are strongly advised to explore both a potential area of study, and funding arrangements, before submitting your application.


Please visit the Fees & Funding section for the current fee charges for the PhD programme.

We offer two funding routes specific to the PhD programme; both options cover your tuition fees and offer you a stipend for living expenses.

  • School of Psychology Studentships - 4 years full time for MSc/PhD, 3 years full time PhD (if applicant has a MSc)

Applicants for our MSc/PhD funding scheme should have, or will be expected to obtain, a First or a good Upper Second class honours degree in Psychology (or a related discipline). Applicants for only PhD funding typically have, or will be expected to obtain, a merit at masters level in Psychology (or a related discipline). (Note that applicants who want to be considered for PhD funding and who only have an undergraduate degree would usually be expected to demonstrate additional and significant research experience.) Further details can be obtained from the Programme Director

The new South Coast DTP is a beacon of excellence, innovation and imagination in the training of the next generation of social scientists. Through an exciting new collaboration between the Universities of Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth, the South Coast DTP aims to deliver the latest developments in training in research methods and skills to produce highly qualified and rounded social scientists, equipped to meet contemporary economic and social challenges. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, the South Coast DTP awards 38 studentships per year to social scientists carrying out PhD studies, or Masters + PhD studies at its three partner institutions. Our first intake of funded students was for the 2017/18 Academic Year


Director of Doctoral Programme: Professor Tim Wildschut +44 (0)23 8059 2639


Key facts

This PhD psychology doctorate is a pure research programme, normally completed within 3-4 years of full-time work, or up to 7 years of part-time study.

Our PG community is a lively, engaging and friendly group, within which scholarship and intellectual discovery are encouraged.
We are comprised of 4 research centres: 

Related Staff Member

Typical entry requirements

For the PhD by research, we expect you to have successfully completed a Bachelor's degree (at least a 2.1 or international equivalent) in Psychology or related discipline. Having already completed a Master’s degree is considered desirable but not necessary.

Selection process

Applications for our PhD programme are made using the University’s online application form here.

Before applying for the PhD psychology doctorate you should identify your area of research interest and potential supervisor. You can find details of the specialist research areas in the School of Psychology here.

Additional supporting documentation to be submitted as part of the PhD psychology doctorate application process. These can be uploaded with the online application form. This will include the following:

    * Research proposal (two single-spaced pages - approximately 1000 words)
    * Curriculum Vitae
    * Degree certificate/s (& translated version if necessary)
    * Degree transcript/s (& translated version if necessary)
    * English Language Qualification (if applicable)
    * Two academic references

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.

Typical course content

The PhD by Research programme is an entirely research-oriented programme in which students conduct original research under the guidance of their supervisors.

Tuition fees

Fees for postgraduate research degrees vary across the University. All fees are listed for UK, EU and international full-time and part-time students alphabetically by course name.

List of tuition fees for this course and it's variations
Course TitleAwardYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
PsychologyPhD2020Full-timetbc by UKR&I March 2020£23,364
PsychologyPhD2020Part-timetbc by UKR&I March 2020£11,682
PsychologyPhD2022Full-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£24,600
PsychologyPhD2022Part-timetbc by RCUK Spring 2022£12,300
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries, sponsorships or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Study locations

Highfield Campus

Highfield Campus

Some of the Foundation Year subjects will be taught on the Highfield C...Find out more

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