Health Psychology PhD

Moving here from the other side of the world was one of the best life decisions I have ever made.

Y. Gavriel Ansara PhD Psychology

Why choose this course?

Our stimulating research environment includes laboratories for experimental, psychophysiological, perceptual and observational research (on-site EEG, TMS, tDCS, Baby Lab, driving simulator and dedicated access to external fMRI scanner), extensive technical equipment, laboratories for observing individual and group behaviour and a large library of psychometric and clinical tests.

We have research links with schools, hospitals (with access to patients through local GPs), businesses and many of the University’s multidisciplinary research centres.

The PhD in health psychology qualifies students to practice as a health psychologist and be registered with the HCPC. It consists of both a research PhD and Stage 2 training. Research is grouped around three themes (brain and behaviour, enhancing thinking, and health and wellbeing), all of which engage our psychologists’ expertise in developmental, social and applied psychology.

Our strong track record in research-based professional training is evident in the strength of our policy-related research in areas such as health, sustainability, forensics and the workplace.

What you will study

The School of Psychology offers supervision of research leading to a PhD degree in multiple areas of psychology. Graduates from our programme are trained in the most advanced and innovative research methods and prepared to compete effectively in the job market.

The programme provides a solid grounding in research methods and the skills of communicating research findings to academic and other audiences through academic publication and other routes.


Funding for PhDs comes from the School of Psychology.

School Funding Opportunities

For the year 2016-2017 there may be some funding available from the school. This will be advertised in May 2016.

Professional recognition

The PhD in Health Psychology confers eligibility to apply for Chartered Membership of the British Psychological Society (BPS) and Full Membership of the Division of Health Psychology. Successful completion of both the PhD thesis and Portfolio of Competence also confers eligibility to apply to the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a Health Psychologist.

This programme has been approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (visit due June 2015), the statutory regulator for practitioner psychologists in the UK. It is a legal requirement that anyone who wishes to practise using a title protected by the Health Professions Order 2001 (e.g., Health Psychologist) is on the HCPC register. For more information please see the HCPC website.

This programme is also accredited by the British Psychological Society. The Society is the professional body responsible for developing and supporting the discipline of psychology and disseminating psychological knowledge to the public and policy makers. It is the key professional body for psychology and psychologists, with numerous benefits of membership.

Successful completion of the programme confers eligibility to apply for Chartered Membership of the Society and full membership of the Division of Health Psychology. Please see the British Psychological Society website for more information. 

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months October, April
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, April

Entry Requirements

Upper second-class honours degree (65 per cent or above) in psychology (or a related discipline). Students must also:

i) Be a Graduate Member of the BPS or hold the Graduate Basis for Chartership (GBC)

ii) Hold the BPS Stage 1 Qualification in Health Psychology (e.g. MSc Health Psychology)

Applicants to the programme should be aware of the following conditions of, and considerations for, entry to the programme

Academic ability

Some of the Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) that are required for Health Psychologists will have been acquired through your previous experience and learning. In particular, an understanding of the theories, evidence, and methods underpinning health psychology practice will have been demonstrated during the completion of the Stage 1 (accredited MSc in Health Psychology) qualification. In order to demonstrate that you have achieved these SOPs prior to enrolling on the programme, you are required to supply the course director with a copy of the curriculum from the MSc in Health Psychology you completed and a transcript of your marks for this period of study.

Criminal Convictions

If you are offered a place on the programme, it is a requirement that you will need to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check (enhanced level) prior to enrolment on the programme.  Having a criminal record does not necessarily disqualify an applicant from enrolling on the programme, but will need to be discussed with the course director.

Health Conditions

If you have a health condition that could influence your progress through the programme, you are strongly encouraged to discuss this with the course director. Having a health condition does not preclude you from registering on the programme and will only be considered from the perspective of whether this condition influences fitness to practice as a trainee in health psychology. In addition, the course director will be able to discuss with you the kind of support that can be offered to facilitate your progress through the programme.

Programme progression

PhD status will be confirmed following a satisfactory probationary period. In their first year or part-time equivalent, all students are expected to pass taught courses and attend seminars relating to research methods, teaching and training, conducting consultancies, behaviour change interventions and ethics and professional skills.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English are required to have IELTS 6.5 or above.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4950 £20,000
Part-time £2475 £10,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

Find out more

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

Our academic staff