Why choose this course
The School of Psychology is home to over 50 staff researching across the broad spectrum of psychology. We run a thriving mix of courses and have recently hosted over 40 research grants totalling over £4 million from the Economic and Social Research Council, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Medical Research Council, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and from EU and UK government departments, among others.
We’re recognised for our original contributions to psychological science, our rigorous use of methodology, and our research’s significance for government policy and everyday life. Research within the School of Psychology addresses the main theme of ‘research across an individual’s life’, and covers a range of areas including cognition, neuroscience, child development, health, the impact of the environment, decision making, food and consumer behaviour and social psychology. Our strong track record in research-based professional training is shown in the strength of our policy-related research in areas such as health, sustainability, forensics and the workplace.
We can supervise research leading to a PhD in many areas of psychology. You’ll be trained in the most advanced and innovative research methods, and prepared to compete in the job market. We’ll give you a solid grounding in research methods, and the skills to communicate your findings.
What you will study
You’ll be assigned two supervisors, who you’ll meet with at least once a month. Your supervisors will guide you through your PhD. They’ll help you discuss your research ideas, develop a research plan, consider your theory and methods and discuss how to analyse your work. Your supervisors will also be able to read and comment on drafts of your work.
In your first year, you’ll complete four compulsory training courses covering quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, professional academic skills, and teaching and training. The teaching and training course is specifically run for PhD students, and is a good opportunity to get to know your new PhD community. We also run a postgraduate research conference every year, where you’ll be able to present your work and learn about the work of your fellow students.
Your first year will be spent familiarising yourself with the relevant literature, develop a research plan, develop your methodological and analytic skills and complete your first study. You’ll then need to pass a confirmation review between 12 and 15 months into your programme to assess your progress.
Most of your studies will involve data collection, data analysis, completing a detailed literature review and then writing up your thesis for your PhD. Where your studies take place depends entirely on what your thesis is about: some of our students spend most of their time in hospitals or schools collecting data, others use laboratories on campus while others carry out research online.
|Qualification||Study mode||Course length||Start date|
|PHD||Full-time||48 months||October 2018|
|PHD||Full-time||48 months||April 2018|
|PHD||Part-time||96 months||April 2018|
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. 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).
- Cognitive neuroscience
- Cognition and creativity
- Social and personality psychology
- Developmental psychology
- Health psychology
- Occupational psychology
- Environmental psychology
Our academic staff
See a full list of all our academic staff within the School of Psychology.
Our stimulating research environment includes laboratories for experimental, psychophysiological, perceptual and observational research (on-site EEG, TMS, tDCS, Baby Lab, eye tracker, 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 also have research links with schools, hospitals (with access to patients through local GPs), businesses and many of the University’s multidisciplinary research centres.
Applicants are expected to hold a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (65 per cent or above) in psychology (or a related discipline) or a Masters degree in a relevant subject with a pass of 65 per cent or above.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6 in each individual category.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here. The University of Surrey is also an IELTS test centre.
Selection is based on applicants meeting the expected entry requirements, assessment of application, successful interview and suitable references where required.
PhD status will be confirmed following a satisfactory probationary period.
|Study mode||Start date||UK/EU fees||Oversees fees|
For fees payable in 2018/19, these will increase by 4 per cent, rounded up to the nearest £100 for subsequent years of study. Any start date other than October will attract a pro-rata fee for that year of entry (75 per cent for January, 50 per cent for April and 25 per cent for July).
Overseas students applying for 2018 entry should note that annual fees will rise by 4% rounded up to the nearest £100.