Postgraduate research

The School of Psychology is a major contributor to postgraduate training in the UK. In terms of the number of students at postgraduate level, it is now the largest school in the country.

Research opportunities

Practitioner Doctorates (PsychD)

The Practitioner Doctorates in Clinical Psychology and in Psychotherapeutic and Counselling Psychology provide both a taught course education in substantive areas of clinical and counselling psychology, a thorough research training and an opportunity to undertake several research studies and a practical training in clinical skills through specialist clinical placements.

Psychology PhD

PhD Studentships

Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology

The University of Surrey has developed a new route to the Stage 2 Qualification in Health Psychology. This involves candidates undertaking a programme of study leading to the PhD in Health Psychology with Stage 2.

Research training

All PhD research students follow an intensive research training programme in their first year of study (or in their first two years of study in the case of part-time students). This programme aims to provide students with:

  • a broad generic training in research methods and data analysis;
  • a more specialised training in the specific methods and techniques which are directly relevant to the student's own research needs; and
  • an intensive training in various professional skills which are relevant to the role of researcher.

The aim is to produce researchers who, on completion of their PhD, possess a broad and flexible methodological and professional expertise, not just a narrow expertise which is focused exclusively upon their own research area. In order to achieve these goals, all students take the following four compulsory courses: quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, teaching and training and professional skills.  They can also take a number of additional optional modules from any of the offered Masters courses if they support and contribute to the knowledge they require for their PhD.  

Supervision arrangements

Supervision of research students is provided along traditional British lines, where the main responsibility for supervision is assigned to an individual member of the academic staff who has particular expertise in the student's chosen area of research. More than one supervisor may be appointed in cases where the research topic straddles the boundary between research domains. The school has adopted a Code of Practice concerning the supervisory relationship, which provides an explicit statement of school policy regarding the responsibilities and duties of both the supervisor and the student within the relationship.

Monitoring arrangements

It is school policy to achieve submission of PhD theses within three years of full-time registration (or the part-time equivalent). Effective monitoring of student progress is therefore carried out towards this end. Monitoring procedures include 6 monthly and annual progress reports, a probationary review after one year (or part time equivalent) and consideration of student progress at the board of studies which are held twice a year.

Research facilities

The school has excellent research facilities for use by research students. These include laboratories for psychophysiological, perceptual, cognitive, developmental and social psychological research; an extensive library of psychometric and clinical tests; excellent observational and audio-visual facilities; a wide range of powerful computing facilities and strong links with local health care providers.

Annual research conference

Each year research students present their work in a dedicated conference around Easter.

Sources of Funding for Research Students at Surrey

The School of Psychology can award funding for PhDs through school research bursaries which include an expectation of a teaching responsibility for the school.  Students may also apply for funding from a range of other sources depending on the focus on their dissertation including charities, research councils or the department of health.  Examples of current sources of funding include Help for Heroes, The Whiteley Clinic, CRY, the National Trust and Broadmoor Hospital.   In addition, students coming from overseas may also receive funding through their own government or educational institutions.


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