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Prospective Research Students

The School of Psychology has a long term reputation as a stimulating environment for Doctoral Research students studying for PhD. Our school provides a supportive environment in which to study for Doctorates by Research with high level expert supervision. We are fully committed to supporting our students throughout their careers and support the UK concordat for the career development of researchers. Our PGR students have access to a wealth of research training support to supplement their skills.

Applications for PhD

We welcome enquiries from high quality students wishing to start a career in research. We have a wealth of strong research supervisors working in a number of internationally recognised research clusters. From time to time we will advertise fully funded studentships on Prospective MPhil/PhD students should make informal email enquiries to Professor Mark McDermott (  Before you contact us, please look carefully through the list of UEL School of Psychology academic staff expertise (and associated staff webpages) as shown below to find potential supervisors. Please note that we cannot offer to supervise MPhil/PhD topics for which we do not have appropriate expertise. So it is important that you identify a potential supervisor who has expertise in the area you wish to research and establish with him or her before applying that you have their support in principle. 

Psychology Academic Staff Expertise List

 In an initial email enquiry please provide a brief outline of:-

  1. What your proposed project is about.
  2. How you envisage the MPhil or PhD will be funded
  3. With whom you wish to work and whether or not you have made contact with them.

In order to apply to undertake an MPhil or PhD (by research), if you are a European Union (EU) citizen, you would need to apply to the University’s Post-Graduate Admissions Team, sending your application to The application is made on a downloadable form, Application for Admission to a Postgraduate Research Degree. Please see here: 

If you are an Overseas student (i.e. non-EU) it is advisable to contact first: and thereafter to also apply using the same application form, submitting it to

Please note that the application form, Application for Admission to a Postgraduate Research Degree, requires you to write a 1000 word research proposal, in which you articulate in summary the programme of related research studies you wish to undertake and report on in your MPhil or PhD thesis. The form also requires you to nominate your intended supervisory team, which at minimum must be two academic members of staff: one who is your Director of Studies (1st supervisor), and one who you would like to be your 2nd supervisor. These two staff members collectively must have supervised at least two PhDs to successful completion previously. What this means is that before you apply, it is advisable for you to have entered into a conversation with your intended Director of Studies to find out if they would be willing to supervise you, given what you intend to research. That discussion might lead to an adjustment of what you write in your research proposal on the application form to ensure a better fit between your research interests and those of your intended supervisor(s).

Once an application has been lodged with the Postgraduate Admissions Team or International Office and checked, it will be sent through to the School’s PhD Programme Leader (currently, Professor Mark McDermott). A decision will then be made by him whether to invite you for interview. The interview panel would be composed of the PhD Programme Leader and the nominated Director of Studies. This interview can be conducted using Skype if travelling to the campus from abroad is not possible. The offering (or not) of a place would then depend primarily on the outcome of this interview. There are two points in the year when we can enrol MPhil & PhD research students: in September and in January. So it is important that your applications are submitted at least six weeks before the beginning of these months.  

Note that we also offer high-quality Professional Doctorates in:

PhD Funding

The School of Psychology periodically offers studentships for MPhil/PhD candidates. These studentships are advertised on in good time to make an application. However, most candidates will have to apply for funding from other sources. It is worth noting that funding for a PhD can be achieved in a piecemeal fashion, with contributions from more than one organization. Charities may not, for instance, be able to give an entire scholarship, but a contribution. Although we may not have any funded places available, we are happy to hear from quality students who may wish to apply for funding with our support or who may already have their own source of funding. If on looking through the potetnial funding sources below you see a call you are interested in applying for then contact us with an outline.

UK research councils and societies offering studentships

European funding sources

Health and medical research funders

Research trusts

Other useful sources of information on postgraduate funding including charities.

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