Postgraduate Research Degrees in Psychology MPhil/PhD/MSc (Res)

Postgraduate Research Degrees in Psychology MPhil/PhD/MSc (Res)

School of Psychology


Post- graduate




Preston, Burnley and Cyprus

Contact UCLan

Course Enquiries
University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, UK.

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400

  • Duration:

    PhD: 3 years full time (6 years part-time), Masters by Research: 1 year full time (2 year part-time)

  • Level:


  • Mode:


  • Delivery:

    Mixed Mode, Full-time and Part-time

  • Campus:

    Preston, Burnley and Cyprus

  • Start Date:

    January, April and October. The usual entry points being either October or January. Deadlines for applications etc. are detailed in the Admissions Process information below.

  • Award Type:

    MPhil/PhD/MSc (Res)

Why study this programme?

Undertaking a programme of research that you design and conduct as the principal investigator enables you to pose questions, and obtain answers, to a range of questions that impact on the world around us, to improve the lives of many and ultimately to embark upon a journey that can lead to you being one of the leading experts in the world within your field.

Completing a postgraduate research degree is the first step for many to a career in research and enables you to not only undertake professional development through a range of training courses, including those through our online training platform, but to develop a network of researchers with whom you can collaborate.  Indeed the large research community at UCLan (one of the ten largest Universities in the UK) provides potential collaborative arrangements across fifteen other Schools to enable you to engage in a programme of multi-discipline research or to work within the vibrant research community in the School of Psychology to development a single discipline approach to your work.

The individually tailored programme of further study and guided reading alongside research training within the School equips you with the skills to develop and complete your programme of research.  This is supplemented by a centralised training programme from within the Graduate Research Office to ensure that you receive support and guidance that will greatly improve your chances of successful completion of the qualification.  This compliments your regular meetings with the Director of Studies and other members of the supervisory team alongside annual monitoring from our Research Degrees Tutors to ensure that progress is made throughout your period of study.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Entry Requirements

A good honours degree in Psychology (or a related discipline). Students with a Lower Second Class Honours degree are considered on their individual merit.

The School welcomes applications from students from a range of backgrounds and disciplines and will endeavour to direct applicants to the most appropriate route into higher research degrees.  Whilst applicants will usually hold a first degree that is recognised by the British Psychological Society (BPS) that bestows Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership (GBC) those from other disciplines but with work experience relevant to psychology and those holding degrees from overseas institutions are also encouraged to apply.

Applicants are encouraged to discuss their applications with the Research Degrees Tutors who will identify supervisors with whom an application can be prepared.  An application will consist of a 1,000 - 1,500 word proposal outlining the area of research, the potential findings and their application.  The proposal should include the methodology for the work and whilst a full proposal outlining the three year plan for research is not required, applicants are expected to identify the first study/phase of the work and the potential for expanding this into a full Doctorate level Research Programme.

Please read our guide to writing a research proposal.

Programme at a Glance

As research degrees there are no formal teaching sessions as part of the programme.  The School, however, has a range of online courses available for Postgraduate Researchers to undertake.

Each programme is determined on an individual basis to meet the needs of both the research programme and personal development.

Further Information

The School holds an annual Psychology Postgraduate Research Conference, which is usually spread across two or three days.  Participation by postgraduate researchers ensure a wider understanding of research and research in the School.  Researchers are also encouraged to enter the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition where the programme of studies is explained, in three minutes to both academics and lay audience members.  Generous travel budgets exist to facilitate visits to other institutions, training courses and conferences.

For potential areas of study please contact the Research Degrees Tutor for the School.  Whilst the research focus of the School is centred around the three research groups: Cognitive & Neuroscience, Forensic Psychology and the Quality of Life Group (Health & Clinical Psychology) the wide range of research interests in School means that a wider range of topic areas can be accommodated.


With a strong tradition in experimental research the School owns a wide range of equipment based around research labs associated with each research group.

Indeed the purpose built Darwin Building at Preston Campus is home to the School of Psychology, and contains over forty laboratories for the conducting of research:

The Cognitive Psychology Complex (CPC) comprises facilities for eye-tracking, decision making, reasoning, perception and attention research along with laboratories for research in a range of Forensic Psychology topics including the home of EvoFIT, UCLan’s innovative and award winning Composite construction system for eye-witness testimony research (Preston Campus only).

The Brain Imaging Laboratory (BiL) and the Developmental Cog’ Neuro’ (DCN) lab at Preston Campus both provide researchers with a range of techniques for the measurement and assessment of brain activity in both adults (BiL) and children (DCN).

Further developmental facilities exist in the Child Observation Suite (COS), our three room complex for the observation and categorised of behaviours (Preston Campus only).

With all staff in the School undertaking research the combination of large staff base with excellent facilities provides postgraduate researchers with the facilities and support to engage with a range of exciting research projects.

With over thirty postgraduate researchers there is a supportive and collegiate approach to research and staff can provide supervision across a wide range of research methods, both quantities and qualitative in nature: experimental studies, behavioural interventions; observational approaches, meta-analyses, systematic reviews, and many more.

How to Apply

Our Postgraduate section has more information around applying including visiting UCLan and the support available.

If you want to continue and apply now, you can apply for many of the postgraduate UCLan courses using our Online Application System.

For other postgraduate courses you can apply directly to UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) please also see our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB).

Please read our Postgraduate Application Guidance Notes (.pdf 158KB) prior to completing an application for any of our postgraduate research degree courses and then apply via our Online Application System or UCLan by downloading a Postgraduate Application Form (.pdf 190KB) depending on which course you apply for (as per the guidance).

Prospective candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss their application with the Research Degrees Tutors for the School of Psychology, Dr Jeannie Judge ( or Dr Emma Threadgold ( Informal discussions with potential supervisors are encouraged.  This will help to ensure that your application is ready for consideration and that the School is able to construct a supervisory team to support you through your research studies.


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.


Apply now or see further information about postgraduate study and research. International students should visit our international pages.

Contact Us

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400


Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £4,440
Part-time: £2,220

For details of the fees please see Graduate Research pages.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Learning Environment and Assessment

In the spring of 2019 the library dedicated additional space for postgraduate students, the Postgraduate Room in the Library (LIB242). This is a quiet study space with networked PC’s, a small meeting area and a large presentation screen. This area provides an additional resource for our postgraduates alongside the extensive laboratory facilities in the Darwin Building.


The School of Psychology (including Neuroscience) at UCLan has three broad research groups The Cognition and Neuroscience Research Group is led by Professors Linden Ball and Simon Liversedge; the renowned Forensic Research Group by Professors Jane Ireland and Professor Janice Abbott provides leadership to the Quality of Life Research Group.

The School maintains links to national and international collaborators, including NHS Trusts, the Prison Service, Police Forces, Local Education Authorities, Educators in Schools and Colleges and various charitable organisations the School provides a rich and vibrant environment in which to conduct research.

Further information on these groups can be found on our Research Theme page.