MPhil/PhD Psychology

Duration MPhil: Full time 2-3 years; Part time 4-5 years
PhD: Full time 3-4 years; Part time 6-7 years
Distance Learning available
Discipline
  • Psychology
LocationExeter (Streatham)
Start date September, January or April See note

Overview

Successfully completing an MPhil or PhD entails undertaking an in-depth study of a particular topic and making an original contribution to knowledge in the field. Our MPhil/PhD students are actively involved in work at the cutting edge of research activities within Psychology at the University of Exeter. Ranked in the top 100 in the world for Psychology^ and with state-of-the-art facilities, a steadily growing postgraduate community and a substantial increase in external research funding, we offer an ideal environment in which to undertake an MPhil/PhD.

Acceptance of an application for the MPhil/PhD programme is contingent on the availability of appropriate supervision. Hence potential applicants are strongly advised to contact one or more potential supervisors prior to applying, and to develop preliminary ideas on a research topic with them. Research in the School is organised into four research groups:

For further details of specific staff interests please see our staff profiles.

^ QS World University Rankings 2014

The quality of study at Exeter is very good, especially for psychology students looking to commence further study in a social psychology area. The faculty and staff are brilliant in every way.

Psychology postgraduate research student.

Programme structure

The normal study mode is full-time, however home/EU students may be able to study part-time. Visa regulations normally prevent international students from following this option, although it may be possible to undertake your research at a distance via split site study. This involves spending the majority of your time in your home country, although you will normally be expected to attend the University for limited periods and you will need to prove you have access to appropriate academic facilities locally such as libraries, labs, computers and desk space. Split site students are normally employed by, or registered with, a local institution, but receive support and supervision from staff at the University of Exeter.

Duration of study

Up to 4 years full-time, including submission and completion; up to 7 years part-time, including submission and completion

MPhil

The MPhil takes two to three years full-time to complete. Embarking on an MPhil and then progressing to a PhD does not increase the overall study period – provided upgrade to PhD study is approved, the expectation is that the thesis will be submitted by the end of the third year of study.

PhD

The normal duration for full-time PhD study is three years. This involves completion of any additional training specific to your programme of study, undertaking research and thesis write-up. After submission of the thesis, some work may be carried into the fourth year in preparation for viva examination and completion of any amendments to the thesis following viva.

Research training

Doctoral students, full-time and part-time, who have not completed a Psychology-based MSc at Exeter, may be required to undertake some additional training to support their programme of study.  This may involve completion of particular MSc modules; you may be exempt from parts of the programme if there is clear evidence that you have covered the same ground in assessed programmes elsewhere. The training provides the necessary skills to carry out doctoral research and is a great opportunity to meet others like yourself who are beginning PhD research. Any such training will be negotiated with supervisors and the Director of Postgraduate Research at the commencement of your training. In addition, you are encouraged to attend our research seminar programme through which you will have the chance to hear external speakers who are leading experts in their field.

All students are encouraged to participate in the University's Researcher Development Programme. This offers training in a wide range of generic and transferable skills in key areas such as research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking, teamworking, and career management.

Careers

There are numerous career pathways available to students who have successfully completed a PhD in Psychology. Many choose to follow an academic career, taking up employment as a postdoctoral researcher or as lecturer. Others, particularly those who have undertaken clinical research, choose to pursue training as a clinical psychologist. Some of our graduates have also chosen a career in the business sector, either in established organisations or through developing their own business.

Which of these pathways people choose depends on the interests, knowledge and set of skills that people acquire through postgraduate study, but all contribute to your personal development and prepare you to contribute to society in different ways.

You will be encouraged to consider your future careers from the outset of your postgraduate degree, while we offer a series of events and seminars designed to help you meet your career aspirations, including career development seminars, talks and events with alumni and employers, and the opportunity to discuss employability issues with your mentor.

Supervision and support

We ensure that undertaking a postgraduate degree in Psychology is a challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience. Each student receives an effective and appropriate level of support, through tailored research training and regular supervision. You will study within a close-knit, inclusive environment as part of a community of fellow research students, academics, and technical and administrative staff.

You will have a first supervisor and second supervisor. Some students may identify a mentor as part of their supervisory team, though this is not essential in all cases as the Director of Postgraduate Research and their deputy will offer such mentoring (as required) on an individual basis. You will have regular contact with your first supervisor and a formal discussion of progress each term. Depending on the supervisory arrangement, you may also meet regularly with your second supervisor, though this is likely to be less frequent. You will be expected to meet with your identified mentor or Director of Postgraduate Research/Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research (as appropriate) once a term.

The staff that supervise your research projects and lead your seminars are known nationally and internationally in their fields. They place a strong emphasis on theoretical, experimental and observational contributions to the growing field of psychology.

Entry requirements 2018

Many of our postgraduate students first register for one of our taught MSc programmes on the grounds that these provide the best preparation for a research degree.

Students who have completed equivalent Masters-level programmes in other institutions may be permitted to start immediately on the MPhil/PhD programme. This may also be allowed even where there is no prior postgraduate qualification, but students in this position will be required to take a number of MSc modules as research training integrated into their MPhil/PhD programme.

Students apply for an MPhil and then apply to upgrade to PhD by the end of their fifth term of study.

Requirements for international students

If you are an international student, please visit our international equivalency pages to enable you to see if your existing academic qualifications meet our entry requirements.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

Overall score 6.5. No less than 6.0 in any section.

TOEFL IBT*

Overall score 90 with minimum scores of 21 for writing, 21 for listening, 22 for reading and 23 for speaking.

Pearson Test of English (Academic)

58 with no less than 55 in all communicative skills.

Other accepted tests

Information about other acceptable tests of linguistic ability can be found on our English language requirements page.

Pre-sessional English

Applicants with lower English language test scores may be able to take pre-sessional English at INTO University of Exeter prior to commencing their programme. See our English language requirements page for more information.

Start date

You can start in September, January or April but we strongly encourage a you to enrol in Term 1 in September as induction events are focused around this start date. However, we do permit MSc by Research/MPhil/PhD students to enrol either at the start of Term 1, Term 2 or Term 3 (see the University's term dates), or on the 1st of any other month except August, September and October.

Finance: fees and funding

Tuition fees per year 2018/19

  • UK/EU: £4,500 full-time; £2,250 part-time
  • International: £19,800 full-time

Fee information

Fees can normally be paid by two termly instalments and may be paid online. For further information about paying fees see our Student Fees pages.

Funding opportunities

Find out about current funding opportunities for our Psychology research programmes.

Contact us

We welcome enquiries about the degree, for further information contact:

Email: pgr-cles-admissions@exeter.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 1392 725150

Potential applicants should first identify a member of academic staff who may be a suitable supervisor, and contact them by email to discuss possible directions for a research proposal. The research proposal must be agreed by the supervisor before an application to study can be made.

Programme structure

The normal study mode is full-time, however home/EU students may be able to study part-time. Visa regulations normally prevent international students from following this option, although it may be possible to undertake your research at a distance via split site study. This involves spending the majority of your time in your home country, although you will normally be expected to attend the University for limited periods and you will need to prove you have access to appropriate academic facilities locally such as libraries, labs, computers and desk space. Split site students are normally employed by, or registered with, a local institution, but receive support and supervision from staff at the University of Exeter.

Duration of study

Up to 4 years full-time, including submission and completion; up to 7 years part-time, including submission and completion

MPhil

The MPhil takes two to three years full-time to complete. Embarking on an MPhil and then progressing to a PhD does not increase the overall study period – provided upgrade to PhD study is approved, the expectation is that the thesis will be submitted by the end of the third year of study.

PhD

The normal duration for full-time PhD study is three years. This involves completion of any additional training specific to your programme of study, undertaking research and thesis write-up. After submission of the thesis, some work may be carried into the fourth year in preparation for viva examination and completion of any amendments to the thesis following viva.

Research training

Doctoral students, full-time and part-time, who have not completed a Psychology-based MSc at Exeter, may be required to undertake some additional training to support their programme of study.  This may involve completion of particular MSc modules; you may be exempt from parts of the programme if there is clear evidence that you have covered the same ground in assessed programmes elsewhere. The training provides the necessary skills to carry out doctoral research and is a great opportunity to meet others like yourself who are beginning PhD research. Any such training will be negotiated with supervisors and the Director of Postgraduate Research at the commencement of your training. In addition, you are encouraged to attend our research seminar programme through which you will have the chance to hear external speakers who are leading experts in their field.

All students are encouraged to participate in the University's Researcher Development Programme. This offers training in a wide range of generic and transferable skills in key areas such as research management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, networking, teamworking, and career management.

Supervision and support

We ensure that undertaking a postgraduate degree in Psychology is a challenging, but ultimately rewarding experience. Each student receives an effective and appropriate level of support, through tailored research training and regular supervision. You will study within a close-knit, inclusive environment as part of a community of fellow research students, academics, and technical and administrative staff.

You will have a first supervisor and second supervisor. Some students may identify a mentor as part of their supervisory team, though this is not essential in all cases as the Director of Postgraduate Research and their deputy will offer such mentoring (as required) on an individual basis. You will have regular contact with your first supervisor and a formal discussion of progress each term. Depending on the supervisory arrangement, you may also meet regularly with your second supervisor, though this is likely to be less frequent. You will be expected to meet with your identified mentor or Director of Postgraduate Research/Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research (as appropriate) once a term.

The staff that supervise your research projects and lead your seminars are known nationally and internationally in their fields. They place a strong emphasis on theoretical, experimental and observational contributions to the growing field of psychology.

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Athena SWAN

We have made a commitment to gender equality for all our staff and students. Psychology has been granted a Bronze Athena SWAN award.