Research course


University of Portsmouth · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject or a master's degree in an appropriate subject. Exceptionally, equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will be considered. All applicants are subject to interview.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Months of entry

October, February

Course content

Why take this course?

The Department of Psychology has many internationally renowned experts undertaking research in specialist areas within the subject, with laboratories and facilities for practical and theoretical research. We place high priority on integrating our researcher's work and interests within the teaching programme, providing students with an opportunity to learn about many theoretical and practical issues of importance in psychology today. Research within the field of Psychology may also be closely linked with Health Sciences and Social Work, Biomedical Science, Biomolecular Science and Pharmacy, Law and Criminology.

Research centres and groups:

International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology
The International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology has an established international reputation for conducting a broad range of criminological and forensic psychology research. The Centre comprises an impressive team of researchers and postgraduate research students. Its innovative work in forensic psychology has been a cornerstone of the Department of Psychology since 1990, delivering research at national and international level.

Situated Action and Communication
The Centre has at its core a commitment to studying psychological phenomena in relation to the contexts and situations in which they emerge. Its work covers a multitude of areas such as developmental psychology, animal behaviour, understanding of object functions, autism and psycholinguistics. It also covers a multitude of methods such as naturalistic observations, experiments, conversation analysis, cross-cultural studies, and longitudinal studies.

Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology
The Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology aims to better understand human and animal behaviour and cognition through comparison with other animals, and through consideration of evolutionary processes. Its members are active research scientists, and they collaborate with international scientists and animal institutions, including zoos, international primate research centres, field stations and sanctuaries. More recently, it is now also an important centre for the study of the behaviour of dogs.

Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing
The main focus of the Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing Research Group is to enhance our diverse experiences of life. Our main research topics are: Enhancing quality of life at work, Empowering people with learning disabilities, Empowering people with Autism, Enhancing life in later years, Enhancing student experience and learning success, Enhancing human-environment interactions, Multisensory perception, Exploring techniques for enhancing wellbeing.

Module Details


Research areas include:

  • Intervention with offenders
  • Detecting deception
  • Witness memory and suggestibility
  • Decision making in the forensic context


Research areas include:

  • The transparency of mind in action
  • Nonverbal intersubjective engagements
  • Culture and communication
  • Materiality and mind
  • Autism

Research areas include:

  • Strategic modulation of dynamic aspects of facial and vocal attractiveness
  • Communication and cognition in Orangutans
  • Comparing emotional expression across species
  • Socio-emotional experiences and primate social cognition

Research areas include:

  • Enhancing quality of life at work
  • Empowering people with learning disabilities
  • Empowering people with Autism
  • Enhancing life in later years
  • Enhancing student experience and learning success
  • Multisensory perception

Student Destinations

Doctoral graduates are highly-skilled researchers that make an impact in a range of sectors. They benefit from high employment rates and, on average, earn more than holders of undergraduate and Masters degrees. A doctorate demonstrates to employers that you are intelligent, capable and motivated, and that you have advanced technical and research skills.

In addition to supervision from experts in the field, you will be supported to become an internationally employable doctoral graduate. You will also develop skills that are desirable to employers including critical thinking, problem-solving, project management, communication, leadership and creativity.

Fees and funding

UK students
Full-time students: £TBC p/a, Part-time students: £TBC p/a *All fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a* International part-time students: £7,550 p/a* *All fees are subject to annual increase

Qualification and course duration


part time
48 months
full time
24 months


full time
36 months
part time
72 months

Course contact details

Research Team - Faculty of Science
023 9284 2994