Research course


University of Surrey · Department of Psychology

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (65 per cent or above) in psychology (or a related discipline) and a masters degree in a relevant subject with a pass of 65 per cent or above.

Months of entry

January, July, October

Course content

At Surrey, our research covers a wealth of human beliefs, behaviours and experiences investigating individuals across the lifespan to better understand child development, creativity, decision-making, the environment, food and consumer behaviour, gender and sexuality, health-related behaviour, neuroscience, prejudice, perception, physical and mental illness, and the very processes involved in thinking itself.

Our team of researchers work in partnership with research councils (like the Economic and Social Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) and both EU and UK governmental departments, to ensure our research is relevant to society. From these collaborations, we’ve secured over £4 million in research grants.

You’ll benefit from our expertise in qualitative and quantitative methodologies, subjective measures, and objective and biological assessments. We’ll train you in advanced and innovative research methods, teaching you how to use our state-of-the-art equipment, including our virtual reality (VR) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) software, preparing you for your career.

In your first year you’ll complete four compulsory training courses, covering quantitative research methods, qualitative research methods, professional academic skills, and teaching and training. You’ll also familiarise yourself with relevant literature, create a research plan, develop your methodological and analytic skills, and complete your first study.

Throughout your studies you’ll gain a solid grounding in research methods and improve your communication skills to effectively convey your findings. You’ll collect data and analyse this, completing a detailed literature review and then writing up your PhD thesis. Depending on your research project, data collection can take place in schools, hospitals, laboratories or online.

Current students are researching topics including:

  • Deficits in flexible thought in stroke aphasic patients
  • How the natural environment, or representations of it, can be of benefit to individuals with mental health issues.
  • How older people living with HIV perceive their health.
  • If the pronouns ‘they/them’ can be used as genderless pronouns and what impact these may have on STEM subjects.
  • Symptom perception and the cognitive and emotional factors impacting the symptom experience.
  • The role of emotions in the psychology of uncertainty, information search and learning.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD
    part time
    96 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    48 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

+44 (0)1483 682 222