MPhil and PhD Opportunities


Postgraduate Research in Psychology.

Star Overview

Research overview

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.


How to apply 

To apply for a postgraduate research degree with us, you'll need a good first degree from an internationally-recognised university or a Master’s degree in an appropriate subject. We'll also consider outstanding applicants with exceptional equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications.

We're currently rebuilding our website, so to explore the 3 different routes you can take into a postgrad research degree at Portsmouth, visit our new 'How to Apply' pages.

Being integrated with the ICFP and having world leading experts within deception at UoP, means that I have access to great resources and expert supervision.

Louise Jupe, PhD Psychology

Self-funded PhD opportunities

Key Facts


MPhil: 2 years full-time, 4 years part-time
PhD: 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
By Publication: 1 year part-time
Start date: October/February


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.  

MPhil/PhD Fees*

MPhil full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Postgraduate Loan

PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the Government Doctoral Loan


Home/EU/CI full-time students: £4,260 p/a*
Home/EU/CI part-time students: £2,130 p/a*
International full-time students: £15,100 p/a*
International part-time students: £7,550 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase

By Publication Fees*


Members of staff: £1,550 p/a*
External candidates: £4,260 p/a*

*All fees are subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions





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Light bulb Research Areas

Forensic Psychology

Research areas include:

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


Situated Action and Communication

Research areas include:

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

Comparative and evolutionary Psychology

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

Quality of Life, Health and Wellbeing

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

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Monitor Facilities & Features

Flexible Learning

You will benefit from web, email or phone access to many of our facilities and services. Our student website will be your one-stop shop for all news, information and links to other services, and 24/7 online access to the University Library’s vast electronic book, journal and database collections will help you find the right resources for your research.


The Department of Psychology boasts practical and project rooms, a student computing suite, and several specialised laboratories for conducting research, human movement, including eye movements, psychophysiology, visual and auditory perception, primate behaviour, infant development, and autism. Our research facilities allow postgraduate research students to gain experience on a wide range of techniques used in contemporary psychological research and practice. 

Graduate School

From the moment you join us, you will be supported by the University's Graduate School, alongside your assigned supervisory team. You will be invited to a two-day induction, helping you to get the most from our facilities and be part of our thriving research community. You can also extend your skills as a researcher through the Graduate School Development Programme, which offers training, workshops and events.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career Planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the comprehensive support we provide in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service - Purple Door - can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. 

The Graduate School Development Programme offers a series of dedicated workshops on career planning, specifically for research degree students. You will also have access to consultations with careers advisers or online support. This service is available for five years after graduation.


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.

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