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Introduction to Graduate Courses

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The Department admits graduates to study for research degrees. These include the PhD, an MPhil in Biological Science, and an MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology. The answers to most of your questions should be found on these pages, or on the University's central Graduate Admissions pages, but candidates with additional questions are invited to contact the Department's  (

There is a strong and lively graduate community in the Department, with dedicated study areas, online forums, and support available from academic and administrative staff. Over 100 PhD students and 20 MPhil students study at any one time and regular programmes of graduate and staff seminars are held both within the Faculty and in related faculties throughout the academic year.

The academic staff of the Department of Psychology are, both collectively and individually, world-class leaders in the field. Students are encouraged to work on projects and follow topics that are at the cutting edge of new research and policy initiatives.

PhD (Course Code BLPC22)

A three-year, full-time research degree (a part-time option is available). Candidates carry out an original piece of research and submit a 60,000 word dissertation.

MPhil in Biological Sciences by Research (Course Code BLPCM1)

A one-year, full-time research degree, culminating in the production of a 20,000 word dissertation detailing a piece of original research and its conclusions. This degree can also be studied on a part-time basis.

MPhil in Social and Developmental Psychology (Course Code BLPCM2)

The Department offers a nine-month Master of Philosophy programme (MPhil) in Social and Developmental Psychology, which includes a range of taught elements and a research dissertation. It is not necessary to complete this MPhil in order to apply to a PhD, but it does provide an excellent grounding in the research skills needed to succeed at PhD level and each year some students progress from the MPhil to the PhD. Other students use the skills acquired to succeed in careers such as health and social care, marketing and public relations, and education.

Other relevant departments

Please contact the following Departments directly if you are interested in their particular areas of research:

Research in neuropsychiatry (e.g., depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and drug addiction) is carried out in the Department of Psychiatry and within the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Institute.

Research in several areas of human cognitive neuroscience is also carried out at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit.

Research on ethology and comparative psychology is carried out at the Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour.

Please note that the Department does not offer the following:

  • Degrees/programmes/courses/training in clinical, counselling, educational, health or sports and exercise psychology
  • Distance learning degrees/programmes/courses/training
  • Exclusively taught postgraduate degrees
  • Psychology conversion courses