Psychology and Vision Sciences

PhD, MPhil

The School of Psychology and Vision Sciences offers supervision for the degrees of:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - full-time, part-time campus based and distance learning
  • Master of Philosophy (MPhil) - full-time, part-time campus based and distance learning

Supervision and research areas

We offer PhD and MPhil supervision in Psychology and Vision Sciences in areas compatible with the research interests of our academic staff including:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Vision and language
  • Mechanisms of animal behaviour
  • Systems neuroscience

Interested in a different research area?

It is important that the area you want to work in is broadly compatible with our research interests - otherwise we may not be able to accept your application.

However, please do not feel we will not be interested if there is not an exact match. It is sometimes possible to be flexible, so please contact us.

Entry requirements

You must hold a UK undergraduate (Bachelors) degree with at least first class or upper second class honours or an equivalent qualification from a recognised overseas institution.

See academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements.

How to apply

  1. Make sure we offer PhD/MPhil supervision in the area in which you want to work - search our staff research interests.
  2. Draft a brief (1,000 words maximum) personal statement that:
    • explains why you want to work in this area
    • describes any relevant research experience - for example, as part of a previous degree
    • lists any academic work you have published or which is awaiting publication
  1. Prepare your supporting documents - with your application you need to include proof that you meet the academic entry requirements and the English language entry requirements:
    • include all relevant certificates/diplomas and transcripts
    • international applicants must provide official copies of their entire course transcripts including explanations of the mark schemes used 
    • supporting documents not in English must be provided with a certified English translation
    • CV
    • In addition to uploading the above documents please enter contact details for two academic (not personal) referees who can comment on your suitability for the research degree programme or upload letters of reference if already available
  1. Submit your online application using the Apply button at the bottom this page.

When to apply

We have intakes in January, May, July and September each year.

You should try to submit your application as far in advance of your preferred start date as possible. If you are an international applicant and require a visa to study in the UK you should submit your application at least 3-4 months before the proposed start date.

After you have submitted your application, it will take a minimum of six weeks for you to receive a decision about your application.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees vary according to your fee status and the mode of study (full-time or part-time). For clarification please contact

UK campus based

* UK fees will rise each year of study in line with UKRI rates.


  • 2023/24 academic year: £4,712
  • 2024/25 academic year: £4,786


  • 2023/24 academic year: £2,356
  • 2024/25 academic year: £2,393

International campus based


  • 2023/24 academic year: £21,850 - £35,350 per year
  • 2024/25 academic year: £23,650 - £38,300 per year

*International fees vary according to the nature of the research project to be undertaken. The applicable fee will be determined at the point an offer of admissions is made and will be stated on the offer letter.

Please note that owing to UK visa restrictions, part-time campus based registration is not normally available to international applicants.

Maximum registration permitted is 4 years full-time or 7 years part-time

The normal duration of a PhD programme is three years (full-time). PhD students may use the fourth year as a 'writing-up' year for which a reduced fee is payable if active research has been completed - currently £100.

Part Time distance learning

UK distance learning 

If you are living in the UK during your DL studies you will pay the UK fees

  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £14,358 total course fee

International distance learning

If you are living outside of the UK during your DL studies you will pay the International fee.

  • Starting in 2024/25 academic year: £28,150 total course fee

Distance learning payment options

The fees quoted are the total fee for the PhD distance learning programme and are paid over the first four years of study. Fees can be paid using any of these options:

Total course fee paid in full before first year registration
Total course fee split into four annual payments with first annual payment made in full before first year registration
Total course fee split into 12 equal instalment payments, spread over years 1-4 of the study. The first instalment to be paid before first year registration
If study extends beyond the 4th year no further fees are required. A payment schedule will be sent with the


For a list of our available scholarships/studentships, please visit our funded opportunities pages.

PhD description

PhD students complete an independent research project under the guidance of a supervisory team. The research is normally completed over a maximum period of 3.0-3.5 years (full-time) or 6.0-6.5 years (part-time).

A fourth year (full-time) or seventh year (part-time) or the remaining part of this can be used to prepare the thesis for examination. The thesis should not normally exceed 50,000 words and must make an original contribution to knowledge and contain work of publishable quality. The thesis must then be defended in a viva voce (oral) examination before a degree can be awarded.

PhDs explained

Application options

Distance Learning Apply now
Apply: full-time Apply now
Apply: part-time Apply now

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