crowd walking out of focus

MPhil, PhD, DEdPsyPsychology

Research opportunities

You can study an MPhil over the course of one year, a DEdPsy over two years or a PhD over three years.

MPhil and PhD

You can study either an MPhil or a PhD within any of our three research areas:

As part of your MPhil or PhD, you'll be enrolled on a Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RDP) course for which you'll have to complete a range of personal, professional and career development activities.

These activities aim to develop the transferrable skills you'll use throughout your career and also within a particular researcher development framework.


Our DEdPsy degree is specific to Educational Psychology.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD) programme 

As part of your PhD degree, you'll be enrolled on the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PG Cert RPD). 

This certificate is designed to support you with your research and rewards you for things you'll do as a research student here.

It'll help you improve skills which are important to professional development and employability:

  • the knowledge & intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research & chosen career
  • the standards, requirements & conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others & communicating the impact of your research to a wide range of audiences

All you have to do is plan these activities alongside your doctorate, documenting and reflecting your journey to success along the way.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


NameAreas of Expertise
Louise Brown
  • Cognitive ability throughout the adult lifespan
  • Working memory
  • Attention
  • Changes in cognition with ageing
  • Health and well-being in older age
Stephen Butler
  • Attention
  • Eye movements
  • Face Processing
  • Attentional and Perceptual Biases
  • Hemispheric laterality
  • Human Factors
  • Human Computer Interaction
Nicola Cogan
  • Coping and resilience in the face of adversity
  • Post-traumatic growth
  • Psychological therapies
  • Military mental health and wellbeing
  • Transitions and adaptation
  • Sport Psychology
  • Citizenship & Recovery 
Diane Dixon
  • Self-management of long-term conditions
  • Health behaviour change
  • Development of theory-based health outcome measures
  • Individually tailored interventions to change behaviour
  • Integration of psychological and medical models of health and illness
  • Ageing and health behaviour
  • Development of evidence-based professional competency frameworks for the delivery of health behaviour change
Mark Elliott
  • Applied and experimental social psychology
  • Attitudes
  • Social cognition models
  • Habits and past behaviour
  • Cognition and behaviour change interventions
Leanne Fleming
  • Behavioural sleep medicine
  • Psychosocial oncology
  • Symptom management in chronic conditions
  • CBT management of insomnia 
Kumiko Fukumura
  • Perspective-taking during language communication
  • Speaker's choice of linguistic forms (words, sentences)
  • Discourse processing
  • Referential communication
  • Cross-linguistic investigation and bilingualism 
Madeleine Grealy
  • Motor control
  • Age-related changes in perceptuo-motor control
  • Rehabilitation after stroke
  • Positive psychology
Simon Hunter
  • Stress coping strategies in children and adolescents
  • Peer victimisation and discrimination as stressors
  • Use of electronic forms of communication in children and adolescents
Stephen Kelly
  • Implicit learning and memory
  • Skill learning
  • Face recognition
  • Emotional learning and risk perception in driving
  • Cognitive psychology of religion
William McGeown
  • Memory
  • Neuropsychiatric symptoms
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias; normal ageing
  • Hypnosis and suggestibility
  • Neuroimaging and neuropsychological research methods
Marc Obonsawin
  • Personality (mood, engagement and interpersonal behaviour)
  • Personality change after brain injury
  • Acquired and developmental personality disorders
  • Pharmacological influences on mood
Susan Rasmussen
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Health psychology
  • Social behaviour during infectious disease epidemics
  • Perfectionism
  • Over-general memory
David Robertson
  • Face perception
  • Face recognition
  • Voice recognition
  • Selective attention
  • Perceptual load
  • Individual differences 
Jo Saunders
  • Theories of forgetting
  • Memory (odour memory, eyewitness memory, recovered memories, self-protective memory)
  • Schizotypy
  • Third wave psychological therapies
Lynn Williams
  • Health psychology
  • Personality and health
  • Outcomes in cardiac patients
  • Psychological aspects of infection prevention and control

How can I apply?

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

We strongly advise you contact one or more potential supervisors or the Postgraduate Research Director, Dr Marc Obonsawin, before completing the online application. Please click on the ‘Supervisors’ tab above for further information. Then, when you are ready, you can complete the online application.

Entry Requirements

MPhil & PhD

We look for a first or 2:1 UK Honours degree, or overseas equivalent, in Psychology or a similar discipline.

However, the majority of our MPhil and PhD students will usually have completed a Master's degree in Psychology after their Honours degree.

Also, if English isn't your first language, you'll also need to have a recent UKVI recognised Secture English Language Test (SELT) qualification.


You'll need to be a practising educational psychologist when you're planning to join this programme.

Your application must be supported by the Principal Educational Psychologist of the service you're working in.

The application

During the application you'll be asked for the following:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts & certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if English isn't your first language
  • two references, one of which must be academic
  • funding or scholarship information
  • research proposal of 1,500-2,000 words in length, detailing the subject area & topic to be investigated

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.


You'll need to identify your research supervisor before you finalise your application, preferably as soon as possible.

When you've identified a potential supervisor, based upon how well your research interests match theirs, drop them an email to introduce yourself.

In the email, make sure you attach a draft of your research proposal along with a copy of your CV.

Don't worry about how rough your research proposal may be at this stage - you'll have help from the School of Psychological Sciences and Health to refine it.

If your chosen supervisor if available to work with you, they'll confirm this and nominate a potential second supervisor.

As soon as a second supervisor is confirmed, an offer of study will be sent to you through Pegasus, our online application system.

If you accept our offer, you'll then be sent a full offer in writing via the email address you provide.

Accepting an offer

Once you've accepted our offer, we'll need you to fulfil any academic, administrative or financial conditions that we ask.

UK or EU students

If you're applying as a Scottish, UK or EU student, you'll then be issued with your registration documentation.

You can apply for a postgraduate research degree at any point in the year.

All you have to do is complete an online application.

Support & development

The Graduate School

The Graduate School is a friendly and supportive study environment for all our research students studying subjects within Humanities & Social Sciences.

Our staff will support you through your studies and you'll become part of a community of students who get involved with out workshops, seminars and competitions.

Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development (PgCert RPD)

Our PgCert RPD programme aims to ensure you get the most out of your current research activities at Strathclyde and help you prepare for your future career as a researcher.

We'll help you recognise and develop your transferable skills that'll have a positive impact on your research, now and in the future.

Find out more about the PG Cert RPD programme.


We have a great careers service that can help you with everything from writing your CV to interview preparation. Take a look at our careers service pages to get more information.

Student support

From financial advice to our IT facilities, we have loads of different support for all students here at our University. Get all the information you need at Strathlife.

Discover more about our psychology