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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 and intellectual abilities to conduct your research
  • the personal qualities to succeed in your research and chosen career
  • the standards, requirements and conduct of a professional researcher in your discipline
  • working with others and 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
James Baxter
  • Interpersonal pressure in police interviews
  • Interrogative suggestibility
  • Emotional reactivity
  • Measures of psychopathy 
Jim Boyle
  • Language impairment (both identification and intervention)
  • Effects of computer games and exercise on executive functions
  • Bully-victim problems in schools and in the workplace
  • Psychometrics
  • Practice of educational psychology
Louise Brown
  • Human Memory and Attention Visual and Spatial Short-Term ("Working") Memory
  • Cognitive Ageing
  • Cognitive strategies to improve cognitive functioning
  • Lifestyles strategies (eg nutrition) to improve cognitive functioning 
Stephen Butler
  • Visual perception in spatial neglect
  • Neuropsychological Aspects of Eye Movement Control
  • Face Processing
  • Attentional and Perceptual Biases
  • Hemispheric Laterality 
Diane Dixon
  • Measurement of Disability
  • Self-management of long-term conditions (musculoskeletal disorders, chronic pain, stroke)
  • Development of theory-based health outcome measures
  • Development of interventions to change health behaviour
  • Integration of psychological and medical models of health and disease
  • Development of evidence-based competency frameworks for the delivery of health behaviour change
Kevin Durkin
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Communicative Development
  • Language Development
  • Uses of Media 
Mark Elliott
  • Applied and Experimental Social Psychology
  • Attitudes
  • Social Cognition Models
  • Habits and Past Behaviour
  • Cognition and Behaviour Change Interventions
Kumiko Fukumura
  • Perspective-taking during language communication
  • Speaker's choice of linguistic forms (words, sentences)
  • Discourse processing
  • Referential communication
  • Cross-linguistic investigation and bilingualism 
Simon Hunter
  • Bullying and peer victimisation
  • Discrimination
  • Children's and young people's social interactions through electronic technology
  • Humour in children and young people
  • Loneliness in children and young people
Stephen Kelly
  • Implicit learning
  • Dyslexia
  • Psychology of religious beliefs    
William McGeown
  • Cognitive and neuroimaging markers of dementia
  • Cognitive changes in dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias
  • Normal ageing
  • Hypnosis and suggestibility
  • Neuroimaging and neuropsychological research methods  
Marc Obonsawin
  • Self-regulation of mood, engagement and interpersonal behaviour
  • Personality change after brain injury
  • Pharmacological regulation of mood
  • Laboratory paradigms to investigate personality              
Susan Rasmussen
  • Suicide and self-harm
  • Health psychology
  • Social behaviour during infectious disease epidemics
  • Perfectionism
  • Over-general memory
Sinead Rhodes
  • Memory and executive function in  neurodevelopmental (e.g. Williams syndrome) and psychiatric (e.g. ADHD, depression) disorders
  • Cognitive factors predicting the development of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders                
Jo Saunders
  • Accuracy and completeness of eyewitness memory
  • Memory in sub-clinical disorders
  • Mechanisms of change underlying third-wave therapies                
James Thomson
  • Perception and action in natural and ecologically valid contexts
  • Developmental changes in perception and action applied to pedestrians interacting with urban traffic
  • Executive function and children's pedestrian skills
  • The development of attitudes toward driving violations       
Lisa Woolfson
  • Educational psychology
  • Development and education of children with intellectual disability
  • Parent and teacher beliefs about children with developmental disabilities
  • Development in pre-school children
  • Applying psychological principles in the classroom 

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.

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 and 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 250-1,000 words in length, detailing the subject area and 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 our 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.


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

Graduate school

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School of Psychological Sciences & Health

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