Psychology at Nottingham is dedicated to the study of the psychological and biological basis of behaviour. Our research spans many sub-disciplines in psychology. These range from personality to neuroscience, to developmental psychology.
Our research is organised into different themes as listed below. However, PhD projects can involve collaborations across these or with different faculties.
Example project areas include:
- investigating theoretical and applied aspects of language comprehension
- public perceptions of climate change and energy futures
- the psychology of driving
- understanding the causes and treatment of schizophrenia
- effects of errors on memory performance
- when does overcoming adversity, challenge or failure lead to personal growth?
- understanding the basic mechanisms of sensory perception
- hippocampo-prefrontal-subcortical circuit in cognition and behaviour
Your PhD will be in an area of research you have chosen. Alongside this, you will do research training modules. The school and the Researcher Academy deliver these.
This formal training element is designed to provide you with transferable skills in writing, experimental design and oral presentation needed to support your PhD. These modules can be tailored to your needs.
You will complete a written thesis of up to 100,000 words, with expert support and advice from your academic supervisor(s). You will also take a verbal examination called a viva voce where you explain your project in-depth to an examination panel.
All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2023 entry.
Typically 2:1 or a 2:2 with a masters in a subject relevant to the chosen research area
Most applicants are interviewed. It is preferred they are done in person but if that isn't practical they can be done through a telephone call or video call.
Typically 2:1 or a 2:2 with a masters in a subject relevant to the chosen research area
|International and EU equivalents|
We accept a wide range of qualifications from all over the world.
For information on entry requirements from your country, see our country pages.
Most applicants are interviewed. Interviews can be done online through a video call.
|IELTS||6.5 (6.0 in each element)|
|English language requirements|| |
As well as IELTS (listed above), we also accept other English language qualifications.
This includes TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE, GCSE, IB and O level English.
Meeting our English language requirements
If you need support to meet the required level, you may be able to attend a presessional English course. Presessional courses teach you academic skills in addition to English language. Our Centre for English Language Education is accredited by the British Council for the teaching of English in the UK.
If you successfully complete your presessional course to the required level, you can then progress to your degree course. This means that you won't need to retake IELTS or equivalent.
For on-campus presessional English courses, you must take IELTS for UKVI to meet visa regulations. For online presessional courses, see our CELE webpages for guidance.
International students must have valid UK immigration permissions for any courses or study period where teaching takes place in the UK. Student route visas can be issued for eligible students studying full-time courses. The University of Nottingham does not sponsor a student visa for students studying part-time courses. The Standard Visitor visa route is not appropriate in all cases. Please contact the university’s Visa and Immigration team if you need advice about your visa options.
We recognise that applicants have a variety of experiences and follow different pathways to postgraduate study.
We treat all applicants with alternative qualifications on an individual basis. We may also consider relevant work experience.
If you are unsure whether your qualifications or work experience are relevant, contact us.
UK fees are set in line with the national UKRI maximum fee limit.
Additional information for international students
If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you may be asked to complete a fee status questionnaire and your answers will be assessed using guidance issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA).
These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).
All students will need at least one device to approve security access requests via Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA). We also recommend students have a suitable laptop to work both on and off-campus. For more information, please check the equipment advice.
As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses. A research training grant is available which can be used to cover printing, travel and conference costs.
Some of the funded projects we offer are advertised on the University's studentships page.
We recommend that you discuss funding with your supervisor.
The School of Psychology has a studentship opportunity available to further the understanding of brain-to-brain synchrony through mother-infant interactions. This studentship is funded as part of a Research Project Grant by the Leverhulme Trust. Visit the FindaPhD website for more information.
Centres for Doctoral Training and Doctoral Training Programmes (CDTs/DTPs)
These are the current CDTs and DTPs at Nottingham that have projects related to Psychology:
- Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP . Candidates need to apply to the MGS directly but must have the agreement of supervisors in the School of Psychology before they make an application
- BBSRC DTP . Candidates need to apply to the DTP directly. Projects are selected during the first year
- MRC IMPACT . Candidates apply to advertised projects
- EPSRC Horizon CDT – My Life in Data. Candidates need to apply to the CDT directly
- CDT in Artificial Intelligence (school of Computer Science) and CDT in Sustainable Hydrogen
We recommend that you discuss funding options with your supervisor before applying if you are not self-funding. International students can now apply directly to several of the CDTs/DTP directly for funding support (e.g MGS and BBSRC both accept international applications).
There are many ways to fund your research degree, from scholarships to government loans.
Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.Postgraduate funding
We hold two psychology research seminars each week. One is given by researchers from Nottingham and one is for external speakers. There are extra research seminars and reading groups arranged by individual research groups.
Other events we hold include:
- a Postgraduate Poster Event in the first year
- a Postgraduate Conference in the second year where you'll give a 20 minute talk
- the school’s internal Research Seminar Series where you'll give a 30 minute talk about your research findings
A research training grant is available for you to present your research at national and international conferences over the course of your studies.
You will have a minimum of 10 documented review meetings with your supervisor each year.
Researcher training and development
The Researcher Academy is the network for researchers, and staff who support them. We work together to promote a healthy research culture, to cultivate researcher excellence, and develop creative partnerships that enable researchers to flourish.
Postgraduate researchers at Nottingham have access to our online Members’ area, which includes a wealth of resources, access to training courses and award-winning postgraduate placements.
You will have access to a range of support services, including:
- academic and disability support
- childcare services
- counselling service
- faith support
- financial support
- mental health and wellbeing support
- visa and immigration advice
- welfare support
Our Students' Union represents all students. You can join the Postgraduate Students’ Network or contact the dedicated Postgraduate Officer.
There are also a range of support networks, including groups for:
- international students
- black and minority ethnic students
- students who identify as women
- students with disabilities
- LGBT+ students
SU Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice on issues such as accommodation, financial and academic difficulties.
Where you will learn
University Park Campus
University Park Campus covers 300 acres, with green spaces, wildlife, period buildings and modern facilities. It is one of the UK's most beautiful and sustainable campuses, winning a national Green Flag award every year since 2003.
Most schools and departments are based here. You will have access to libraries, shops, cafes, the Students’ Union, sports village and a health centre.
You can walk or cycle around campus. Free hopper buses connect you to our other campuses. Nottingham city centre is 15 minutes away by public bus or tram.
Research Excellence Framework
We are ranked 7th in the UK for research power (2021), according to analysis by Times Higher Education. The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a national assessment of the quality of research in UK higher education institutions.
- The School of Psychology is ranked top 10 in the UK for research power
- 90%* of our research is classed as 'world-leading' (4*) or 'internationally excellent' (3*)
- 100%* of our research is recognised internationally
- 51% of our research is assessed as 'world-leading' (4*) for its impact**
*According to analysis by Times Higher Education ** According to our own analysis.
This content was last updated on 25 June 2022. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.