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PhD research

The department warmly welcomes applications from suitably qualified candidates who wish to undertake PhD research.

All of the department's academic staff are active researchers, who are at the leading edge of their research field. In particular, the Department has an outstanding reputation for research in: cognitive psychology, developmental psychology, social psychology, and neuroscience. This makes for a world-class research environment for you to pursue your studies.

If you are interested in PhD research we recommend that in the first instance, you should contact a relevant member of staff to discuss topic areas and to help develop and scope an appropriate proposal. A full listing of staff and their interests can be found here.

The postgraduate environment

Postgraduate students in Psychology at Lancaster are members of a lively, cosmopolitan community. Lancaster is situated in the exact geographical centre of the British Isles. At present, we have students studying for a PhD from India, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Indonesia, Turkey and Saudi Arabia as well as numerous EU countries and across the UK.

PhD students in Psychology at Lancaster enjoy excellent facilities. All full-time students have shared offices in the department, and have the use of dedicated computing and research laboratories, as well as access to the department's general laboratory facilities and research participant panrl (accessed through a state-of-the-art-online management system).

Postgraduate students are encouraged to participate fully in the intellectual life of the department, including attending departmental seminars and joining the activities of our various research groups. In addition, PhD students are welcomed to take part in our departmental social activities.

All doctoral students are supervised by a principal supervisor with direct expertise in their area of research, together with a second supervisor who provides additional or complementary support. There is a wide variety of research training opportunities available to support PhD students' work, including modules offered on the Department's own MSc courses, as well as training courses offered by the Faculty of Science and Technology, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. The Psychology department has a well-established system for ensuring suitable progress on a PhD programme, and has a track record of an extremely high and successful submission and completion rate.

Areas of research

You can find out more here about some of the research currently being conducted within the department.

Course description

PhD study does not involve a formal, timetabled course. There are many different training paths that lead to a PhD. However, the department takes PhD progression seriously and is proud of the excellent submission rate of its students (100% of PhD-track students submit within 4 years full-time study or equivalent).

The success of the PhD training relies on several issues, including

  • Supervisors use their experience and expertise to help student select topics that are ambitious and yet manageable.
  • PhD students have more than one supervisor, so that additional advice about a range of issues can be sought.
  • The Department uses a number of regular monitoring and assessment processes to keep track of progression and pick up on any emerging training issues. This also helps students maintain confidence that things are on track, and reflect on opportunities for skill development and the capitalisation of opportunities from research work.
  • Students are encouraged to engage within research groups and research culture, and this includes an annual departmental postgraduate convention where work is presented, as well as Faculty-level events.