Department of Psychology

Research Degrees

We conduct our research alongside you

We welcome applications from students interested in pursuing a postgraduate research degree in psychology. We are top 20 in the UK for research (based on Grade Point Average) with 90% of our research classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).

We have excellent research facilities including well-equipped, purpose built laboratories in the Centre for Brain Science, and are located in a friendly campus environment.

If you wish to study for a PhD then you will initially be enrolled on a combined MPhil/PhD pathway. In your second year of study, depending on your progress, a decision will be made as to whether you will proceed towards an MPhil or a PhD.

Our Department is recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent research training. If you are an MPhil or PhD student then you will take two taught modules in research management and quantitative data analysis.

Explore our postgraduate research degrees
Why choose us?
  • 90% of our research is classed as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014).
  • We are an accredited Doctoral Training Centre.
  • We have excellent facilities, such as laboratories in our purpose built Centre for Brain Science.
“My best memory, so far, was when I was told my first paper was accepted into a journal, it was such an achievement. Once I have completed my PhD, I would love to become a lecturer. Essex is one of the leading universities for research, so completing a research degree here will stand me in very good stead when I start applying for jobs.”
Rachel Grenfell-Essam PhD Psychology

So, what do we have to offer?

Excellent PhD completion rates

We take pride in our high completion rate. We achieve this in part by ensuring that you follow a clear path to completion in three years if you are studying full-time. We do this by setting specific appropriate milestones at the end of your first and second years. You will also find yourself working in an enthusiastic community of research students who will provide peer support.

ESCR-accredited Doctoral Training Centre

We are recognised by the ESRC as providing excellent postgraduate training and are an accredited Doctoral Training Centre, offering several studentships.

You will be joining a Department with a strong commitment to research, covering many areas of empirical psychology. The research community includes academic staff, research fellows, research officers and postgraduates engaged on many research projects.

Student and academic working at a board together
Postgraduate research opportunities

Thinking about postgraduate research at Essex? We advertise studentships and funded opportunities throughout the year.

View our latest opportunities