General Info for MPhil/PhD Applicants in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

General Information about Studying for an MPhil/PhD in our Division

The MPhil/PhD programme commences in late September/early October for full-time students. As a research student in the Division you will find yourself using 'state-of-the-art' techniques in a very active research environment. You will be part of a lively and friendly group of graduates. There is a wide range of technical assistance available when needed, as well as library and computing facilities.

The UCL regulations require that initial registration as a research student is (with rare exceptions) for the MPhil degree. As part of the programme students take a range of courses designed to equip them for research. In particular, they take a selection of research methods courses appropriate for different backgrounds, designed to help them develop key research skills, such as the ability to evaluate critically the literature in an area or to perform advanced statistical analyses.

The full-time PhD typically lasts for 3 years, including the time registered as an MPhil student, and if the thesis is not submitted within this time then students may register as Completing Research Students for 1 additional year. The Division is assessed on how many PhD students finish on time.

A research student works with a staff member who is their principal supervisor, responsible for directing their research training, and a second supervisor. Other staff members, as part of a research group, may be closely involved with their work and students are encouraged to discuss their research widely with anyone having relevant experience. The Division of Psychology and Language Sciences contains expertise on a wide range of topics, so that students usually have little difficulty in finding someone who can give good advice. The Graduate School also offers a range of skills development courses for graduate students. Many full-time research students take some part in departmental teaching by giving tutorials and/or demonstrating in practical classes; payment is made for this work.

Each Research Department has a Graduate Tutor who is in charge of academic and pastoral arrangements for MPhil/PhD students. They can provide advice, support, and if necessary action, if any problems arise with respect to research, supervision or other academic problems.

For information on part-time study for a research degree in the division, click here.

To be admitted as a research student, applicants usually obtain a source of funding from a recognised funding body. Self-funded students will only be admitted on a full-time basis if they can provide evidence that they will have sufficient funds to support themselves for a minimum of three years.

UK/EU Students
The chief sources of funding for UK students are studentships from the Research Councils (Medical Research Council (MRC), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). People also need to meet the relevant residency requirements.

Some sources of funding (e.g. ESRC) are available on a '+3' or a '1+3' basis. The '+3' studentships are for candidates who already have or expect to obtain an appropriate Master's degree, and provide funding for the three years of the MPhil/PhD programme. The '1+3' studentships provide funding for certain of the MSc programmes, in addition to the three-year MPhil/PhD programme. Students applying for such funding should discuss these issues with their proposed supervisor.

As an additional source of funding open to UK/EU and international students, sometimes the Division is able to award Demonstratorships. These are awarded for four years and include a stipend and tuition fees in return for teaching or demonstrating for 300 hours per year.

Individual members of staff may sometimes be able to support students with the help of research funds that they have obtained from the Research Councils or from various charities or other funding bodies. In this latter case, students usually enrol on a part-time basis. UCL also awards a small number of Graduate School Research Scholarships on a competitive basis.

Overseas Students
There are several sources of funding available for overseas students to undertake graduate training in the UK. Some funding is awarded on a competitive basis by UCL to students nominated by their Departments (e.g. UCL Graduate School Scholarships). Other sources of funding require students to apply independently, (e.g. British Council, Commonwealth, Chevening, WHO and NATO Scholarships, Government or Employers' Schemes). It is important to make early enquiries about these independent schemes (up to a year in advance).

Careers Further Information
Many students who complete a PhD in the department stay in academia, either going on to become postdoctoral researchers or research assistants, and ultimately lecturers. Some go on to further training in fields such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, consultancy or applied research. A PhD degree taken here is recognised both nationally and internationally as a qualification of the highest status.

Please click on the links below for further information:

Application process


Frequently asked questions

Page last modified on 12 feb 09 13:28 by Aaron Crompton