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Experimental Psychology MPhil/PhD

We offer a world-class research environment with a focus on behaviour and its neural underpinnings. Our programme helps students develop academic or complementary careers including clinical or educational psychology, and consultancy or applied research. A strong benefit of studying here is exposure to these diverse careers.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

UK/EU:
£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
Overseas:
£22,850 (FT) £11,420 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 30 June 2017
Scholarship applicants
Close: 31 January 2017

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or a taught UK Master’s degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a relevant subject. Overseas applicants also need to satisfy the English language requirements.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Overview

We offer an outstanding research and teaching environment providing opportunities for graduate students to work with world-renowned researchers across a wide spectrum of topics. Our research focuses on understanding the psychological and biological bases of behaviour, to improve the health and wellbeing of both individuals and society. Research in the department includes behavioural neuroscience, perceptual and cognitive sciences and cognitive neuroscience. We host several research centres and institutes including the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre, the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience, and the Birkbeck/UCL Centre for Neuroimaging. Research facilities available to members of staff comprise state-of-the-art equipment for most types of behavioural research, scanning facilities (MRI), eye- and motion-tracking facilities as well as TMS facilities.

Research areas

  • Behavioural neuroscience
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Sensory SystemsLearning and memory
  • Language
  • Cognitive and decision making
  • Social cognition
More information can be found on the department website: Experimental Psychology MPhil/PhD

Funding

Students entering the Experimental Psychology MPhil/PhD programme may be supported by a number of funding sources. Several departmental demonstratorships/teaching assistantships are available. UCL has been selected as a Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and some students are supported by ESRC funded PhD studentships (UK/EU students only).

UCL also participates in similar DTCs such as those run by the BBSRC and MRC and the department hosts a number of students from each of these programmes. Finally, many researchers in the department have established collaborations outside industry, which help support several PhD studentships. Other sources of funding include the UCL Grand Challenges studentship programme, UCL Graduate Research Scholarships, UCL Overseas Research Scholarships, and the four-year Wellcome Scholarship.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

Many students who complete a PhD in the department stay in academia, either going on to become postdoctoral researchers or research assistants, and ultimately professors. Some go on to further training in fields such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, consultancy or applied research. Others enter industry in consultant and professional roles. A PhD degree taken at UCL is recognised both nationally and internationally as a qualification of the highest status.

Top career destinations for this programme:

  • Lecturer, Birkbeck College, 2013
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of British Columbia, Canada, 2013
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara, 2014
  • Behavioural Expert, Barclays Bank, 2014
  • Office of Surveys MEthods Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA, 2013
  • Lecturer, Birkbeck College, 2013

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Lecturer, Birkbeck College
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship, UC Santa Barbara
  • Behavioural Expert, Barclays Bank
  • Office of Surveys MEthods Research, Bureau of Labor Statistics, USA

Employability

Experimental psychology provides a number of career pathways. Many of our former students progress into academic research as postdoctoral researchers, and ultimately become professors. Many instead expand their training into complementary fields such as clinical psychology, educational psychology, consultancy or applied research. One of the major benefits of studying in experimental psychology is the opportunity to form long-lasting connections with other students who follow these diverse career paths.

Networking

Experimental psychology PhD students take a prominent and active role in the department, including organising seminars, both independently and in concert with other academics and involving outstanding external guests. Our PhD students are leaders in the vibrant peer-led forums and yearly retreats that are supported by the UCL Division of Psychology & Language Sciences, and give presentations at high-profile national and international meetings. Additionally, they receive tailored career advice about a variety of fields, and the department has a strong history of research relationships with industry, NGO’s and government, providing abundant networking opportunities.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Experimental psychology students at UCL receive unparalleled training in the design, implementation and analysis of psychological and biological experiments. Our research is recognised internationally for sophisticated experimental design and statistical approaches to the analysis of human behaviour, and brain work. Students also benefit from embedded UCL research centres focusing on human brain imaging, brain stimulation, behavioural neuroscience, deafness and multi-modal communication. Our training and research environment allows students to work alongside elite academics and forge unique research agendas.

To find out more about Experimental Psychology's MPhil/PhD programme please visit our website.

Department: Experimental Psychology

Student / staff numbers › 32 staff including 27 postdocs › 51 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Experimental Psychology
83% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"UCL is an intellectual hub for work in cognitive science and decision making. This excellence, paired with its central London location, makes UCL a magnet for top people from all over the globe. For a top university situated in an urban environment, the level of collegiality is outstanding."

Professor Bradley Love

Cognitive and Decision Sciences MSc and Experimental Psychology MPhil/PhD
UCL Experimental Psychology
Student view

"I am fascinated by the complexity of the human brain and behaviour. I find it exciting to investigate and research how people with different personality traits and conditions approach everyday problems and situations. The idea that my work in the long-term may have an impact and help individuals to cope better with their psychological and practical difficulties inspires me to keep working and doing what I do."

Giulia Bellesi

Experimental Psychology
Student view

"I have valued the way in which my department has encouraged PhD students to obtain a broad and varied education. My department has supported me and other PhD students in setting up a postgraduate discussion group which has been extremely beneficial. I enjoy the ample opportunities to engage with my peers, both in social and academic contexts."

Kari Vyas

Experimental Psychology

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 June 2017
Scholarship applicants
31 January 2017

Applications for competitive departmental funding or otherwise awarded by UCL must arrive in January in the year you wish to start. Please contact potential supervisors and the department before January to discuss application procedures and deadlines. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by the January deadline, but later applications can sometimes be considered. Applications should be made as soon as possible, up to 12 months in advance of the start date and not later than 30 June for September/October entry.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information

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