UCL Graduate degrees


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 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£26,680 (FT)
£13,350 (PT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelors 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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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:


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 systems learning and memory
  • Language
  • Cognitive and decision-making
  • Social cognition
More information can be found on the department website: Experimental Psychology MPhil/PhD

About this degree

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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.


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.


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.


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 and 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.

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

What our students and staff say

Staff review

"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 review

"You read many papers as a PhD student, and its surreal, slightly nerve-wracking, and wonderful, to meet the scientists who wrote them face-to-face. I have been able to do this through attending a number of academic conferences, e.g. recently in Budapest, Hungary; and Spiez, Switzerland. During my PhD, I also spent two-months working at the Center for Open Science in Virginia, USA, and met a diverse group of scientists, statisticians and computer developers, all working to improve scientific methodology."

Tom Hardwicke

Experimental Psychology PhD

Application and next steps


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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 July 2021

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

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021