Institution / Ulster University Coleraine
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Psychology - Research


Offering the opportunity to conduct research in a range of areas with associated training in contemporary research methods


The Psychology Research Institute offers supervision of research leading to a PhD degree in four main areas of psychology on either a full-time (3 years) or part-time (6 years) basis. Research students will work within one of these areas and quickly become part of an exciting and productive research group that addresses important theoretical and translational research questions. There will be opportunities to engage with fellow students, staff and researchers in formal research seminars and informal discussions. We also expect our research students to develop their research skills and academic networks by collaborating with researchers in other UK and international universities and research centres.

Research students on our programme are supported by a range of general and specific training programmes through the Researcher Development Programme to help develop research skills and employment prospects. There are currently over 60 research students being supervised by staff in the Psychology Research Institute.

The research areas are
Peace, Conflict and Equality
Health and Wellbeing
Behavioural Neuroscience;
Psychological Epidemiology and Mental Health


Postgraduate research is located within the Psychology Research Institute The Institute aims to be a leading centre for applied psychological research drawing upon our cutting edge expertise in statistical methodology and theoretical research. Researchers are committed to multi-disciplinary approaches to help address complex health and social issues and have developed extensive collaborative partnerships with international centres of excellence to produce findings which have real benefits for society.

Entry requirements

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements. For general entrance requirements go to:

Entry Requirements

You will need to hold a First of Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) in an area relevant to your chosen project to be able to apply.

If you have obtained an undergraduate degree from a non-UK institution, we can advise you on how it compares to the UK system.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants

The minimum requirement for research degree programmes is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. This is the only acceptable certificate for those requiring to obtain a Tier 4 visa.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores


As a full time student, the expectation is that you will work on your project on a daily basis, either on or off campus as agreed with your supervisor. You will be entitled to 40 days holiday per annum.

Part time students are expected to meet with their supervisors on a regular basis, most usually this would be monthly but this is dependent on the project area.

Careers or further progression

Career options

Although academia is considered to be the most obvious path for any PhD holder, with around two thirds of our graduates remaining in the Higher Education or Research sectors, the degree also paves way for a career in industries centred on research and innovation.

PhD graduates are recognised by employers to hold valuable transferrable skills, as the nature of the degree trains candidates in creativity, critical inquiry, problem solving, negotiation skills, professionalism and confidence.

The most recent Ulster survey of PhD graduates found that 92% had secured employment within the first year since graduation (HESA Destination of Leavers Survey 2015).

Further enquiries

Dr James Houston, Postgraduate Tutor for Psychology
Tel: +44 (0)28 71675220

Professor M Stringer, Director of Psychology Research Institute
Tel: +44 (0)28 7012 4656

Research areas

Research facilities and groups

The School of Psychology and the psychology Research Institute are well resourced to support students using a range of experimental and non-experimental research methods. The Institute also hosts the Research and Statistics Summer School which runs annually and provides training in a range of contemporary research methods and statistics. In addition, the Bamford Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing is located in Psychology. The centre was established in 2011 with the aim of increasing our understanding of mental health through research conducted in Northern Ireland. It aims to improve the quality of life for people with mental health problems and their carers through excellent research evidence that informs and influences policy and practice. The centre adopts a multi-disciplinary approach to mental health research and is able to draw on a considerable range of skills and expertise in health services research and population health sciences.

Enrolment and start dates

Start Date: September 2017

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