Psychology (2016 entry)

Subject overview

Specialist facilities
The School has well-equipped laboratories for carrying out research in all its main areas of interest, and links with local schools and hospitals that greatly facilitate research on, for example, child development and cognitive neuroscience. Psychologists share the use of the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre (MRI and PET/CT) with Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

We have excellent laboratory facilities in cognition, developmental psychology, feeding and drinking, human psychophysiology, psychoacoustics, psychopharmacology, social psychology, and vision. Our Human Psychophysiology Laboratory houses EEG/ERP and TMS equipment, as well as eye-trackers and GSR facilities. The Human Psychopharmacology Unit has facilities for the study of alcohol and nicotine use, and for research into eating behaviour. There is a dedicated unit for the laboratory study of rodents.

Specially converted rooms are available for the observation of children and group interactions. Most rooms are audio-, video- and datalinked, and a number have built-in one-way observation screens. There is an excellent range of audiovisual equipment, particularly for video recording, analysis and editing.

Programmes

  • PhD in Psychology
  • MPhil in Psychology

The School of Psychology offers a vibrant research environment in which to pursue a doctoral course, with a large postgraduate student body and world-leading research groups. We have 80 or more students studying for research degrees. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and countries and make a major
contribution to the life of the School.

You work in a highly rated research-active school. You have a desk in a shared office, a networked computer with internet access, and technical support for your research.

Most candidates begin in September but January or May start dates are possible. Candidates may either apply by developing their own research proposal (in liaison with a potential supervisor), or by applying to an advertised studentship.

Entry routes

There are two modes of entry for research students. Most students enter directly into a PhD. Others spend one year taking a Masters qualification followed by three years studying for a PhD (known as 1+3). The University and most of the Research Councils support the first mode of entry, and may provide funding for between three and four years. The ESRC supports 1+3 for most of its funded students. The 1+3 mode is also particularly suited to candidates whose background does not equip them to embark immediately on a doctorate.

Students who are not taking a Masters qualification are also expected to undertake methods training and their needs are assessed before they begin their research course.

Research methods training is available within the School and across the University to provide many of the skills you need and for your professional development. There are also opportunities to contribute towards undergraduate teaching.

Supervision

Each student is allocated a supervisory team including a main supervisor with expertise in your chosen area of research. We offer excellent supervision in all areas of psychology in which School faculty specialise, and train students for academic and research careers. If you are interested in applying for a self-funded place, the first step is to contact potential supervisors in our research groups to see if any of them would be interested in your proposed area of research.

Course structure 

You are expected to prepare a research outline with your PhD application. On arrival, this is developed more fully in collaboration with your supervisor. Most students conduct a series of discrete studies that follow from each other, but others may conduct larger-scale studies over several years (eg involving longitudinal data). All students are encouraged to write up their results and literature reviews for publication as they go along.

There are opportunities to present your work internally and, more formally, at conferences (including overseas). You are part of the wider research community through laboratory meetings, seminar series and postgraduate training events.

Assessment 

Your progress is assessed via an annual review involving submission of a high-quality piece of written work and interview, and also poster/oral presentations to the School.

Entry requirements

MPhil in Psychology

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in psychology or a closely related subject such as neuroscience. An MSc is preferred but not essential

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

PhD in Psychology

UK entrance requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree in psychology or a closely related subject such as neuroscience. An MSc is preferred but not essential

Overseas entrance requirements

If you are an international student and wish to find out if you have the necessary qualifications for this degree, please refer to Overseas qualifications.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0, with not less than 6.5 in each section.

For more information, refer to What qualifications do I need?

Visas and immigration

Find out more about Visas and immigration.

For more information about the admissions process at Sussex

For pre-application enquiries:

Student Recruitment Services
T +44 (0)1273 876787
E pg.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

For post-application enquiries:

Postgraduate Admissions,
University of Sussex,
Sussex House, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9RH, UK
T +44 (0)1273 877773
F +44 (0)1273 678545
E pg.applicants@sussex.ac.uk 

Related subjects

Fees and funding

Fees

MPhil in Psychology fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

PhD in Psychology fees

Home UK/EU students: £4,1211
Channel Island and Isle of Man students: £4,1212
Overseas students: £18,3003

1 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
2 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.
3 The fee shown is for the academic year 2016.

Find out more about fees

Visit Living costs

Scholarships

The sources of financial support listed below are for the subject area you are viewing and may not apply to all degrees listed within it. Please check the description of the individual source of financial support to make sure it is relevant to your chosen degree.

Visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016

Visit Career development and part-time work

We are in the process of updating funding sources for postgraduate study in the academic year 2016/17. For general information, visit Postgraduate research scholarships 2016.

For more information on scholarships go to the Scholarships web pages.

Faculty interests

Visit School of Psychology

Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience

This research group has interests in:

  • addictive behaviours
  • ageing and dementia
  • appetite and obesity
  • influences of early developmental insults on adult behaviour.

The human work benefits from the developing strength of cognitive neuroscience at the University, including links with Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trusts, and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness and the Clinical Imaging Sciences Centre, both on the Sussex campus.

On the animal side, the Sussex group is one of the strongest groups in any UK university for the behavioural characterisation of transgenic mice, and enjoys collaborative links with molecular neuroscientists in the School of Life Sciences and with Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Prof Aldo Badiani
Professor of Psychology & Addiction Medicine
Aldo.Badiani@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Drug addiction, Electrophysiology, Emotion, Environment, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Human psychopharmacology, Immunohistochemistry, Motivation, Reward

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Dr Daniel Campbell-Meiklejohn
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
daniel.cm@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Behaviour, Decision making, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Psychopharmacology, Social cognition

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Dr Hans Crombag
Senior Lecturer
H.Crombag@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Addiction and law, Associative learning, Motivation, Neurobiology of behaviour, Reward

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Prof Dora Duka
Professor of Experimental Psychology
T.Duka@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Addictions, Alcohol, Cognition, Emotion, Human psychopharmacology, Motivation, Smoking

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Dr Catherine Hall
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Catherine.Hall@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Sarah King
Reader in Behavioural Neuroscience
S.L.King@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Addictions, Alzheimer's Disease, Behavioural Neuroscience, Gene manipulation, Mouse genetics, Neurodegeneration, Neuroscience (Human disease), Neurotransmitter receptors

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Dr Eisuke Koya
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
E.Koya@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Associative learning, drugs of abuse, Motivation, neuronal ensembles, nucleus accumbens, palatable foods, Prefrontal Cortex, slice electrophysiology

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Dr Michael Morgan
Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology
M.J.Morgan@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Motivation, Psychology

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Prof Jennifer Rusted
Professor of Experimental Psychology
J.Rusted@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Behavioural Neuroscience, Cognitive decline with age, Dementia, Experimental psychology, neuropsychopharmacology

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Prof Martin Yeomans
Professor of Experimental Psychology
martin@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Appetite, Cognitive Performance, Experimental psychology, Flavour, Food Choice, Food Preference, Nutrition, Satiety

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Cognitive Psychology

This research group has interests in: 

  • attention, visual perception and cognition 
  • language and communication 
  • learning, memory and consciousness 
  • mammal vocal communication and cognition. 

As well as normal adult cognition, we study both developmental issues and various pathologies. We use a variety of techniques, including traditional behavioural methods, and modern neuroscientific methods, such as EEG/ERP, TMS, tDCS/tACS and fMRI. 

Dr Chris Bird
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Chris.Bird@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Hippocampus, Memory, Neuropsychology

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Dr Jenny Bosten
Lecturer in Psychology
J.Bosten@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: colour, GWAS, Individual differences, Matlab, Psychophysics, Virtual Reality

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Prof Zoltan Dienes
Professor in Experimental Psychology
Z.Dienes@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Bayesian Methods, Consciousness, Experimental psychology, Psychology

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Dr Benjamin Dyson
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
B.J.Dyson@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Art and design, Cognitive Psychology, Electrophysiology, Multi-sensory processing, Perception, Serious games

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Dr Sophie Forster
Lecturer In Psychology
S.Forster@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Attention, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cognitive Neuroscience, Distraction, Individual differences, Mind wandering, Psychology

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Prof Alan Garnham
Professor of Experimental Psychology
A.Garnham@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Experimental psychology, Psycholinguistics, Psychology

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Dr Graham Hole
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
G.Hole@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Age perception, Configural processing of faces, Face Identity After Effects, Face recognition, Looked but failed to see errors in driving, Mobile phones and driving, Motorcycle conspicuity, Perceptual and attention in relation to driving

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Dr Ryota Kanai
Honorary Reader
R.Kanai@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Perception

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Prof Karen Mccomb
Professor Of Animal Behaviour & Cognition
karenm@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Psychology

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Prof Jane Oakhill
Professor of Experimental Psychology
J.Oakhill@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Experimental psychology, Psychology

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Prof David Reby
Professor of Ethology
D.Reby@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal behaviour, Animal Cognition, Babies' cries, Evolution of communication, Experimental psychology, Human Vocalisations, Psychology, Sexual communication, Vocal anatomy, Vocal communication, Voice & Gender

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Dr Ryan Scott
Lecturer in Psychology
R.B.Scott@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Prof Julia Simner
Professor of Psychology
J.Simner@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Peggy St Jacques
Lecturer in Psychology
P.StJacques@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Autobiographical Memory, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Memory

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Prof Jamie Ward
Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
jamiew@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Experimental psychology, Psychology

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Developmental and Clinical Psychology

This research group has a common aim of advancing theoretical approaches to human development and clinical psychology, often through studying applied questions. Approaches include observational and experimental studies, longitudinal analyses of child development, comparative perspectives, dynamic systems, neural network modelling, and experimental clinical psychopathology. We work closely with clinicians and educationalists, and with typical
and special child populations.

Research spans three intertwined themes:

  • development of cognition and communication
  • mental health through the lifespan
  • social and emotional development.

We have several focused centres and laboratories: Andrew and Virginia Rudd Centre for Adoption Research and Practice • Child Anxiety Theory and Treatment (CATT) Lab • Children and Technology (ChaT) Lab • Children’s Relationships, Emotions, and Social Skills (CRESS) Lab • Sussex Baby Lab
• Sussex Family Research Lab • Word and Object Reasoning Development (WORD) Lab.

The group is well-supported with laboratory facilities, including testing rooms for audiovisual recording, software for video editing and analyses, questionnaire scanning facilities, environments for conducting controlled experimental psychopathology studies, and specialised spaces for conducting a range of studies from habituation to clinical interviews. The group has good links with local daycare, schools and colleges.

Prof Robin Banerjee
Professor of Developmental Psychology
R.A.Banerjee@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Developmental psychology, Emotion, Motivation, Psychology, Social behaviour, Social cognition, Youth

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Dr Kate Cavanagh
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology
kate.cavanagh@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Prof Graham Davey
Emeritus Professor
grahamda@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Anxiety, Clinical Psychology, Psychology

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Prof Andy Field
Professor of Child Psychopathology
andyf@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Anxiety, child development, Emotion, Statistical Methodology

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Prof David Fowler
Professor In Psychology
D.Fowler@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Prof Anna Franklin
Professor of Visual Perception and Cognition
Anna.Franklin@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cognition, Perception, Vision

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Dr Darya Gaysina
Lecturer In Psychology
D.Gaysina@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Behavioural genetics, Depression in humans, Developmental psychology, Epidemiology, Health and ageing, psychopathology

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Prof Gordon Harold
Andrew and Virginia Rudd Chair in Psychology
G.Harold@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Biosocial Research, child development, Family Relationships, Longitudinal Methods, Mental Health, Prevention Science

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Dr Jessica Horst
Senior Lecturer In Psychology
jessica@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Categorisation, child development, Cognitive Development, Infancy, Language Acquisition, Picturebooks, Psychology, Reading to Children, Storybooks, Toddlers, Word Learning

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Dr David Leavens
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
davidl@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Animal Cognition, Cognitive Development, Communication, Comparative psychology, Developmental psychology, Evolution of language, Experimental psychology, Gestures, Observational methods, Pointing

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Dr Kathryn Lester
Lecturer in Psychology
K.Lester@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Anxiety, Cognition, Developmental psychology, Emotional Processing, Fear

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Dr Bonamy Oliver
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
Bonamy.Oliver@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Behavioural genetics, child behaviour, child well-being, conduct problems, externalising, family, Family Relationships, parent-child relationships, parenting, Psychology, psychopathology

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Dr Alison Pike
Reader in Psychology
alisonp@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: child well-being, family psychology, parenting, Psychology, siblings

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Dr Nicola Yuill
Senior Lecturer in Psychology
nicolay@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Autism Spectrum Disorders, child development, children and technology, Experimental psychology, human-centred technology, Psychology, reading comprehension, social development, technology for autism

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Social and Applied Psychology

Social and applied psychology is a field that concerns itself with the attitudes and behaviour of people in their social environments. Above all, it focuses on how people’s relationships – with others in their groups or with those who belong to different groups – affect behaviour and, in turn, how relationships are affected by the social context in which people find themselves. 

This is one of the largest groups of social and applied social psychologists in the UK. Its work is concerned with theory development, testing and application in four main areas: 

  • health psychology and behaviour change 
  • identity, culture and well-being 
  • intergroup relations, group processes and collective behaviour 
  • pro-social and moral engagement. 

Prof Rupert Brown
Professor of Social Psychology
R.Brown@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Acculturation, hate crime, Identity, Immigration, Intergroup relations, post-conflict reconciliation, Prejudice, Prejudice reduction, refugees, Social psychology, team-building in organisations

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Dr Richard De Visser
Reader in Psychology
R.De-Visser@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Alcohol, Gender and Sexuality, Health - behaviours, Psychology, Public health

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Dr Helga Dittmar
Reader in Psychology
H.E.Dittmar@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Dr John Drury
Reader in Social Psychology
J.Drury@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Collective action, Crowding and personal space, Crowds, Disasters, Empowerment, Mass emergencies, Protest, Social identities, Social movements, Social psychology

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Dr Matthew Easterbrook
Lecturer in Psychology
M.J.Easterbrook@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Applied Statistics, Motivation, Self-identity, Social class and educational disadvantage, Social identities

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Dr Tom Farsides
Lecturer in Social Psychology
T.L.Farsides@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Prof Pete Harris
Professor of Psychology
P.R.Harris@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Motivation, Obesity, Public health, Vaccination

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Dr Donna Jessop
Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology
D.Jessop@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Psychology

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Dr Karen Long
Lecturer in Social Psychology
K.M.Long@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: intragroup processes, online identity, Social networking, Social psychology

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Dr Eleanor Miles
Lecturer In Psychology
E.Miles@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Embodiment, Emotion, Meta Analysis, Psychology, Social cognition, Social psychology

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Prof Thomas Ormerod
Professor of Psychology
T.Ormerod@sussex.ac.uk

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Dr Paul Sparks
Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology & Health
P.Sparks@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Attitudes, Environmental Psychology, Health Psychology, Social Influence

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Dr Vivian Vignoles
Reader In Social Psychology
V.L.Vignoles@sussex.ac.uk

Research interests: Cross-cultural psychology, Culture, Identity, Identity motives, Mental Health and Well-Being, Motivation, Psychology, Social identities, Social psychology

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Careers and perspectives

Our graduates have gone on to careers in research and education, and hold roles including behavioural scientist, lecturer, researcher, scientist, health psychologist, and statistician.

To find out more, visit Careers and alumni

Research training

The University’s Doctoral School runs a wide range of training courses covering the needs of students throughout all phases of their studies.

Visit the Doctoral School website

Visit Stages of doctoral study

School and contacts

Contact us

School of Psychology, 
University of Sussex, Falmer,
Brighton BN1 9QH, UK 
T +44 (0)1273 876638 
E psychology@sussex.ac.uk

Visit the School of Psychology

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