PhD
4 years full time, 6 years part time
Choose to start in September 2017, January 2018 or May 2018

Psychology

From crowd behaviour to perception and studies of the brain – you’ll work with experts who will guide and support you through your research project.

Sussex is one of the largest and most diverse centres for the study of psychology in the UK. You’ll work in an intellectually stimulating and supportive environment, within a community of postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers and field-leading faculty.

Full-time and part-time study

You can choose to work on your research full time or part time. For details about part-time study, contact us at psychology@sussex.ac.uk.

PhD or MPhil?

You can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. PhD and MPhil degrees differ in the length of the course and therefore in the extent of the research work you can undertake and incorporate in your thesis.

  • An MPhil typically takes three years full time and four years part time. You’ll conduct an independent piece of research but in less depth than for a PhD. You will graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy.
  • A PhD typically takes four years full time and six years part time. You will undertake a piece of research that makes a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in your chosen field.

If you choose an MPhil, you might be able to change to a PhD during the course of your studies.

Sussex PhD student Becky Heaver talks about her experiences of research in Psychology

How to apply

If you’d like to join us as a research student, there are two main routes:

Find out how to apply for a PhD at Sussex

Faculty

Explore our research interests and find a potential supervisor.

  • Behavioural and clinical neuroscience

    This research group has interests in:

    • neurobiology of learning
    • social learning and cognition
    • decision-making
    • effects of drugs on human cognition
    • addiction
    • ageing and dementia
    • appetite and obesity.

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

    Research interests: Decision making, Neuromaging, Psychopharmacology, Reinforcement Learning Models, Social cognition, Social Influence, Social Neuroscience

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    Prof Pete Clifton
    Research Professor
    P.G.Clifton@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Behavioural Neuroscience, motivation and learning, Obesity, Psychology

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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
    • synesthesia
    • language and communication 
    • learning, memory, and consciousness 
    • mammal vocal communication and cognition
    • gaming
    • multimodal perception.

    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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    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 interests in: 

    • social, cognitive and emotional development
    • mental health through the lifespan
    • cognition during psychosis
    • mental health interventions
    • colour
    • social and emotional development
    • anxiety
    • behavioural genetics
    • adoption.

    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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    Prof Samantha Cartwright-Hatton
    Professor of Clinical Child Psychology
    S.Cartwright-Hatton@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Anxiety, parenting

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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: 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 Mark Hayward
    Honorary
    M.I.Hayward@sussex.ac.uk

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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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    Prof Alison Pike
    Professor of Child and Family 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

    Our 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. 

    Dr Rod Bond
    Senior Lecturer
    R.Bond@sussex.ac.uk

    Research interests: Psychology

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    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: Educational inequalities, Group processes, Poverty and inequality, Social class and educational disadvantage, Social disadvantage, Social identities, well-being

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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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    Prof Peter Smith
    Emeritus Professor
    P.Smith@sussex.ac.uk

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

    Research interests: Environmental Psychology, Health, Identity, Social Influence processes, Social psychology

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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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Entry requirements

An upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree or above in psychology or a closely related subject such as neuroscience. An MSc is preferred but not essential

English language requirements

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

Find out about other English language qualifications we accept.

English language support

Don’t have the English language level for your course? Find out more about our pre-sessional courses.

Additional information for international students

We welcome applications from all over the world. Find out about international qualifications suitable for our PhD degrees.

Visas and immigration

Find out how to apply for a student visa


Scholarships and fees

How can I fund my course?

Postgraduate Masters Loan

MPhil students might be eligible for a Postgraduate Masters Loan. This is not available for students registering for a PhD.

Scholarships

Our aim is to ensure that every student who wants to study with us is able to despite financial barriers, so that we continue to attract talented and unique individuals.

Part-time work

We advertise around 2,500 part-time jobs a year so you can make money and gain work experience. We have a special scheme to employ students on campus, wherever possible.

Find out more about careers and employability

How much does it cost?

Fees for self-funding students

Home: £4,195 per year

EU: £4,195 per year

Channel Islands and Isle of Man: £4,195 per year

Overseas: £18,750 per year

Our fees follow the indicative fee level set nationally by Research Council UK and may be subject to change.