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Research Degrees 

The Department of Psychology offers 3 to 3.5 year PhD funding schemes and 1 year Master’s research degrees (full time or part time). These research degrees offer the unique opportunity to tackle research questions at the forefront of psychological science.

Students will be supervised by world-leading experts in their field of study and will be part of a thriving community of researchers within the department. Students are active members of their research groups and benefit from a large range of opportunities to present and discuss work with their colleagues in seminars and research workshops.

Research degrees are examined by writing a thesis and, in the case of a PhD, students undertake a viva (oral) examination. In addition to research work, students have the opportunity to undertake some teaching in order to gain valuable teaching experience. The university also offers a wide range of training and personal development courses. Students who are interested in undertaking post-graduate research are encouraged to approach members of staff within their field of interest to discuss and to develop potential research projects suitable for PhD or Master’s by research degrees.

Here is a sample of some project ideas suggested by individual staff. 

These are very much intended only as starting points - prospective students are also welcome to contact staff to discuss their own ideas for PhD or MRes projects - see our list of Staff and Research Groups

Cognitive Neuroscience 

Staff Project
Dr Anthony Atkinson 

The visual perception of social interactions

Foveal and extrafoveal processing of features within a face underpinning social perception

Dr Ulrik Beierholm

Testing Bayesian inference models of perception

Rewards, punishment, vigour and decision making

Prof Alex Easton

Novelty in the rodent brain; compatibility of rodent and human memory

Dr Daniel Smith

PremotorEX: An Oculomotor Theory of Covert, Exogenous Attention

Dr Lore Thaler

Human Echolocation - A window into human brain plasticity and sensory function

Developmental Science 

Staff Project
Dr Dorothy Cowie How children learn to control their movement, and how they represent their own bodies.
Prof Marko Nardini

Learning new senses (in adulthood and/or childhood)

Development of spatial cognition

Prof Nadja Reissland

Foetal exposure to light and sound stimulation

Lateralized behaviour from the prenatal to the postnatal period

Quantitative Social Psychology 

Staff Project
Prof Lynda Boothroyd

Visual media, culture and body ideals in rural Nicaragua

Body size ideals in virtual reality environments

Dr Niklas Ihssen Exposure to Visual Food or Drug Cues – Behavioural and Neural Dynamics
Dr Mario Weick Top and Bottom, Rich and Poor: Understanding Social Hierarchies
Dr Holger Wiese Neural Correlates of Familiar Face Recognition