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The Application Process

The School focuses its research activities around specific themes and each year we advertise areas of funded and potentially funded doctoral research. The research topics are listed on the following page: PhD Opportunities 2016 along with the corresponding PhD supervisor. The School will also consider other topics and a full range of staff interests is found on our web pages.

If you are interested in applying, then you must contact the project supervisor before submitting an application.

The School considers applications for both full-time and part-time study. A PhD is expected to take three years full-time, or six years part-time, and an MPhil by research takes one to two years full-time, or two to four years part-time.

General Application Criteria

Applicants should have, or be expected to obtain, a good 2i or higher Honours degree in Psychology (or a closely related discipline – in these cases individuals will need to demonstrate a good understanding of psychology theory and practice). For overseas students an equivalent, to UK Hons Degree, tertiary level qualification is required. Please contact your potential supervisor to discuss this.

The Application Process

Queen’s uses an on-line application system. Full details of this can be found on the Applying to Queen's pages.

Please alert your potential referees to the fact that you are applying as once your application is submitted an automatic system generates an email to them requesting a reference.


The School uses a 2 stage selection process.

If individuals meet the criteria above with regard to academic qualification and securing a supervisor, they will usually be invited for interview. Please note that, as the selection process occurs before you may have your final degree classification, any offers made at this stage are conditional on you achieving the required degree class.


Applicants will be interviewed by their potential supervisor(s) and also by the Schools Postgraduate Research Selection Panel. You will be asked to give a short (10 minute) presentation with the following title: "Outline your PhD proposal and explain how your previous experience has prepared you to undertake this Doctoral Research."  

At interview we will be assessing

  • Evidence of intellectual competence, research competence, and methodological competence appropriate to the topic.
  • Evidence of motivation to carry out research in the topic area.
  • Evidence of appropriate writing skills.
  • Evidence of specific abilities needed to work in the relevant environment.
  • Evidence of communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Evidence of previous academic achievement and research experience

Following the interview applicants are contacted by the University with the outcome of the process. If successful you may be accepted for a place to study with funding. Alternatively you may be offered a place to study but without funding; in the current competitive environment we are unable to offer funding to all applicants. A timetable of the selection and interview process


The School has a number of funded places each year. The topics which have already been allocated funding (or which potentially may be allocated funding) are indicated on the list of topics at the following link: PhD Opportunities 2016

There are many other sources that individuals may be eligible for funding from. Students from outside the UK may be able to access funds from their Government or bodies within their country for study abroad. Students from the Republic of Ireland may be able to obtain support from their local authorities. Some students self-fund. As eligibility for various awards varies individuals are encouraged to check the University's Postgraduate Awards pages for further information or contact the School’s Postgraduate Tutor.

If you are seeking funding from the University then your application for a place through the QUB on-line system enters you automatically into competitions for funding administered by the University, provided your application is made before the deadline. If you are seeking funding from elsewhere you must ensure the appropriate application is made. Many such applications require support from the hosting School and your potential supervisor should be contacted to arrange this as required.