PhD in Social / Political Psychology

We welcome applications from students with a good (2:1 and above, or equivalent) undergraduate degree in psychology or a related discipline, with an interest in pursuing a PhD in the Centre for Identity and Intergroup Relations. Potential supervisors within this field are Professor Rhiannon Turner, Dr Gary McKeown, Dr Lesley Storey, Dr Ioana Latu, and Dr Laura Taylor. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD with us, please contact the relevant potential supervisor before submitting an application with your CV and proposed research idea. Information about potential PhD funding can be found on the Graduate School website.

MSc in Political Psychology

Political Psychology is a growing inter-disciplinary sub-field drawing on insights from a number of disciplines including Psychology, Political Science and History.  It is concerned with understanding political issues and phenomena by exploring how socio-political contexts and institutions are affected by and affect individual and collective cognitions and behaviours.  It addresses questions such as:

  • How are public opinions formed and mobilised?
  • How do political leaders make decisions?
  • What are the social influences which determine how diverse groups within nations and across nations relate to each other?
  • Why and under what circumstances do people commit violent political acts and mass killings?
  • What is the role of the media in influencing political cognitions and behaviours?
  • Why are some inter-group conflicts intractable and protracted?
  • How do we build peace?

Why choose this course?

The School of Psychology at Queen’s is the only institute within the UK to offer a Political Psychology degree.   It has a longstanding international reputation for its social psychological research on political issues.  It is also situated in Belfast, a city which has experienced one of the most protracted conflicts in the world and, following the peace process, is now in the process of fostering cohesion between communities which have been divided for a long time.  This context provides students with opportunities to apply their learning to real life political phenomena.

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Career Opportunities

The course is designed to furnish you with knowledge and skills which would be useful when seeking to have a career in public policy or employment in Local or National Government, international and European organisations, political parties, the media, and lobby groups.  It will also provide you with the research skills and knowledge to carry out a PhD in Political or Social Psychology or another cognate discipline and subsequently pursue an academic career.


Applicants must normally possess or expect to possess by admission to the course, a First Class or 2.1 Honours degree in Psychology or Political Sciences or in another relevant discipline. Students should apply online via the Direct Applications Portal on the Queen's University website.

We will be accepting applications for 2017/2018 until late June 2017.


MSc Political Psychology Leaflet

To learn more, please contact the MSc Course Director Dr Lesley Storey.

Dr Lesley Storey
Tel: +44 (0)28 9097 4587