Psychology PhD - 2021 Entry

Entry Year
2021

Duration
Full time 36 Month(s), Part time 48 Month(s)

Course Overview

A PhD consists of an extensive and coherent research programme, typically involving three to four years of full-time study. We welcome proposals for PhD research that offer programmatic ideas connected with staff research projects and interests. We think of PhDs as student-led yet collaborative research projects.

We provide extensive support and training to ensure that PhD students are well equipped to make their work productive, effective and influential, ultimately leading to a successful and timely submission of a PhD thesis.

 

Fees

Fees

 

 

Full Time (per year)Part Time (per year)
UK TBC TBC
International  £22,250 £11,125

The UK tuition fees are set in line with the standard fee stipend provided to students funded by the UK Research Councils.  The fee stipend for 2021/22 will be announced in Spring 2021.

As a guide, the UK fees for entry in 2020 were: 

Full-time - £4,407

Part-time - £2,204

The University will not increase the Tuition Fee you are charged during the course of an academic year.

If you are studying on a programme of more than one year's duration, the tuition fees for subsequent years of your programme are likely to increase each year. The way in which continuing students' fee rates are determined varies according to an individual's 'fee status' as set out on our fees webpages.

Fees for EU applicants

The UK government has announced that students who will begin their course in 2021 will no longer be eligible to receive the same fee status and financial support entitlement as UK students. This also applies to those who have deferred entry until 2021. Lancaster University has confirmed that students from EU Member States in 2021-22 and later, will now be charged the same tuition fees as other non-UK students.

What are tuition fees for?

Studying at a UK University means that you need to pay an annual fee for your tuition, which covers the costs associated with teaching, examinations, assessment and graduation.

The fee that you will be charged depends on whether you are considered to be a UK or international student. Visiting students will be charged a pro-rata fee for periods of study less than a year.

Our annual tuition fee is set for a 12 month session, which usually runs from October to September the following year.

How does Lancaster set overseas tuition fees?

Overseas fees, alongside all other sources of income, allow the University to maintain its abilities across the range of activities and services. Each year the University's Finance Committee consider recommendations for increases to fees proposed for all categories of student and this takes into account a range of factors including projected cost inflation for the University, comparisons against other high-quality institutions and external financial factors such as projected exchange rate movements.

What support is available towards tuition fees?

Lancaster University's priority is to support every student in making the most of their education. Many of our students each year will be entitled to bursaries or scholarships to help with the cost of fees and/or living expenses. You can find out more about financial support, studentships, and awards for postgraduate study on our website.

Related courses

Find a PhD Supervisor

To begin to develop your PhD proposal, you need to find an academic whose research interests match your own. Our research is divided into four themes. Each theme is led by a team of research-active staff, at the forefront of their fields.

Research Projects

We are keen to support PhD applications to work with early-career staff. Below are staff that are interested in hearing from students looking to work in the areas they have highlighted. If the area is of interest to you, please contact the relevant staff member before submitting a PhD application.

Accordion

  • Social Psychology and Language - Dr Tamara Rakić

    In today’s world, with increased mobility and heterogeneous societies, understanding how we form impressions of individuals is crucial for preventing discrimination. My previous research has looked separately (or in a pair) at different aspects of person perception, such as labels, accents, appearance, or stereotypes. One possible PhD project aims at providing a comprehensive investigation of how we evaluate unknown individuals. We base this evaluation on complex combinations of categories, including gender, occupation, appearance, ethnicity, accent, and nationality. We can expand this assessment to different social contexts (multicultural or not) and different age groups (younger vs older adults). This evaluation would allow a better understanding of how impression formation develops over time, as well as how they might be influenced by a social context (multicultural or not).

    The effects of standard-accent bias have been demonstrated in a variety of context. This context includes whether we perceive standard accent speakers as more competent and hireable than nonstandard accent speakers. Some evidence suggests that there might be possible to suppress this negative bias, at least in the short term. The proposed project would aim to investigate different interventions and determine which are more practical and long-lasting. This study could also include other types of information (e.g., appearance, occupation, etc.).

    If you are interested in these topics or if you have other ideas that are related to these topics, please contact Dr Tamara Rakic.

    Key references for this work include:

    • Hansen, K., Rakić, T., & Steffens, M. C., (in press). Competent and warm? How mismatching appearance and accent influence first impressions. Experimental Psychology.
    • Hansen, K., Rakić, T., & Steffens, M. C. (2014). When actions speak louder than words: preventing discrimination of nonstandard speakers. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 33(1), 68-77.
    • Rakić, T., Steffens, M. C., & Mummendey, A. (2011). Blinded by the accent! The minor role of looks in ethnic categorisation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(1), 16-29.
    • Rakić, T., Steffens, M.C., & Mummendey, A. (2011). When it matters how you pronounce it: The influence of regional accents on job interview outcome. British Journal of Psychology, 102, 868-883.
  • Social Cognition and Cognitive Development - Dr Jess Wang

    I’m interested in how we understand other people’s minds, an ability which is often known as Theory of Mind. In the Cognition of Social Interaction (CoSI) lab, we employ a range of techniques to understand the cognitive basis for social interactions better. These techniques include tracking people’s eye movements during conversations, testing their memory for communicative content, and measuring their response times and response accuracy to social stimuli. I would be pleased to discuss ideas for PhD projects on social cognition across the lifespan. Please contact me to discuss your ideas for a PhD.

    Possible projects for 2019/20 entries include (but not limited to):

    1. The role of memory in communication
      We know that working memory supports referential communication (e.g., Wang, Ali, Frisson, Apperly, 2016; Zhao, Wang, Apperly, 2018). At present little is known about the types of memory representations interlocutors form, and whether the richness of the representation changes with age. This project will examine the episodic memory traces for social interactions (Burns, Russell, & Russell, 2015), combining measure from eye-tracking and EEG.
    2. Automatic mindreading: what, when, and how
      An increasing body of evidence suggests that complex mental states such as beliefs may be tracked automatically (e.g., Meert, Wang, & Samson, 2017). However, we do not fully understand the underlying cognitive mechanism. This project will examine whether we can flexibly control automatic mindreading by top-down mechanisms and be adaptive to different contexts (Furlanetto et al., 2016). There is scope to conduct this project as a developmental project or an ageing project.
  • Emotion, Language and the Brain - Dr Francesca Citron

    I am interested in how people process evolutionary or contextually salient stimuli. These stimuli include pictures of threatening or appetitive objects (bear, cake), emotional words (war, kiss), or idiomatic and metaphorical expressions (‘That was a kick in the teeth’, ‘I drank a heavenly coffee’). I am also interested in how these processes differ between second language and first language speakers, or between multilingual and monolinguals. Finally, I am developing a growing interest in beauty perception (aesthetics) in response to literary texts and poetry as well as to paintings, statues, and other artwork.

    I employ a range of methods, from self-reports (e.g., ratings) and reaction times, to electrical brain responses (EEG/ERPs) and neuroimaging (fMRI). I am also interested in using eye-tracking and physiological responses.

    I am interested in hearing from motivated and enthusiastic students on topics related the those above.

    You can find more information on what we do at the Emotion and Communication lab.

    If you are interested in discussing a project together, please contact Francesca.

  • Visual Perception - Dr Michelle To

    I am interested in how the sensory system processes complex natural stimuli, such as photographs, movies, music and language. More specifically, my research investigates how human observers perceive differences and how humans integrate different features from the sensory environment. I have also studied visual perception in the extreme peripheral field.

    The main topics I am interested in include:

    • Natural stimuli perception
    • Feature integration
    • Cross-modal integration
    • Visual perception in the far and extreme periphery

    If you are interested in doing a project in one of these, or a related one, please contact me.

  • Neuroplasticity in Health and Disease - Dr Helen Nuttall

    I am interested in the process of neuroplasticity – the brain’s ability to change throughout an individual’s life. These neuroplastic changes can result from brain damage, such as after a stroke when the brain recovers, or in healthy brains, such as after learning a new skill. I am looking for a motivated student with a background in psychology, neuroscience, or natural sciences (or a related discipline) to join the Neuroscience of Speech and Action lab and work on a collaborative project between the Psychology department and Lancaster Medical School. A variety of methods will be employed to study the process of neuroplasticity, including transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which is a form of non-invasive brain stimulation; electromyography (EMG) to measure muscle signals; physiological techniques to assess strength, arousal, and heart rate; as well as techniques used to measure human behaviours, such as reaction times and accuracy. We are interested in identifying the scientific basis of neuroplasticity to better inform potential therapies in the future.

    Indicative projects areas are:

    1. Motor cortex plasticity in response to a physiological challenge

    Bed rest, extreme environments, and limb immobilisation from arm slings or casts all change the use and function of the motor system. We are interested in exploring how physiological challenges like these affect signalling throughout the motor pathway, and if we can improve motor signalling through brain stimulation, for example

    2. Exercise, cognition, and neuroplasticity

    Recent evidence indicates that sport and exercise can influence cognition, both positively, through improving memory, for example, or negatively, in the case of contact sports and the effect of associated sub-concussions. We are interested in exploring the brain-basis of these neuroplastic changes that are linked to cognitive ability and sport.

    I am very happy to hear from any interested students with their own project ideas as well. Please get in touch via h.nuttall1@lancaster.ac.uk to discuss possible ideas or either of the projects listed above.

Funded PhD Scholarships

Accordion

  • 1 x Faculty of Science & Technology Teaching Scholarships

    The award is for up to 3.5 years for UK/EU applicants and provides full tuition fees, a generous stipend of approximately £15,000 and access to a grant towards research training support.

    • We welcome applications from students in all areas of supervisory expertise. Before applying, you must contact individual staff members to discuss your specific interests and to develop a research proposal. Proposals that bring innovative ideas to match and complement the research agenda of the current staff are more likely to be successful.
    • As a department, we particularly encourage applications to work with early-career staff, who have not previously taken primary supervision of PhD students. Applications to work with early-career staff are weighted preferentially during the evaluation of applications
    • In all cases, informal enquiries should be directed to a PhD Supervisor before application.
    • Please state that you are applying for the Faculty of Science & Technology Scholarships, and the application should also identify an appropriate supervisor(s). We ask that you include a research proposal of up to 1,500 words.
    • Deadline - 3rd February 2020
    • Interview to be scheduled nearer the time.
  • Northwest Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnerships

    Lancaster is a member of the Northwest Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), along with the Universities of Manchester, Liverpool and Keele. The NWSSDTP offers studentships as:

    • 1+3 - a one-year Masters and three years of PhD funding
    • +3 - three years of PhD funding
    • CASE awards - a 1+3, or +3, where a non-academic partner supports proposals
    • As this is partially funded by the University, a limited amount of teaching will be required as part of the studentship contract.
    • Deadline - 3rd February 2020
    • Interviews expected around mid-February with ranking across institutions by the end of the month. Successful, reserve and unsuccessful candidates will be informed by email (by NWSSDTP) by 20th March 2020.