Psychology MPhil, PhD

Research ( full-time, part-time)


January, April, September

MPhil: Full-time, from 1 to 3 years. Part-time, from 2 to 4 years.

PhD via progression from MPhil, including that period: Full-time, from 2.5 to 5 years. Part-time, from 3.5 to 6 years.

PhD: Full-time, from 2 to 4 years. Part-time, from 3 to 6 years.

For further guidance on the duration of Research Degrees please refer to the Research Degrees Regulations.

Apply online

Apply directly to ARU by 7 November 2021 (international students) or 5 December 2021 (UK students) for January 2022 entry.

For deadlines for other intakes, visit our how to apply page.


Students undertaking a PhD in Psychology at Anglia Ruskin become part of a newly established and rapidly expanding centre of research excellence. We have world-leading staff members in each of the core areas of Psychology, with particular strengths in cognitive neuroscience, cognition and emotion, social psychology and health psychology.

Full description

Supervision and support

Our supervisors will meet you regularly to discuss your progress formally and are available any time for support or advice. There are also extensive study resources online.

If your work is interdisciplinary we can involve relevant specialists from other schools and disciplines.

Our supervisory staff are recognised experts in their field. Their research expertise includes:

  • Dr Fiona Ashworth - Fiona’s main areas of interests are the psychological interventions and cognitive rehabilitation aimed at alleviating the emotional and cognitive consequences of acquired brain injury.
  • Dr Jane Aspell - Jane is a cognitive neuroscientist and her research focuses on the multisensory bodily basis for self-consciousness.
  • Prof Peter Bright - Peter Bright is a Professor of Psychology and his research interests are in memory, cognitive control and intelligence.
  • Dr Matt Bristow - Matt’s research concentrates on psycho-neuro-immunology and the psychophysiology of stress.
  • Dr Flavia Cardini - Flavia’s research is focused on the study of the brain representation of one’s own body as a result of the interaction between information from different sensory modalities.
  • Dr Mick Finlay - Mick is a social psychologist conducting research in two main areas: intellectual disabilities and political conflict between groups.
  • Dr Ruth Ford - Ruth studies the cognitive and social development of young children, focusing on memory, cognitive control, and social cognition. Her research encompasses both theoretical and applied projects.
  • Dr Annelie Harvey - Annelie is a social psychologist interested in the psychology of justice. Her research considers how people react to victims and instances of misfortune.
  • Dr Cathrine Jansson-Boyd - Cathrine is a consumer psychologist with a particular interest in tactile perception and environmentally friendly consumption. Additionally, she is interested in how consumers aesthetically evaluate products and consumer environments.
  • Dr Emma Kaminskiy - Emma is a lecturer in Psychology, and the course leader for BSc (Hons) Abnormal & Clinical Psychology.
  • Dr Helen Keyes - Helen researches how experienced and novice drivers’ brains process the road environment, as well as how the brain processes our own face and other familiar faces.
  • Dr Sarah Kuppen - Sarah’s expertise is in child development, particularly in the areas of language and literacy. She's also interested in evidence-based parenting, where scientific research is used to guide parenting practices.
  • Dr John Lambie - John’s research focuses on emotion and reflective awareness. He is interested in how being more reflectively aware helps us to cope with emotions and thus have greater well-being.
  • Dr Eimear Lee - Eimear is a lecturer in psychology, and her research interests include biological psychology, health psychology, personality and individual differences, and psychosocial influences on health.
  • Dr Sharon Morein-Zamir - Sharon’s research investigates the control of actions and thoughts, as it relates to disorders of compulsivity and impulsivity.
  • Dr Michael Pake - Michael is a Senior Lecturer in Psychology and also acts as our undergraduate Admissions Tutor.
  • Dr David Pearson - David is a cognitive psychologist whose research examines the cognitive processes involved during memory, mental imagery and visuo-spatial thinking, with a particular focus on applications in the fields of clinical and environmental psychology.
  • Dr Steven Stagg - Steven teaches on our clinical psychology Masters courses. His research interests include research methods and child development.
  • Prof Viren Swami - Viren is a social psychologist whose research focuses on the psychology of human appearance and body image and, separately, the psychology of conspiracy theories.
  • Dr Magdalena Zawisza - Magdalena is a Reader in Consumer and Gender Psychology; her research interests fall into three general areas: consumer, gender and applied social psychology.

Students on the PhD in Psychology programme can benefit from attending (subject to availability of space in the class) some of the School’s MSc lectures which relate to their research. These could include lectures within the MSc modules listed below. Attendance is not compulsory:

  • Developmental Psychopathology
  • Imaging and Diagnostics in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Current Theoretical Issues in Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Issues in Scientific Research
  • Quantitative Research methods
  • Diagnosis and Treatment in Child Psychology

Where you'll research

Your faculty

The Faculty of Science & Engineering is one of the largest of the four faculties at Anglia Ruskin University. Whether you choose to study with us full-time or part-time, on campus or at a distance, there’s an option whatever your level – from a foundation degree, BSc, MSc, PhD or professional doctorate.

Whichever course you pick, you’ll gain the theory and practical skills needed to progress with confidence. Join us and you could find yourself learning in the very latest laboratories or on field trips or work placements with well-known and respected companies. You may even have the opportunity to study abroad.

Everything we do in the faculty has a singular purpose: to provide a world-class environment to create, share and advance knowledge in science, technology and engineering fields. This is key to all of our futures.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK students, 2021/22 (per year)


UK students, 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


International students, 2021/22 (per year)


International students, 2021/22 (part-time, per year)


Bench fees

In some cases extra costs known as bench fees will be charged for a postgraduate research degree. These are to cover additional/exceptional costs directly related to a specific research project.

Some examples of these costs are (the list is not exhaustive): equipment hire, access costs to specialist equipment/workshops, volunteer expenses, specialist tissue/cell culture, specialist reagents or materials, specialist software, access to specialist databases, data collection costs, specialist media, recording or digital storage needs.

We charge bench fees in bands. They may apply for every year of your course. These bands are the same for full- and part-time students.

If you have to pay bench fees this will be made clear at your interview, and stated in your offer letter.

For 2021/22 the bench fee bands are:

  1. £500
  2. £1,000
  3. £2,000
  4. £4,000
  5. £8,000

PhD by Published Work

Initial registration: £1,300
Full registration: £4,000

Writing up fees 2021/22

Part time: £1,000

Full time: £1,800


For advice on the doctoral loan and other sources of funding, including ARU scholarships, visit our finance guide for postgraduate researchers.

You might also find The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding helpful.

ARU research

Anglia Ruskin's academic excellence was recognised in 2014, as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF), an exercise which assesses the quality of academic research. Twelve areas of our work were classed as generating world-leading research. The results showed that we're making a significant impact on economies, societies, the environment and culture in all corners of the globe.

Our staff publish peer-reviewed articles, publish books, and write specialist book chapters on a wide range of psychological topics. We collaborate on research projects with external institutions, professional bodies and charities. For example we’re currently working with the NHS to develop better information services regarding AIDS treatment and an early indicator for psychosis.


We’ll provide comprehensive research training in areas such as academic writing and publishing, research methods, subject developments, data analysis, conference skills and presentation.

You can also access the Epigeum Suite of online skills training modules.

Contact details

If you're interested in finding out more about research study opportunities, please email

Entry requirements

MPhil or PhD with progression from MPhil: You’ll need a Bachelor degree or equivalent with first or upper second class honours, in a related subject area.

PhD: You’ll need a Master degree or equivalent in a related subject area.

Please note we consider candidates for PhD with progression from MPhil in the first instance. If you want to be considered for direct entry to the PhD route then this can be discussed at interview if you are shortlisted. Please note you’ll also need to provide academic justification for this request. 

If English is not your first language, you'll require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum of 5.5 in each component (or equivalent test). If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of on-campus and online learning in September 2020, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. Before starting the course, we recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

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Studying during COVID-19

Due to national restrictions all universities in England, including ARU, are only able to provide face to face access to research resources in limited circumstances where access can be justified under movement restrictions. Visit our restrictions page for details. All assessments and supervision are currently conducted online.

Study options
In response to the COVID-19 global pandemic and related Government guidance, your research programme will be framed, wherever possible, to be conducted away from campus and in line with movement restrictions. For some types of research attendance on campus will be essential for some activities, and these activities will need to be undertaken in a COVID-19 safe manner in line with our risk management procedures.

In the event that there are further changes to the current restrictions that are in place within the UK due to the pandemic, we may need all of our researchers to work online only at short notice to remain in line with Government guidelines and ensure the continued safety of our students and staff.

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January, April, September

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online

International applicants

+44 1245 68 68 68

Enquire online