Duration: 4 years full time
Institution code: R72
UK fees*: £4,712
International/EU fees**: £23,400
The Department of Psychology is a dynamic and varied research community covering the cognitive and neural underpinnings of social interaction, learning, memory, and language, through to more applied research topics in forensic, health, and developmental psychology.
Our academic staff work at the forefront of their field, across psychological science and neuroscience, with an active, thriving postgraduate research community.
The Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway has been placed joint third in the country by The Times Higher Education following the publication of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021 results.
In the REF 2021 results overall, 67% of Psychology's research was classified as 4* world leading in terms of originality, significance and rigour, highlighting the exceptional quality of the department’s research outputs, impact and environment.
The department received a top score for its research impact, with 100% judged to be 4* which is the highest standard of excellence. This outstanding result for research impact reinforces the importance and value of the department’s research to society and the economy.
We are located on a beautiful campus in Surrey, close to London and we have a wide range of research-dedicated facilities.
The department has earned a Silver Athena SWAN award for best practice in equal opportunities and our inclusive environment.
We invite candidates to discuss possible research topics with a potential supervisor before submitting a formal application. You can find out more about our staff and their areas of expertise here.
From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience, and this is particularly the case as we continue to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as we can.
Research facilities and environment
Principal Investigators and their lab groups are supported by state-of-the-art facilities (fMRI, EEG, TMS, tDCS, VR, and eye-tracking as well as labs dedicated to sleep, vestibular-multisensory integration, psychophysiology, psycholinguistics, and infant cognition), and the department provides a supportive environment for the scientific training of doctoral students through one-on-one mentoring, regular training events, student-led seminars, and journal clubs.
Research in the department falls broadly into the following groupings:
- Health and Well-Being
- Language, Memory and Attention
- Perception, Action and Decision Making
- Social and Affective Processes
Each of the groupings have regularly held seminars where external researchers present the latest research and provide a rich opportunity for postgraduate research students to meet and discuss research with leaders in their fields. More information about the research groups is here.
Students who are admitted to this programme are initially registered on a MPhil programme. Before their second year of studies they will have an upgrade meeting, if successful, they will become registered on the PhD Psychology programme.
To be awarded a PhD Psychology degree, students must submit their thesis, and pass their viva examination with one internal and one external examiner.
Applicants should have the equivalent of a 2.1 honours in Psychology, or a related discipline, and meet Royal Holloway’s requirements for English (for international students).
English language requirements
All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start.
The scores we require
- IELTS: 6.5 overall. Writing 7.0. No other subscore lower than 5.5.
- Pearson Test of English: 61 overall. Writing 69. No other subscore lower than 51.
- Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English (ISE): ISE III.
- Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) grade C.
- TOEFL ib: 88 overall, with Reading 18 Listening 17 Speaking 20 Writing 26.
For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.
Your future career
Our PGR students often continue in careers in academia (Post-doctoral work, Teaching Fellow, Lecturer) or onto research in business and industry. Our former PGR students have moved into academia, into industry as statisticians, into marketing and neuromarketing, government (eg, Office for National Statistics), policy, cybersecurity, and have become founders of Tech start ups and charities.
Fees & funding
Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £4,712
EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £23,400
Other essential costs***: There are no single associated costs greater than £50 per item on this course
* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.
All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree. The upper limit of any such rise will be made clear on the relevant coursefinder listing for your year of entry, at the earliest opportunity. For further information, please see our terms and conditions.
Please note that for research courses, we adopt the minimum fee level recommended by the UK Research Councils for the Home tuition fee. Each year, the fee level is adjusted in line with inflation (currently, the measure used is the Treasury GDP deflator). Fees displayed here are therefore subject to change and are usually confirmed in the spring of the year of entry. For more information on the Research Council Indicative Fee please see the UKRI website.
** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25.
*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.
Royal Holloway reserves the right to increase tuition fees annually for overseas fee-paying students. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your research degree. The upper limit of any such rise will be made clear on the relevant coursefinder listing for your year of entry, at the earliest opportunity.