PhD/MPhil Experimental Psychology / Programme details

Year of entry: 2020

Programme description

The discipline of experimental psychology involves application of rigorous scientific experimental methods to the study of psychology and its underlying neural processes. In the same way that a physicist might develop theories and test hypotheses about physical systems, experimental psychologists develop and test theories about the processes of human psychology.

Experimental Psychology has a long tradition at the University of Manchester. Prof. Samuel Alexander, the late 19 th and early 20 th century philosopher, kick-started the study of psychology in Manchester after visiting experimental psychologists in Germany. This eventually led to the appointment of the first lecturer in experimental psychology in Manchester in 1909 and the establishment of a dedicated psychology department - a rare phenomenon for Britain and, indeed, anywhere outside of London at the time.

We primarily use behavioural experimental methods in order to study psychological processes, measuring key metrics such as perceptual biases and thresholds, reaction times, pupil responses and eye-movements. We use these measures to inform, and further develop, models of cognition.

Our major research themes include:

  • Sensation and perception
  • Vision and action
  • Memory
  • Judgement and Decision making
  • Language processing
  • Emotion
  • Time perception

To search for specific project keywords, disciplines, topics and/or supervisors visit our research project pages.

Special features

Training and development

All of our postgraduate research students attend the Doctoral Academy Training Programme delivered by the Centre for Academic and Researcher Development (CARD).

The programme provides key transferable skills in areas such as commercial awareness, academic writing and public engagement. This training equips our postgraduates with the tools to progress beyond their research degree into influential positions within academia, industry and consultancy.

The emphasis is on enhancing skills critical to developing early-stage researchers and professionals, whether they relate to effective communication, disseminating research findings and project management skills.

See the  training and development  page for more information.

Teaching and learning

PhD/MPhil programmes are based on individual research projects that last three to four years (PhD) or one year (MPhil), working with a specific Primary Supervisor and Co-Supervisor(s).

Applicants are specifically matched with a Primary Supervisor and individual project based on their research interests and background.

International applicants interested in this research area can also consider the our PhD programme with integrated teaching certificate .

This unique programme will enable you to gain a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning, whilst also carrying out independent research on your chosen project.

Scholarships and bursaries

Funded programmes and projects are promoted throughout the year. Funding is available through UK Research Councils, charities and industry. 

We also have other internal awards and scholarships for the most outstanding applicants from within the UK, EU and overseas. For more information on available the types of funding we have available, please visit the funded programmes and funding opportunities pages.

What our students say

Find out more about what it's like to study at Manchester on the  Doctoral Academy Blog .

Facilities

You will have access to a range of research and learning facilities across the University and at some of our partner organisations.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk