Clinical Psychology PhD / MPhil

Clinical Psychology registers postgraduate students for both MPhil and PhD degrees, both full-time and part-time. In recent years, up to 24 students have been registered for a higher research degree at any one time.

Why study with us?

  • 95%

    of our research activity rated as of 'International standard' REF (2014).

  • 200+

    leading academics.

  • £13.5m

    annual support to extend the impact of our studies.


The Institute of Psychology, Health and Society conducts conducts internationally acclaimed research into many aspects of psychology and human behaviour, including perception, language development, pain, addiction, appetite, and offending behaviour.

We have a long and successful history of research links with NHS services, including a nationally unique psychology service for people in Liverpool who are affected by cancer, which is provided in partnership with the University. Therefore we are extremely well placed to help develop students’ clinical research expertise across a range of settings in mental and physical health care. Our experience is that people undertake research degrees within Clinical Psychology at different stages in their careers and for different reasons.

Our research students include those with first degrees in Psychology, those who already have professional qualifications in Psychology, graduates of disciplines other than Psychology and professionals in other, related disciplines. This reflects the commitment to multidisciplinary approaches, but makes it difficult to make generalisations about the career paths of graduates from research degrees in this area.

Some research students will go on to an academic career in research and teaching. Some students go on to undertake further training in an area of applied psychology (eg Forensic, Clinical) and to careers in, for example, the NHS. Some students are already working in the NHS and undertake a research degree part-time as part of their continuing professional development. For students who have BPS Graduate Basis for Registration, undertaking a research degree may fulfil some of the requirements for gaining Chartered Psychologist status.

The Institute of Psychology, Health and Society conducts world-leading research into the effectiveness of health services, the social origins of health and social inequalities in healthcare, mental health and well-being, including the evaluation of a wide range of psychosocial interventions and therapies and conduct internationally acclaimed research into many aspects of psychology and human behaviour, including perception, language development, pain, addiction, appetite, and offending behaviour. We work collaboratively; the Institute employs academic GPs, public health professionals, psychologists from a range of professional backgrounds, psychiatrists, nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and social scientists.

Our research groups work with colleagues from hugely diverse backgrounds; from academic colleagues from many Universities across the world, with industrial partners, with the NHS and other healthcare providers, politicians and political administrators, the police and partners across civil society.

We work across the world - from investigating respiratory disease in central America, through promoting the psychological well-being of young mothers in the middle east to studying attitudes towards epilepsy in Asia - and across widely different aspects of human behaviour - from innovative therapies for many different psychological problems, managing substance use and obesity, through helping people return to work after periods of ill-health and innovative food policies through to the policing of terrorist incidents. In all these areas, our work is characterised by a focus on research excellence and by attention to the real world impact of our scholarship.

In addition to our large and active programme of postgraduate research, we contribute substantially to undergraduate teaching in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, and many of us provide clinical services through local NHS Trusts.

Research groups

  • Mental Health in Context
  • Addiction
  • Forensic and Investigative
  • Psychology of Healthcare

Study options and fees

MPhil / PhD Duration Home/EU Students International Students
Full time 2-4 years £4,407* (2020) £23,650* ^ (lab based programmes)
£18,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020).
Part time 4-6 years £2,204* (2020) £11,825* (lab based programmes) £9,000* (non Lab based programmes) (2020)

*This fees excludes potential research support fees also known as ‘bench fees. You will be notified of any fee which may apply in your offer letter.

^Self funded full time international students studying a lab based programme will receive a £2,000 reduction in their fees for the first year only.

Entry requirements

Applications are welcomed from well qualified graduates who would typically hold a UK first degree or equivalent in the first or 2:1 class, or a 2:2 class degree plus a Masters degree, in a relevant subject.

We welcome applications from within the EU and around the world. You should ensure that your qualifications are equivalent to those required to study for this research degree. See our guidance on international qualifications.

You must also have reached a minimum standard of English and be able to provide evidence of this. See our English language requirements for international students.

How to apply

Research degree applications can be made online.  Before you apply, we recommend that you identify a supervisor and develop a research proposal.  You'll also need to ensure that you have funding to cover all fees.

Applications are open all year round.

More about applying for research degrees

Apply online

Find a supervisor

Your supervisor is your main source of academic support and mentoring. You'll need to find a supervisor before you start your research degree. It's helpful to identify a supervisor and discuss your research proposal before you apply.

View supervisors in this area

Need help finding a supervisor? Contact us

Related studentships: self-funded and funded PhD projects

Find a scholarship

We offer a range of scholarships to help you meet the costs of studying a research degree.

See scholarships