Skip to content


The University of Worcester welcomes applications to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in Psychology.

Research at Worcester has grown significantly in the last 10 years as the University itself has expanded. As a research student you will join a vibrant student community in our Research School and become part of our dynamic research environment.



Researcher Development Programme

You will have the opportunity to be supervised by leading researchers in your field and take advantage of our rich Researcher Development programme which will help you to develop the skills and knowledge you need to complete your research degree but also enhance the skills you will need in any future career.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

Entry qualifications

For MPhil

  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or an approved equivalent award


  • Research or professional experience which has resulted in appropriate evidence of achievement.

For PhD

  • Postgraduate Masters Degree in a discipline which is appropriate to the proposed programme of study


  • First or Upper Second Class Honours Degree or equivalent award in an appropriate discipline


  • Research or professional experience at postgraduate level which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of achievement.

International applicants

International applicants will be required to demonstrate that they have the appropriate level of written and spoken English.

For MPhil/PhD this is an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum score of 7.0 in Written English.

Course content

What will you study?

Wide variety of research interests

The School of Psychology has a strong mix of academics with a high degree of professional and personal experience, enabling you to get the most out of your programme.

Our staff have expertise in occupational psychology (values-based recruitment, coaching, resilience), mental health (adult and adolescent mental health, trauma, mood disorders, anxiety), social and cognitive psychology (cognitive reasoning, emotional intelligence, evolutionary perspectives on human behaviour), counselling approaches (CBT, EMDR therapy, suicide prevention), developmental (family diversity, individual differences) and forensic psychology (intimate partner violence, international perspectives on offending). 

Staff can offer a wide range of expertise in relation to research methods and the full range of research interests can be seen with the supervisor details.       

Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

Excellent supervision

Benefit from a professional and challenging relationship with your supervisory team, drawn from experienced academics working at the forefront of their disciplines.


Access to the University of Worcester’s virtual resources and its state of the art library facilities. The Psychology team at Worcester have an excellent range of resources available to support your learning and your research project, including; Mobile eye-tracker & associated laptop, 2 x static computer-mounted eye-trackers (eye-tribe eye-trackers), Psychometric test library, 3 x video recorders, 2 x digital voice recorders, 11 x fitbits, 1 x mobile EEG, 1 x E-prime software, 7 x iPads, 20 x callipers.

Some of the current Psychology students are conducting research on the role of emotional intelligence in adolescents' attentional processing of emotions under stress; the motivation, constructions and embodiment of the Female sporting body; and on understanding adult male sexual assault victims' post assault reporting and prosecution decisions. Our two newest students are exploring transformational leadership behaviours that lead to long term behaviour change; and the effectiveness of CBT and EMDR as psychological interventions in the treatment of displaced Yazidi women and girls suffering from PTSD

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document for the MPhil or PhD.


Dr Kazia Anderson 
Research specialisms: career development and success; gender and occupational context; wellbeing at work; coaching and career interventions.

Professor Erica Bowen 
Research specialisms: violence in intimate relationships; violence prevention; offender rehabilitation.

Professor Eleanor Bradley 
Research specialisms: adult mental health; medicines conversations (information-exchange, concordance); family input and support (shared decision making, coproduction); non-medical prescribing; qualitative research. The application of health psychology theory to mental healthcare. Current projects include the input of families to shared decision making within adult mental healthcare, an exploration of the role of motivational interviewing as a resource for prescribing professionals to enhance communication within adult mental healthcare, and defining recovery within and between adult mental healthcare services. 
Research methodologies: predominantly qualitative, with a particular interest in constructivist grounded theory.

Professor Dawn Brooker 
Research specialisms: dementia studies; clinical psychology; ageing; the interface between the experience of those affected by dementia, practitioners and researchers to ensure real knowledge exchange. Practice development, complex care, psycho-social interventions in dementia care, observational methods, quality of life and quality of care 
Research methodologies: predominantly mixed methods approaches.

Dr Sarah Davis 
Research specialisms: Individual differences; emotional intelligence; child and adolescent development; personality; mental health; stress and coping; resilience; social cognition; attentional bias 
Research methodologies: Longitudinal; experimental and cross-sectional research designs; psychometric validation; quantitative statistical methods including structural equation modelling and conditional process modelling (Mediation and moderation).

Dr Rosie Erol 
Research specialisms: policing, crime reduction, violent crime, domestic abuse, vulnerability, health-related evaluations 
Research methodologies: qualitative methods, mixed and multi-methods

Dr Derek Farrell 
Research specialisms: psychological trauma; Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s); child sexual abuse; clergy sexual abuse; gender-based violence; trauma capacity building; psychological first aid; EMDR Therapy; cognitive behavioural psychotherapies, mental health & severe mental illness; performance enhancement in sport; psychological interventions within humanitarian assistance programmes; clinical supervision; positive psychology.
Research methodologies: interpretative phenomenological analysis; Q Methodology; Delphi Technique; mixed methodology; psychometric evaluation and validation including statistical analysis.

Dr Daniel Farrelly 
Research specialisms: evolutionary perspectives on human behaviour, in particular social and cognitive psychology. 
Research methodologies: quantitative, experimental.

Professor Elizabeth Gilchrist 
Research specialisms: domestic abuse/intimate partner violence and factors associated with IPV; risk assessment - particularly with intimate partner violence; innovative interventions for intimate partner violence - again particularly with perpetrators; victim/survivors perspectives on intimate partner violence; sports interventions and desistance; international perspectives on risk, interventions and offending.

Dr Kath Gordon-Smith 
Research specialisms: comorbidities (physical and psychiatric) of major mood disorders 
Research methodologies: quantitative, longitudinal mood measures in bipolar disorder.

Dr Amy Grubb 
Research specialisms: police psychology; policing; hostage and crisis negotiation; conflict resolution; sexual violence; rape blame attribution; rape victimology; and medico-legal responses to rape victims. 
Research methodologies: quantitative research methods; qualitative research methods; and mixed methods.

Dr Di Haigney 
Research specialism: research methods and analytical techniques for data 
Research methodologies: quantitative.

Dr Gillian Harrop 
Research specialisms: violence and sexual violence; false allegations; domestic abuse; police investigation.M

Matthew Jellis 
Research specialisms: occupational/business psychology; personnel selection, assessment and training; organisational change and development. 
Research methodologies: quantitative studies in applied settings, including the analysis of archive data; qualitative; mixed and multi-methods

Professor Lisa Jones 
Research specialisms: aetiology of major mood disorders (including bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis). 
Research methodologies: quantitative, longitudinal measures in major mood disorders.

Dr Tim Jones 
Research specialisms: decision making; reasoning; intimate partner violence; LGBT+ domestic violence; environmental psychology (crowding, personal space and cognitive models). 
Research methodologies: experimental, regression, mixed-methods.

Dr Béré Mahoney 
Research specialisms: victimisation; the social and psychological costs of crime; sexuality and gender identity; eating behaviour; ageing and appearance concerns and beliefs about aging; individual differences. 
Research methodologies: quantitative, including the analysis of ‘Big Data’; qualitative; mixed and multi-methods

Dr Gabriela Misca 
Research specialisms: developmental psychology and family diversity across the life-span; military and veterans psychology; military and veteran families: parenting, couple relationships, military trauma, mental health and PTSD; child and adolescent development and mental health in the context of diverse families and child-care settings: adoption, foster care, intercountry adoption, global surrogacy, same-sex parenting. Adverse early experiences, parenting, attachment and the intergenerational transmission of risk. 
Research methodologies: quantitative (including longitudinal approaches to cohort data), qualitative (including narrative approaches) and mixed methods; participatory research methods with children and adults; systematic review approaches, and intervention evaluation.

Dr Blaire Morgan 
Research specialisms: psycholinguistics, education, positive psychology, social psychology, moral education and virtue ethics. 
Research methodologies: quantitative, mixed methods.

Dr Kate Muse 
Research specialisms: cognitive-behavioural interventions; mindfulness-based interventions; anxiety disorders (especially panic disorder and health anxiety); emotional mental imagery; therapist competence; therapist supervision and skills training. 
Research methodologies: qualitative (interviews, IPA, thematic analysis, grounded theory), meta-synthesis, mixed-methods approaches, systematic reviews, scale development, case series, randomised controlled trials.

Dr Helen Nicholas 
Research specialisms: counselling psychology, trauma, anxiety, older adults, neurodegenerative diseases (dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease), coaching psychology, ethical and professional issues in psychology. 
Research methodologies: qualitative.

Dr Laura Rees-Davies 
Research specialisms: eating disorders (Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa); psychology of coaching and mentoring; play, ICT and emotional development. 
Research methodologies: qualitative methods, evidence-based practice.

Dr Helen Scott 
Research specialisms: occupational psychology; empathy and emotional intelligence; resilience; training and development interventions to support employee psychological wellbeing.
Research methodologies: quantitative, mixed methods.

Dr Holly Taylor-Dunn 
Research specialisms: policing; domestic and sexual violence; stalking and harassment.
Research methodologies: realistic evaluation, thematic analysis.

Dr Darelle Villa 
Research specialisms: adult mental health, brain injury, psychological interventions, client and family experiences, and staff resilience. 
Research methodologies: qualitative and qualitative meta-synthesis

Dr Elaine Walklet 
Research specialisms: relationships between physical and mental health, the psychological impact of illness and long-term conditions, behaviour change and adherence, self-management interventions, and stress in healthcare staff. 
Research methodologies: qualitative, mixed methods.

Dr Dean Wilkinson 
Research specialisms: cognitive reasoning and decision making; delusional ideation; victimisation and sexual orientation; arts in prison, older offenders; cognitive reasoning and decision making; delusional ideation; victimisation and sexual orientation. 
Research methodologies: quantitative, mixed methods.


Where could it take you?

All research students must engage with the Researcher Development Programme (RDP), a core curriculum of training and development which provides them with the general and subject-specific knowledge, skills and behaviours to support them in the completion of their research degree. At the beginning of an MPhil/PhD degree, you will be allocated to one of two pathways depending on your experience and knowledge as a researcher. This will determine which elements of the programme are core and which are optional.At the beginning of the programme you will be required to complete a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) in conjunction with your Director of Studies. This identifies the training that you will need to undertake, in addition to the mandatory elements of RDP, in order to complete the programme and to become an effective researcher. This TNA is revisited at the beginning of each subsequent academic year. All students are offered a wide range of optional training workshops throughout the programme focused around the following themes:

  • Developing and Managing Your Research
  • Dissemination, Impact, Engagement
  • Completing Your Research Degree
  • Research Methodology Master classes
  • Data Analysis
  • Research Funding
  • Wellbeing and Personal Effectiveness
  • Careers and Employability
  • Enterprise and Entrepreneurship

How much will it cost?


The current fees can be found within the tuition fees document on our figure out finances page.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply

How do you apply?

Additional information

As part of the application process, you will be asked to submit a research outline. We recommend preparing your research outline before beginning your online application. Some guidance on preparing your research outline is available here.

If your research involves working with vulnerable adults and/or children then you may be required to obtain a DBS check. There will be a small charge for this. For more information please contact

We are committed to making reasonable adjustment. If you require an alternative format for making your application due to a disability, please contact us to discuss your needs on 01905 542182 or

How to apply

Please make your application via our online application form. If you have any questions, please contact the Research School on 01905 542182 or

Before you submit a full application, please contact Dr Berenice Mahoney ( to discuss your research project and the availability of appropriate supervision.

January start

Apply for this course - full time Apply for this course - part time

October start

Apply for this course - full time Apply for this course - part time

Get in touch