PhD Clinical Psychology

The University of Edinburgh | Edinburgh, United Kingdom
The PhD/MSc by Research programme provides the opportunity to do a substantial piece of research in an area linked to clinical and health psychology and to develop excellent research skills in the process.

Description of Clinical Psychology


The PhD/MSc by Research programme offers the possibility to work with and be supervised by a range of clinical academics across many areas of clinical psychology, who have international reputations and outstanding publications in their areas of expertise.

Current areas of expertise include

  • children and adolescents,
  • adult psychological problems,
  • older adults,
  • neuropsychology and learning disabilities.

Specific areas of interest include cognitive behaviour therapy, interpersonal psychotherapy, cognition and emotion, quality of life, psychosis, staff training, health psychology, and qualitative approaches.

Recent successful PhD topics have included:

  • Eating disorders and emotion
  • Chronic pain
  • Quality of Life and Intellectual Disabilities
  • An Intervention for Bipolar Disorders

Detailed Course Facts

Tuition fee

Not specified
Start date Any time  2015
Duration full-time 36 months
Delivery mode On Campus
Educational variant Part-time, Full-time
Project Type Open
Educational Form Academic

Course Content


The aims of the PhD/MSc by Research programme are:

  • to carry out a substantial piece of research in a clinical or health psychology related area
  • to develop high level research skills in a clinical-related area
  • to help develop a research an academic career
  • to carry out a specific piece of applied research, especially where someone is already employed and is sponsored to do a part-time research degree


The PhD programme runs over three years full-time and six years part-time.

In the first year, students typically choose a number of optional taught postgraduate courses from within the School of Health, or other Schools within the University, as appropriate to their research programme, and as agreed with their supervisor.

Subsequent years of the PhD programme primarily focus on the completion and analysis of the main research project, which can then be written up and completed by the end of the third year.

English Language Requirements

TOEFL paper-based test score (read more)
TOEFL iBT® test (read more)

IMPORTANT NOTE: Per 6 April 2015 only the English language tests from IELTS and Trinity College London are accepted for Tier 4 Visa applications to the United Kingdom. Other tests (including TOEFL, TOEIC, Pearson, City & Guilds) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. Since the Trinity College London language tests must be taken in one of their exam centres in the UK, IELTS is now the only language test accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK that can be taken worldwide.

The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

Requirements for Clinical Psychology

Academic requirements

  1. A First or 2:1 in Psychology or a closely related subject. For international equivalencies, please click to:
  2. An outline research proposal of approximately 1000 words that gives a summary of key references, research question, proposed research design, and population group of interest
  3. Names and details of two referees
  4. If English language is not the first language, then an IELTS of 6.5+, or equivalent

Points to consider in your research proposal

  • Why the topic is of interest to you. This will include an indication of how the proposed research grows out of your personal and/or professional development.
  • How your proposed research will build on and/or contribute to knowledge (including professional practice). This will include brief discussion of existing literature, an indication of the debates or gaps in knowledge you wish to address, and/or the theoretical or conceptual framework you plan to adopt or explore.
  • How you will conduct the research, including consideration of ethical issues. Under this heading please identify the methodological and/or ethical challenges you anticipate: you do not need to resolve them at this stage.

Work Experience for Clinical Psychology

No work experience is required.

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