Psychology research degrees

How to applyPsychology

Our programmes

We are proud of our strong and consistent research record in Psychology. In the last assessment of our research quality - the Research Excellence Framework exercise in 2014 - 70% of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Our research investigates a broad range of psychological processes from the measurement of brain activity to the investigation of individual and group behaviour, from infancy to old age. This research makes a difference in the real world and influences policy and practice in education, sport and the work place. Our research is centred on three main themes; cognition, cognitive and clinical neuroscience, and health and applied psychology.

We offer three types of research degrees; PhD, MRes and MSc by Research. During the three-year PhD (five years part-time), you will research and write a 100,000 word thesis on a topic in which we are able to offer supervision. On the MRes, you will be assessed by a 30,000 word dissertation. You’ll also complete some taught modules, which will be assessed by a variety of methods, including computer-based assessments, essay and examination.The main focus of the MSc by Research is a 50,000 word dissertation, alongside one taught module.


We are a large and diverse department that can offer project supervision in many areas of Psychology. If you are interested in doing an MRes or a PhD project with us, please have a look at the list below for guidance about the research areas in which the department can offer supervision.

Initial inquiries should be made to the member of staff whom you would like to supervise your research.



  • Visual attentional capture
  • Inhibition of return
  • Social attention and decision making

Staff: Paul Skarratt

Developmental Cognition

  • Cognitive development, especially early world learning and categorisation

Staff: Emily Mather


  • Language comprehension

Staff: Henning Holle


  • The role of attention in learning, and the effects of learning on attention
  • The nature of internal representations of stimuli
  • The interaction between representational form and learning, and the role of stimulus similarity in learning
  • The effects of uncertainty and ambiguity on learning and the role of the prefrontal cortex in processing and responding to uncertainty and ambiguity

Staff: David George


  • Autobiographical memory (in particular the functional role of ABM for problem-solving/future thinking and/or emotion regulation)

Staff: Rachel Anderson

  • False memories and memory illusions
  • The effects of emotion on memory

Staff: Steve Dewhurst

  • Autobiographical memory: exceptional memories
  • Autobiographical memory: involuntary memories
  • Autobiographical memory: memory illusions
  • Enhancing memory

Staff: Giuliana Mazzoni


  • Gesture production and comprehension

Staff: Henning Holle

Numerical cognition

  • Impact of multi-modal education to numbers in children
  • Numerical cognition and bilingualism
  • Development of the mental number line in children
  • Numerical cognition and eating disorders
  • Numerical cognition in blind people

Staff: Julie Castronovo


  • Auditory perception. The most obvious form of information is the linguistic message – what the person has just said.
  • Extralinguistic (indexical) information relating to the physical characteristics of the speaker (age, sex, size etc.) is embedded in the speech sound wave and influences judgements about the speaker.
  • The question of how long it takes to acquire information (both linguistic and extralinguistic) about the auditory world around us and what acoustic cues are important in that representation.

Staff: David Smith

  • Object and face recognition
  • Attention, emotion processing. The methodologies are EEG.

Staff: Mary-Ellen Large

  • Cognitive and social processes involved in person perception and face recognition
  • Cognitive neuroscience approach to visual processing involved in face recognition
  • Influences on verbal processing on visual recognition of faces and everyday objects
  • Perceptual and cognitive processes involved in children’s visual cognition

Staff: Kazuyo Nakabayashi


  • Theory of mind in children and adults
  • Action perception and learning
  • Reasoning in children

Staff: Kevin Riggs

Social cognition / autism

  • Social cognition
  • Social cue processing
  • Theory of mind
  • Mirror mechanisms
  • Action and intention understanding
  • Autism

Staff: Tjeerd Jellema


Health and Well-being

  • The role of cognitive-behavioural processes (such as problem-solving, executive processes, memory and thinking / coping styles in psychological well-being)

Staff: Rachel Anderson

  • Placebo effect in (patients, GPs, normal population)
  • Nocebo effect in (patients, GPs, normal population)
  • Hypnosis

Staff: Giuliana Mazzoni

  • Itch, psychological modulation of itch, interaction of itch and pain using neurocognitive (EEG, TMS, fMRI, resting state connectivity) as well as behavioural methods.

Staff: Henning Holle

  • Determinants of quality of life in various professions, in various patient groups, and in various age groups (gender, coping, social support, marital relationships, personality, job stress, post-trauma stress)
  • Disorder-specificity of cognitive distortions
  • Personality and psychopathology

Staff: Jörg Richter


Non-motor (cognitive/emotional) aspects of Parkinson’s disease

Staff: Rachel Anderson

Normal and pathological ageing and metacognition including memory, attention, problem solving and language

Staff: Chiara Guerini

Memory and metacognition in epilepsy patients

Staff: Giuliana Mazzoni

Applied / sport psychology

  • Any area of mental toughness and resilience
  • Any occupational based work, especially leadership
  • Any psychometrically led work Enquire
  • Coping
  • Stress
  • Emotions
  • Resilience
  • Mental toughness

Please contact us to enquire about these areas

Other topics

Human territorial behaviour

Staff: Mary-Ellen Large and Paul Skarratt

Admissions status

Open for admission in 2018/19

Research options

PhD: 4 years (full-time) / 7 years (part-time)

MRes: 1 year (full-time)

MSc by Research: 1 year (full-time)


Home/EU: £4,195 (full-time) / £2,098 (part-time)

Overseas: £15,300 (full-time)

These fees are for all Psychology research degrees research programmes on this page. For courses lasting more than one year, small annual increases may apply. For more information, please visit

The Postgraduate Training Scheme

It is now widely recognised by employers, professional bodies and research funding agencies that specialist expertise alone is not sufficient preparation either for research or a subsequent career. With this in mind, the University of Hull requires all its postgraduate research students to follow a research training programme relating both to their particular field of study and to generic skills; for example, information technology and communication skills.

Postgraduate Training Scheme

Next steps


The University of Hull is part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership - a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, Bradford and Manchester Metropolitan University - and through this is able to offer a range of ESRC Postgraduate Scholarships for the following projects:

Entry requirements

Honours degree in Psychology or allied discipline (2:1 or above)

International students (language requirements)

If you require a Tier 4 student visa to study or if your first language is not English you will be required to provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires IELTS 6.0 overall, with no less than 5.5 in each skill. For other English language proficiency qualifications acceptable by this University, please click here.

If your English currently does not reach the University?s required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.


Psychology has a strong and consistent research record. In the last assessment of our research quality (REF2014), 70% of our research was rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent'.

Our research investigates a broad range of psychological processes from the measurement of brain activity to the investigation of individual and group behaviour, from infancy to old age. This research makes a difference in the real world and influences policy and practice in education, sport and the workplace.