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Course content

The PhD (or doctorate) is the highest academic qualification available. A PhD degree is designed to provide strong grounding in highly specialised areas through research. Its goal is to enable students to be researchers in psychology, contributing to academic knowledge and developing work of internationally publishable quality. Bangor Psychology offers PhD supervision in the following specialisms:

• Cognitive Neuroscience
• Learning and Development
• Language
• Clinical Neuroscience
• Clinical and Health Psychology
• Experimental Consumer Psychology

You must have an undergraduate degree in psychology or a related subject, with a minimum degree class of 2:1 or equivalent, and additional postgraduate training (see below).

Full-time PhD students normally spend three years in study. If you do not already have a Master’s degree, then we would normally expect you to complete such a degree prior to starting the PhD programme.If you have already obtained an appropriate Master’s degree, you may be required to take one or more relevant modules in the School’s MSc in Psychological Research to complement your background and expertise.

Part-time students have five years to complete the PhD.
Three members of academic staff will be helping you with your research: a principal supervisor, a second supervisor and a chairperson - this last from a different research specialism. The major role of the second supervisor is to provide additional input on your research and to take over the supervision of the dissertation should the primary supervisor need to withdraw. The major responsibility of the chairperson is to ensure that a "best fit" is found between you and your supervisor. This group meets periodically with you in order to provide guidance on your research and to help with any difficulty that you might be experiencing.


Probationary period
The first year acts as a probationary period. Your progress will be reviewed in February and June (for full-time students), according to the requirements of the School and the goals outlined in your individual course of study. If, after these reviews, your supervisory committee considers that your progress has been fully satisfactory, then you will cease to be “probationary”.

Subsequent reviews
During the second year there will be another research review in June, and again in February of your third year. If you have not completed the write-up of your thesis by June of the third year, there will be another review meeting in June of that year (and every February and June of subsequent years until completion).

The purpose of these meetings is to ensure that you are always moving forward effectively towards completion, and to enable your committee to provide any assistance that may be necessary to help guarantee completion of the work.

Your research thesis is a large project. It will require attention throughout your studies. We have established a system to keep your research on track and help you manage your time. Completing a successful thesis builds on skills and knowledge acquired throughout the MSc modules. It constitutes an original piece of research, usually including several experiments or observational studies.

Your PhD thesis must be defended at the end of your studies in a viva voce examination. This comprises an oral report of the research in the presence of an examining committee.

If you are thinking of studying for a PhD degree, one of your first actions, before applying for admission to the programme, is to identify and communicate with a potential supervisor in the relevant area. The research interests and publications of our academic staff are listed within our web pages. Contact the people whose research is most relevant to the area in which you wish to work. In many cases, it is best to make initial contact by e-mail or by letter.

Funding for full-time PhD study (tuition fees plus living allowance) is available through a number of sources, including the ESRC, the University of Wales Bangor, and the School of Psychology, which offers a number of studentships aimed at exceptional candidates from the UK, Europe, and internationally. Our website offers more details on the funding available for PhD students.

You can obtain more information on funding opportunities from our Deputy School Administrator (Paula Gurteen, ). Alternatively, you can discuss funding options with your potential supervisor.

We invite applications for our funded studentships at set times throughout the year, both on our website and on jobs.ac.uk.

Applications from students who have already obtained funding for their studies are welcome at any time and can be done online on the University website.

Visit the Doctorate by Research page on the Bangor University website for more details!






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