PhD or MSc By Research Psychology and Behavioural Sciences

Female participating in a brain scan test

Study mode

Full-Time or Part-Time


Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

This course can be completed over a 1 year or 2 year period. Research areas are as follows:

Applied cognition, knowledge, learning and emotion

Brain processing in adults and children, including infant attention to the visual field; assessing situational awareness using EEG; decision-making in fireground, medical and military contexts; non-conscious processes in decision-making and the influence of knowledge, emotion, attentional or response bias; self-regulatory focus, and the effect of social values on experienced emotion and well-being. Research in this area is promoted by the Centre for Applied Cognition, Knowledge, Learning and Emotion (CRACKLE).

Applied psychology

Business psychology and management consultancy;  assessment centres and psychometric testing; employer attitudes and non-traditional forms of work, impact of technology on work and learning; leadership in organisations; forensic psychology especially sexual offending behaviour; dealing with traumatic material; cross-cultural issues in offending behaviour and punishment; psychology of education including teaching and learning styles and the learning process.

Clinical and mental health and well-being

Psychosocial interventions for people with chronic disease or mental distress; the social scientific study of the arts and popular culture, identity and social interaction; the arts in therapeutic contexts; care for people with dementia; understanding of Borderline Personality Disorder and implications for care; mindfulness; the understanding of psychopathology in terms of underlying neuroscience; the neuroscience of attachment behaviour and empathy; contemporary relational approaches to therapy, brief therapies and couples work.

History and theory of psychology

Psychology and social issues; psychological language; pedagogy, diversity and eLearning; qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Entry requirements

  • An Honours degree of upper second class or above from a UK university, or an equivalent qualification, is normally required in a subject area relevant to your chosen research topic
  • In exceptional circumstances, we will consider applications from non-graduates with experience of undertaking research or graduates who wish to work in a new subject area
  • Initial registration is usually for MPhil or MRes or MA/MSc by Research with the possibility of transfer to PhD.  Candidates with a Master’s degree in a relevant subject that contains appropriate research methods training may register for a PhD directly.


See the further details of tuition fees when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.

Dr. Graham Edgar

Staff Profile

Dr. Graham Edgar

Psychology Unit of Assessment co-ordinator

"Graham has been successful with CRACKLE colleagues, in securing funding from the MoD’s ‘Competition of Ideas’ to explore brain activity linked to losing situation awareness (as in “friendly fire” incidents), and this allowed the establishment of a 128-channel dense-array EEG laboratory. More recently, Graham was involved in securing a large Erasmus Plus grant for a project on fireground situation awareness and decision-making in collaboration with Fire and Rescue Services in Gloucestershire, Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands and Poland."


Dr. Alexandra Sandham

Staff Profile

Dr. Alexandra Sandham

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

"Alex came to the University of Gloucestershire in September 2017 as a Senior Lecturer. Prior to that she worked for 5 years as a Principal Psychologist at the Ministry of Defence. During her time at the MoD Alex was involved in a number of projects looking at subjects such as: the attacks on UK forces by partner forces; cyber psychology specifically trust online; searching at airports; and investigative reasoning in a digital forensic context. Alex completed her PhD in Investigative Reasoning at Lancaster University and whilst undertaking her PhD she worked as a Research Associate on 3 projects looking at detecting deception in airport and office settings."

Develop advanced research skills with specialist training

Research students who have not already completed a relevant Masters degree or other appropriate postgraduate research methods training will benefit from the university's research methods training modules: Philosophy and Approaches to Research and Methodologies and Methods.

Benefit from a broad range of research areas

Access research-active supervisors with specialisms across a range of areas including: applied cognition, knowledge, learning and emotion; applied psychology; clinical and mental health and well-being; history and theory of psychology.

Contact us

Find out more about our courses

Call +44 (0)3330 141414