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Department of Psychology

How to Apply

Taught (MSc, MA) Programmes

Applications are made centrally at the PG Application site and the initial contact address for questions about courses or applications is

Make sure you complete all relevant sections of the online University application form. For applicants who do not have English as a first language we require an IELTS score of 7 with no element below 6.5.

Research (MRes, PhD) Programmes – all applicants

This initial information describes the process for being admitted to study as a PG research student in Psychology. Additional information about the process for applying for PhD funding for 2019 entry follows below.

Applications are made centrally at the PG Application site. However, it is essential to discuss and coordinate your application ahead of time with 1. A potential supervisor and 2. The Psychology PG Admissions team.

Role of the potential supervisor
Because a PhD or MRes depends on close work with a specific supervisor who has relevant expertise, all applications should be developed in conjunction with a supervisor in the department. You may wish to:

Role of the Psychology PG Admissions team
Interviews and competitions for funding are arranged within the Psychology department, so students need to coordinate their application with the Psychology PG office at

Documents to include
Make sure you complete all relevant sections of the online application form at the PG Application site. The Psychology department also requires you to attach the following supporting documentation:

  • Departmental Application Form (Research)
  • Two Reference Forms completed by your referees (Research)
  • Copies of degree Certificate or Transcript of Marks to date
  • CV
  • Research proposal
  • If a non-native English speaker, evidence of English language ability

Your research proposal
The department’s format is one side of A4 excluding references. This format is also common to several of the funded schemes. Some schemes may require a different-length proposal – see below.

Criteria for admission
Our criteria for admission are the student’s academic track record, the quality and feasibility of the research proposal, written references, and English Language level. We evaluate these via the written application as well as interview (by Skype if necessary). The minimum criteria are a 2(i) at undergraduate level or Masters qualification in a relevant subject and (in applicants who do not have English as a first language) an IELTS score of 7 with no element below 6.5.

Research (PhD) – competition for funded studentships, 2019 entry

The Psychology department is offering fully-funded PhDs via these schemes:

  • Durham Doctoral Studentships (DDS) – deadline Jan 16th 2019. Open to all, including International students.
  • Departmental Studentships – deadline Jan 16th 2019. Open to UK/EU students.
  • The Durham Psychology Equality, Diversion, and Inclusion PhD Studentship – deadline Jan 16th 2019. Open to UK/EU students.
  • Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarships – deadline Dec 21st 2018. Open to citizens of China.

In addition, the Psychology department puts forward applications to

  • The ESRC NINE DTP (includes 1+3 funding, Masters+PhD) – deadline Jan 18th 2019

More details on each scheme are below.

Please coordinate your application ahead of time with a supervisor and the PG office ( - see above. If eligible, you may apply for more than one scheme - please let the PG office know which scheme(s) you are applying for.

Please follow the application procedure above. In your application, attach the information required for your scheme(s), as described below.

Applicants should be available for an interview – in person or by Skype – in early February. We expect to conduct interviews in the week beginning 4th February. Please note that with one exception, interviews are used to check that students meet our criteria for admission but not to rank students for funding. This is because most schemes ultimately go to more central panels in which funding decisions are made based only on the submitted documentation. The exception to this are the Departmental Studentships, for which interviews are also used to inform ranking for funding.

We plan to let students know outcomes by the end of February for most schemes. Final outcomes for NINE DTP are expected at end March/start April.

Scheme information:

  • Durham Doctoral Studentships (DDS)

  • Departmental Studentships

  • The Durham Psychology Equality, Diversion, and Inclusion (EDI) Studentship

  • Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) scholarships

Please see this document for information on Eligibility, funding available, and how to apply.

Scheme information: NINE DTP

The Department puts forward applications to the Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP), a Doctoral Training Centre funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The initial deadline is January 16th 2019. There is detailed information on the application and which documents to include at the NINE DTP website at There is information on the timeline for applications at

Some distinctive aspects of this scheme:

  • The “1+3” (Masters + PhD) route includes a year of Masters Training in Research Methods. Within the NINE DTP Psychology pathway, this is fulfilled by the MA (Research Methods) in Developmental Psychology at Durham. The subsequent PhD need not necessarily be specifically in Developmental Psychology, but there should be a relevant link between the Masters training and the PhD.
  • Students who have a Masters degree, but not one of the ~19 ESRC-recognised Masters in Research Methods courses, may apply for “+3.5” funding. This includes 60 credits in taught Postgraduate Research Methods modules in the first year.
  • Students with an ESRC-recognised Masters may apply for “+3 funding”

All queries about eligibility and other details should be directed to NINE DTP who run the competition and set the criteria for entry – see for details.

How to apply

  • Please follow the Department’s procedure (see above), making sure to include all the documents required by NINE DTP.
  • Unlike other schemes, the proposal length is max 2,000 words (equivalent to ~3 sides of A4). Students wishing to be considered for other schemes as well as NINE DTP should include both a longer and a shorter version of their proposal.
  • If applying for 1+3 study, the initial online application is for MA Research Methods (not PhD) research. Please discuss and coordinate your application with the Psychology Postgraduate Office (