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Postgraduate study
Psychology (Top-up)

Psychology (Top-up) Doctorate

Upgrade your master’s qualification to doctorate level, becoming research active and advancing your career in a competitive job market.


Course overview

Aimed at Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registered psychologists, you enhance your research skills, gaining an understanding of planning, conducting and writing up research that adheres to ethical principles and guidelines.

Our academic team are members of the Centre for Applied Psychological Science, bridging the gap between theoretical research and applied practice by providing evidence-based solutions to societal challenges. They support you to conduct and defend a research project that makes an original contribution to knowledge or professional practice within your specialist field of applied psychology.

This research project is aligned with your supervisors’ research area and linked to one of the department’s research themes. The capacity to generate independent research is a sought-after skill in professional settings, with researchers contributing new knowledge that enhances professional practice.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Advanced Independent Work

You consolidate your learning experiences throughout the course through a self-initiated research project that significantly contributes to the development of new knowledge within the context of applied psychology, developing skills for publishing empirical work.

Advanced Independent Work Preparation

You ethically consider a research topic in applied psychology, critically appraise research knowledge in relation to the topic and formulate research questions for your proposed study involving systematic review methods.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You learn through lectures, small group discussion and practical activities, both in person and online. Online sessions include short lectures, direct reading, individual learning activities, and group online discussion and activities.

How you are assessed

You are assessed through supervisor contact time, and tutor and peer led feedback during, both in person and online. Your summative assessment during the first module is a presentation and written proposal for your research project. This helps to prepare you for the final summative assessment of the Advanced Independent Work module which is the written thesis and associated viva voce.


Entry requirements

This programme is open to applied psychologists who have completed their professional training via the independent route. All entrants must have an MSc (or equivalent) in their field of psychology, be a Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) registered practitioner psychologist with a minimum of 2 years experience, and be engaged in current psychological practice. Offers will be made subject to the capacity of the programme team to supervise the chosen research topic.

Applicants should include a short research proposal with their application.

You are required to maintain your HCPC registration throughout the programme of study.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements



Career opportunities

You enhance your research skills through continued professional development and make a contribution to applied discipline specific knowledge, as well as enabling you to gain a higher level qualification which is an advantage when considering career progression.



  • Not available full-time


2022/23 entry

Fee for UK applicants

More details about our fees

Apply now (part-time)

Apply now (part-time)


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Telephone: 01642 738801

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