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The University of Chester welcomes students to undertake research towards MPhil and PhD degrees in Psychology. The School of Psychology offers a supportive environment in which to undertake postgraduate research on a part- or full-time basis. We offer supervision in a range of areas, including possibilities for inter-disciplinary approaches. Our staff have expertise in areas of health, sport and exercise, psychology, animal behaviour, evolutionary psychology, abuse and safeguarding, children and families, cognition, language and emotion.

Research students in psychology are well-supported by an active seminar programme and research group meetings within the School, and by the University’s programme of research student events.

Research Areas

Applied Cognition and Evolution

Our cognitive and evolutionary specialists examine how current theories from cognitive and evolutionary psychology can be applied to better understand human and animal behaviour.  Research within this team covers a wide variety of topics from hemispheric differences in facial emotion to brain lateralisation of emotion sounds and voices through to communication in non-human primates.

Family, Infant and Child Psychology

Our family and child psychology research team focuses upon different aspects of development and wellbeing across the lifespan, including implications for education and practice. We have strong local and national links with voluntary and public sector organisations and collaborate on research projects and audits.


Our forensic psychologists aim to produce theoretically informed and evidence-based research that has an applied focus, with clear potential impact in the areas of investigative and forensic psychology. Strong collaborative links with practitioner colleagues promote practice-based research, allowing us to address issues that are directly relevant to real world criminal justice settings.

Psychological Interventions

Our applied practice psychologists explore the impact of psychological interventions, and they cover therapy, coaching, as well as education-based interventions which are rooted in psychological theory and research. We have a strong track record of conducting research that contributes to the development and improvement of interventions, of testing out new interventions, and working with stakeholders.

Health and Wellbeing

Our health and wellbeing psychologists conduct cutting-edge psychological research and consultancy to help improve professional practice in the fields of health and wellbeing from a socio-cognitive perspective. Research includes examining behaviour change, stress and coping, the impact of long-term conditions, healthcare communication and decision making, and the role of social support networks.

Read more about the staff within the School of Psychology.  

Recent Projects

Recent projects include exploring the use of questions, summary statements and cautions in police interviews and the identification of grooming behaviours in child sexual abuse. A recent completed PhD focused on acceptance commitment therapy approaches to increased physical activity. We are also supervising studies across departments including in health and spirituality.

We strongly recommend that you make informal enquiries with the School before submitting an application. As part of the application process, students are required to present a detailed research proposal.

Entry Months

These Research Degrees usually commence annually in October, February and May.


Please contact Dr Lisa Oakley or Professor Moira Lafferty to discuss the process and the availability of appropriate supervision before you start to construct a detailed application.