PhD Clinical and Health Psychology

The PhD Clinical and Health Psychology programme provides the opportunity to do a substantial piece of research in an area linked to clinical and health psychology and to develop excellent research skills in the process

Name PhD Clinical and Health Psychology
Start Date September and January
Mode of Study 3 years full-time, 6 years part-time
Programme Director Ingrid Obsuth

Please check the postgraduate Degree Finder to see the specific entry requirements, start date and application deadlines. 

Apply Now

The PhD programme offers the possibility to work with and be supervised by a range of clinical academics across many areas of psychology, who have international reputations and outstanding publications in their areas of expertise. Our programme is undertaken over three years full-time or six years part-time.   

In the first year, students typically choose a number of optional taught postgraduate courses from within the School of Health in Social Science, or other Schools within the University, as appropriate to their research programme, and as agreed with their supervisor. Subsequent years of the PhD programme primarily focus on the completion and analysis of the main research, which can then be written up and completed by the end of the third year. 

Why choose this programme?      

The PhD programme allows you to conduct an independent research project that makes a significant contribution to your chosen field of study and to further develop your research skills. We provide expertise in a variety of research methods including qualitative and quantitative approaches.

A vibrant and inclusive research environment

The University of Edinburgh is a world-leader in research and innovation and an international centre of academic excellence. Students on this programme will become part of an active and diverse research community in the School of Health in Social Science and will have access to the wide-range of learning environments and outstanding resources that the University has to offer. Our postgraduate researchers work in close proximity to each other, enabling them to pool their expertise and knowledge to tackle complex challenges and push the boundaries of discovery. Students will be encouraged to engage with a wide range of seminars, talks, and events, and often have the opportunity to present their own research at national and international conferences. Our student-led postgraduate research blog provides a snapshot of the activities and events our PGR students organise and are involved in.

Find out more about ongoing research in our School

The expertise of our academics in Clinical and Health Psychology cover the whole of the lifespan, focusing on childhood to adult and older adult mental health and emotional wellbeing as well as the psychological impact of chronic physical ill health. Our research involves national and international collaborations, with many projects involving NHS partnerships.

 Supervisor Specialties:

PhD by Distance

There is also an opportunity to undertake this programme through our PhD by Distance option. The PhD by Distance is available to suitably qualified applicants in the same areas as our on-campus programmes: Clinical and Health Psychology, Counselling and Psychotherapy, Health in Social Science and Nursing Studies.

The programme allows students who are unable to commit to basing themselves in Edinburgh full time to study for a PhD in a field of Health in Social Science from their home country or city - however this is not intended to be a fully online distance learning programme.

Students enrolled on this programme will be expected to come to Edinburgh at least once per year of study to meet with their supervisors. The length and timing of these visits are negotiable but students should expect to spend at least two weeks at the University of Edinburgh during each year of study.

Find out more about the PhD by Distance

The School of Health in Social Science offers several fully funded MScR and PhD studentships each year. A variety of scholarships are available, which vary from full scholarships covering tuition fees and a stipend to cover living expenses, to partial scholarships.

Find out more about our scholarships and funding opportunities

Beyond the programme 

The research degrees within Clinical and Health Psychology are designed to help you develop your skills for a successful future in research, as an academic or in a related profession. 

The PhD Clinical and Health Psychology is typically suitable for those who wish to pursue a career in academia or research, however, graduates from PhD programmes are also increasingly sought after in private, public and third sector organisations. 

The PhD Clinical and Health Psychology is an academic/research based qualification. The training for it does not entail clinical work, or training in therapeutic interventions and therefore does not entitle graduates to work as a psychologist in any clinical or applied capacity. Applicants interested in an applied career should consider the Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.