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Application process

How To Apply

The PhD and MD(Res) application process is the same for all programmes at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience. Please read the following information and guidance to find out how the process works and what you need to do. 

Please read this page in addition to the What Happens Next webpage.

Please note that applications to studentships may differ - you should read the advert carefully and follow the instructions on the advert. 

Key people to remember

There are a few people involved in the application process. Here we explain who to contact and what they do:

Education Support Team (PGR)
  • Education Support Team, Postgraduate Research (PGR), Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)
  • Please email
  • Manages all IoPPN PhD and MD(Res) applications and is your key contact prior to making an application, once you have submitted your project approval form and for any other ad hoc queries.
Health Schools Admissions Centre
  • Manages all online applications and is your key contact for any online application queries, English language queries and Visa/CAS queries.
  • Prior to application, Admissions can be contacted here.
  • Once you have made an application, you can contact Admissions directly through the messaging function on King's Apply.
Admissions Tutors
  • Each department has their own admissions tutor - please see below.
  • Assess the online application and interview prospective students. 
  • Admissions tutors can offer advice and guidance on eligibility, looking for funding and selecting supervisors.
Department Name Email
Addictions Dr Gail Gilchrist 
Biostatistics Dr Raquel Iniesta
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Dr Daniel Michelson
Basic & Clinical Neuroscience

Dr Alessio Vagnoni

Prof. Deb Pal 

Forensic & Neurodevelopmental Science Dr Marija-Magdalena Petrinovic
Health Services and Population Research Dr Kia-Chong Chua
MD(Res) all departments Dr Gareth Owen
Developmental Neurobiology Dr Laura Andreae
Neuroimaging Dr Po-Wah So
Old Age Psychiatry & Psychological Medicine Prof. James Rubin
Psychology Dr Devin Terhune

Dr Ricardo Twumasi

Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry

Prof. Robert Plomin
Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases Dr Kirsty Bannister

How to Apply

Step 1 - Find supervisors

Before you make any application, you need to find 2 academics willing to supervise you. You can look for supervisors by:

  • Searching for academics via our Research Portal. You can search by name, area of interest or key words.
  • Browsing the departmental webpages and contact information.
  • Speaking to the relevant admissions tutor for suitable academics that may be worth approaching.
You will need to make sure that your chosen academics meet the supervisor eligibility criteria,  before they agree to supervise you.


When completing your online application, you will also need to provide a letter of support from your supervisors, which should be uploaded as an attachment. Applications without this letter will not be considered. A formal letter (with supervisor signatures) or email confirmation is acceptable.

Step 2 - Find funding

Unless you are applying for a studentship or can self fund your studies, you will need to find funding before you make your application. 

Please see the PhD and MD(Res) information pages for funding links. The admissions tutors may also be able to advise you on possible sources of funding, specific to their department or your area of interest.

Please note you must either have funding in place or be making an application for funding at the time you make your online application, or your application will not be considered. 

Step 3 - Make an online application

The online application is used by the Health Schools Admissions Centre to assess your eligibility against the general Kings College London criteria. It is also used to check your references and to assess your fee status.

Your application is also considered by the admissions tutor, to assess your eligibility in terms of education and experience in accordance to departmental eligibility guidance. 

When choosing which programme to apply for on the admissions portal, you must select the programme that relates to the department that your first supervisor is based in. If you are unsure, please check with either your supervisor or the PGR Education Support Team. 

It is essential that the following information is provided before a decision can be made in regards to your general eligibility:

  1. One academic reference
  2. Degree transcripts
  3. English Language test certificates (if appropriate)
  4. Personal statement and supporting information.
  5. Letter of support from your supervisors
  • In the Project Proposal section, write a short description of your proposed work. There is no need to attach your project approval form.
  • It is worth at this point contacting the PGR Education Support Team, to inform them that you will be submitting your project approval form in due course. 
  • Once your application has been received, an acknowledgement email will be sent to you. If you do not meet the basic King's eligibility criteria, you will be contacted by the central Health Schools admissions team. If you are not contacted, you can assume that you are eligible. 

Step 4 - Complete and submit your Project Approval Form

The project approval form (PAF) is used to assess your project, in terms of planning, feasibility and appropriateness for a PhD/MD(Res).  It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is completed but it is recommended that applicants work closely with the supervisors.

  • Make sure you complete all sections, answering all questions fully, and signatures from all supervisors and student are included. There is no need to collect the signatures from the Head of Department/Business Manager and Sub-Committee Chair at this point.
  • Submit a Word format version to the Education Support Team
Start dates and deadlines

We have three intakes a year (October, February and June). The online application and project approval form (PAF) should be submitted at least four months before your desired registration date.

 These are the IoPPN deadlines:

Registration Date Application and PAF Deadline
1st October  1st June 
1st February 1st October
1st June  1st February

Please note that these deadlines are earlier than the University Admissions deadlines, as shown on the prospective pages. The online application and PAF should be submitted by the IoPPN deadlines to make sure there is time to process all documentation to meet the University Admissions deadlines, which are absolute. By the University Admissions deadlines, the project approval process needs to be completed (approved PAF), the online application assessed and the formal interview with the department admissions tutor must have taken place.

For any queries about these deadlines, please contact the PGR team

Once all steps above have been completed, then your application will be considered. Please see the What Happens Next page for more information.

Other information

English Language 

Applicants from outside the UK must satisfy the Kings English Language requirements before an unconditional offer can be made:

Candidates should possess an adequate level of English competence. Candidates for whom English is not the first language will be required to provide proof that they possess an adequate level of English competence. The minimum entry requirements can be found on the Admissions webpages. 

It is possible for a conditional offer to be made after the approval of a project approval form, but we cannot give an unconditional offer before we have confirmation of your English Language. Please bare this in mind when making funding applications and book your English Language tests in plenty of time. 

In some cases, English Language may be waived, however this is only in exceptional circumstances and requires support from your supervisors, your last place of study and written proof of your English Language competency. For any queries, please contact the Health Schools Admissions Centre. 

You may also want to have a look at our Academic Preparation Courses which offers courses to non UK citizens. 

Off Campus Study Form

It may be that you wish to spend some of your time abroad during the course of your PhD, for example, during data collection. If this is the case for you, then you must complete the Off Campus Study Form and submit this to the PGR Education Support Team with your project approval form.

This forms asks you to outline when you will be abroad, what you will doing and how you will be supervised during this time. 

All students are required to spend at least 1 year full-time equivalent at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience during their studies. Usually this includes 6 months at the beginning and 6 months at the end of your studies.

For any queries, please contact the PGR Education Support Team.

Visa Applications

Please note that Visa applications can take anything from 2 weeks to 2 months to be processed and you will need an unconditional offer to go with your visa application. Please bear this in mind when applying for a PhD or MD(Res). 

Studentship Applications

The application process differs slightly when you are applying for a studentship. You will still need to make an online application (unless otherwise stated in the advert) but it is likely that a project approval form would have already been completed by the supervisors. If you are successful, all you will need to do is sign the project approval form to confirm you are happy with the project. 

When applying for a studentship, make sure you follow the studentship advert carefully, so you apply to the correct department and with the correct funding code. You do not need to complete the Project Proposal section of the application, other than making a note of which studentship/project you are applying to. 

For more information and for a list of our current opportunities, please see our studentship webpage.

Visiting Research Students

The IoPPN offers a visiting research placements aimed at postgraduate research students registered at a recognised higher education institution (HEI) or overseas institution, coming to undertake supervised research at King's. 

Please click here for more information on the visiting research scheme

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