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MPhil/PhD Programmes

There are over 400 research students at the Institute who come from a range of backgrounds including psychology, psychiatry, nursing, social work and basic sciences.

Our MPhil/PhD programme allows students to carry out research in any of our 14 departments and in a wide variety of areas; from molecular genetics and biology, to neuroscience, neuroimaging, clinical research studies, psychological studies and new treatments; from longitudinal studies to clinical trials, bio statistics, epidemiology and health services research and transcultural studies. 

Please see their departmental webpages and online prospectus entries to see research options/areas currently being undertaken:


Research at the IoPPN

Is a PhD for me?

Our PhD students come from a variety of backgrounds, with a variety of qualifications and experience. Take a look at the following information and recent/current student profiles, to find out whether a PhD is right for you:

Am I eligible?

King's College London says:

  • All candidates should usually possess the normal minimum entry qualifications for registration prescribed in the King’s Core Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Degrees. This is normally a 2:1 in a relevant field. 
  • 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 level accepted is an IELTS score of 6.5. Grade C or above in GCSE English is also acceptable. Candidates must also satisfy their appointment panel of their competence. 

The Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) says:

  • It is useful to have a Masters degree, or related work experience in your chosen area of interest.  

EU and International students should check the list of equivalent grades for international qualifications. Please contact the Health Schools Admissions Centre for further enquiries.

Full time and part time study

If you wish to study full time:

  • You will be expected to submit your thesis within 3 years.
  • You are permitted to work part time, but students are expected to work on their PhD for 35 hours a week and we encourage any part time work to be agreed with your supervisors.

If you wish to study part time:

  • You will be expected to submit your thesis within 6 years. 
  • You are allowed to submit your thesis early (as early as 4 years) but this must be agreed with your supervisors and other conditions apply. Please contact the Postgraduate Research Team for more information.

The current fees for the 2022/2023 academic year are:

  • Full time Home = £7,050 per year
  • Full time Overseas = £26,640 per year
  • Part time Home = £3,525 per year
  • Part time Overseas = £13,320 per year

If you are a member of staff at the IoPPN you may be eligible for a discount on fees. Please contact the Postgraduate Research Team for more information. 

Please note that tuition fees are subject to an annual increase of up to 5%. For more information, see the Fees webpage.

Start dates

Students can start in either October (when most students start), February or June. 

Students who are being funded by an external source should check whether there are any limitations on start dates.


If you are not able to self fund your PhD studies, then you will need to find funding from another source. 

The IoPPN offers a number of full time studentships on an annual basis, funded by the Institute itself, and partly by the Medical Research Council. These studentships offer students full payment of tuition fees for 3 years and a monthly tax free stipend for living. These studentships are for set projects. 

Individual academics and departments also offer full time fully funded studentships, on an ad hoc basis, if they receive funding themselves. These are also usually for set projects.

All funded studentships are advertised on our Studentships webpage.

If you have your own project in mind and would like to find funding, browse these links:

For more information on funding at Kings, please see the Funding webpage.

Student Profiles

Robert Power - SGDP MSc+PhD | F/T Student

Robert-Power-resized-for-webWhat really stands out at the Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry department (SGDP) is the social and collaborative atmosphere, which occurs on many levels. 

Students take classes together in their first year and all have offices on the same floor, which makes it a very social and friendly place to study. It also means that students researching different areas of psychiatry, psychology, neuroimaging, and genetics are in constant contact, which helps to broaden your exposure to research. 

Students and staff alike are always keen to get involved in collaborative projects, whether small or large, allowing students to explore areas of interest outside those strictly relevant to their PhD. 

The PhD itself is usually very independent, driven by the student's own ideas and interests. These collaborations often also extend beyond the Centre, allowing for research and conference opportunities abroad. 

All in all, it's a great place to be!

Emma Palmer - Psychosis Studies PhD | F/T Student

Emma-Palmer-profile-pic-resizedI had already worked at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN) as a Research Worker and really enjoyed it, so I decided it would be a great place to study for my PhD. The facilities and opportunities here are outstanding and I'm really glad I decided to stick around!

Psychosis Studies is one of the larger departments at the IoPPN, so there are many opportunities to attend relevant talks and seminars. We also have a lot of testing rooms available just for our department which makes organising participants much easier.

One of the best things about being a student here is that you can create your own opportunities. For example - students in the department noticed a gap in the types of seminars that were available, with most being led by senior members of staff, so we set up our own student-led seminars. They've been really well attended and feedback has been great. We also set up a paid tutoring scheme to help PhD students obtain more teaching experience, whilst also providing extra support to our MSc students. The response has been fantastic and it’s now set to be trialed in a number of other MSc courses and departments.

When I graduate, I'd love to continue working in research, and hopefully get a teaching position later on.

Wasim Khan, Neuroimaging PhD | P/T Student

Wasim-Khan-resizedAfter receiving my MSc in Clinical Neuroscience from the IoPPN, I developed a strong interest in sophisticated neuroimaging techniques for predicting early Alzheimer’s disease. 

I wanted to understand how pioneering brain imaging could lead to new ways for diagnosing the condition, and as a result, I applied for a PhD with Dr Andy Simmons at the Department of Neuroimaging. 

As a PhD student, the Institute has provided outstanding research facilities for postgraduate education and the provision of college organised training courses for personal development and teaching has been fantastic. 

I have enjoyed this experience so far, and benefited from excellent supervision in a friendly and stimulating research environment. 

Fiona Pepper, Psychosis Studies | P/T Student

Fiona-PepperI had collaborated with my supervisor on a project for my MSc, so when I saw an opportunity for a Research Worker role where I could study for a PhD part-time, I jumped at the chance.  

The IoPPN has great research facilities and I'm really pleased that I have had the chance to study here.  

With Psychosis Studies being one of the larger departments at the IoPPN, I've found there are always lots of opportunities to attend relevant talks and seminars, including weekly Psychosis Studies meetings with internal and external speakers.

I am really enjoying being a student here and one of the best things is that you can create your own opportunities.  I set up a problem-based learning group to help students gain a greater understanding of magnetic resonance imaging, including the physics and basic analysis. They have been really well attended and the group has grown considerably since it was first stated.  I have also had the opportunity to be the student representative for Psychosis Studies and be a mentor to some MSc students too.

When I graduate, I would like to continue working in research as a post doc, working my way up the academic ladder to professor.

The Next Steps

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