PhD in Psychology

6 minute read
PhD in Psychology

The human brain is the most complex and mysterious object in the world which to date puts professionals into a fix. To explore and understand an individual’s behaviour, building a research career in Psychology is one of the most suitable routes. Apart from identifying the intricacies of the human brain, Psychology, as a discipline, provides an opportunity for researchers to test how people seem to think, speak or act. While the undergraduate and graduate courses in this domain deal with the scientific study of the human mind, in the context of behaviour, feeling, attitude and reaction, a research degree in psychology delves deeper into the aspects pertaining to personality and social operation. Through this blog, we will provide you with an in-depth understanding of PhD in Psychology and related details. 

Particulars Values
Degree Name PhD in psychology
Degree Type Doctoral
Degree Duration Three years
Eligibility Criteria Master’s degree in a related field
Admission process Merit-based
Fees for the entire duration Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh
Average Salary Rs. 8 lakhs per annum
Job profiles Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Research Associate.
Top recruiters Colleges, Universities, Healthcare Centers, Private Clinics, Hospitals, and Counselling Offices.

Program Overview

A PhD in Psychology is a doctoral-level program that provides rigorous training in research for individuals who want to pursue a career as an academician or the ones who want to practice as a clinical psychologist. The course covers various aspects of psychology such as cognition, perception, neuroscience, behaviour, etc. This program typically runs for a period of 4 years for full-time and 7-8 years for a part-time course. While in the initial years, the students undergo theoretical training, the course comes to an end with a dissertation project and thesis. The typical curriculum of this doctorate program in Psychology includes: 

  • Perception and Reality
  • Graduate Research Methods
  • Affective Science
  • Advanced Statistical Modeling
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Attitudes and Social Judgement
  • Foundations of Cognition
  • Advances in Neuroscience

Must Read: An Ultimate Guide to PhD Courses

PhD in Psychology: Syllabus

Because there are numerous sub-disciplines available for research, the syllabus for a PhD in psychology is quite subjective. Students select extra subjects and study areas based on their interest in the issue. However, the following table summarises the common curriculum for a PhD in psychology:

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Advanced psychopathology Psychotherapeutic Methods Clinical psychology I
Psychometric assessment methods Practicum Clinical psychology II
History of Psychology Supervisor Directed Course (Need-based) and Research
Philosophical and Sociological Basis of Educational Research
Practicum Clinical Psychology Internship in clinical psychology

Apart from selecting a specialization, it is equally important to lay emphasis on choosing the best study-abroad destinations and universities to pursue a PhD in Psychology. A place that gives you access to world-class facilities and promotes achieving academic excellence. Listed below are the top destinations to study psychology.

PhD in Psychology: Top Universities and Fees

With psychology becoming more and more popular amongst students, top universities across the world, apart from offering bachelor and master-level courses, are now offering a PhD in Psychology. Providing world-class facilities and educational infrastructure, listed below are some of the top universities offering this program: 

University Annual Tuition Fees
University of Nicosia 4,936 USD
Clark University 10,952 USD
University of Nebraska, Omaha 16,374 USD
London South Bank University 17,127 USD
Portland State University 18,522 USD
University of Greenwich 18,643 USD
Keiser University 18,912 USD
RMIT University 20,673 USD
University of Portsmouth 21,875 USD
Duquesne University 77,866 USD

Also Read: Psychology Universities in Canada

Eligibility Criteria: PhD in Psychology

For enrolling in the PhD in Psychology program, a candidate needs to meet certain criteria for eligibility. Although, the parameters may vary from one university to another, listed below are some common prerequisites: 

Must Read: How to Write a Motivation Letter for PhD Programs?

Admission Process

Every institute that offers a PhD in psychology course follows a similar admissions procedure. Admission is an entrance examination, and national-level counselling is used to confirm admission. The following are some of the most crucial admission steps for a PhD in psychology:

  • Prospective candidates must ensure that they meet all of the university’s qualifying requirements.
  • Prospective candidates must then take the admission examination and pass it with an estimated cutoff.
  • Following the results of the entrance exam, students must complete an application form with all personal and academic information.
  • Participants in group discussions and personal interviews are chosen from among the students.
  • Applicants who pass all of the rounds will receive their offer letters.

Skills Required

Candidates for a PhD in psychology must have a wide range of skills that are not only essential but also aid in their advancement. A PhD student is active in research and analysis for an extended period of time and is expected to have particular talents that will help them excel in their field. Some of the most critical abilities that a student must have are included in the table below:

Managerial Skills Observation skills
Analytical and Critical thinking skills Interest in Business and Management
Communication skills Time management
Strategic mindset Leadership skills
Decision-making skills Awareness of the market and products


Being a diverse field with several specializations, students have the option of building a career in a subject of their choice. Listed below are the various courses related to PhD in Psychology that you might want to consider: 

  • PhD in Medical Psychology and Psychopathology
  • PhD in Psychology (Clinical Psychology)
  • PhD in Clinical and Counselling Psychology
  • PhD in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • PhD in Clinical Neuropsychology
  • Doctorate in Educational Psychology and Educational Studies
  • PhD in Organizational Behaviour
  • PhD in Health Psychology
  • PhD in Community Psychology

Also Read: Clinical Psychology Courses

Job Profiles and Salary

Candidates who successfully complete the PhD in Psychology course have a wide range of possibilities to choose from. They can pursue a profession in one of the most common employment fields for psychology graduates, social service or mental health. Professionals in these professions are in high demand; they may expect to earn a good living and work directly with patients suffering from mental illnesses and other disorders. Here are the top positions and their average salaries listed below:

Job Position Average Annual Salary in INR 
Clinical Psychologists 3,71,000
Social Psychologist 2,48,000
Industrial Psychologists 1,44,000
Educational Physiologist 2,70,000
Research Psychologist 12,00,000

Must Read: Psychology Scholarships

Future Scope of PhD in Psychology

In the medical field, the scope of a PhD in psychology is fairly broad. The degree prepares students for a broad understanding of human psychology and mental health. Aside from working as a medical professional, graduates with a PhD in psychology can also work as a student counsellors in schools and universities. Another alternative is to go into research and development and work in a medical lab with a research team. Following the completion of a PhD in psychology, candidates will have a plethora of job opportunities.

Psychology has been one of the most phenomenal fields to build a career. With a platform to understand the complexity of the human brain in-depth, a PhD in Psychology graduate can work in a multitude of organizations, schools, MNCs, social services agencies, and mental healthcare centres in both the government and private sectors. Professor, Consultant, Technical Writer, Research Scientist, Therapist, etc. are some of the major work profiles where a graduate can work in. 


Q1. Can I be called a doctor with a PhD in psychology?

Ans. Yes, a PhD can be addressed as Dr. without being confused with a medical doctor.

Q2. Is a PhD in psychology useful?

Ans. PhDs in psychology are designed for individuals interested in careers in research, academia, or administration. If you want to be a university professor, researcher, consultant, or programme director, the degree’s emphasis on research and analysis is a good fit.

Q3. What are the PhD courses in psychology?

Ans. PhD in Psychology subjects includes:
Development Psychology.
General Psychology.
Behavioral Neuroscience.

Thus, PhD in Psychology offers many avenues for students to explore. If you are planning to pursue PhD in this or some other field but are confused about the specializations then take the assistance of Leverage Edu’s AI-based tool which will curate a list of the most suitable universities and the course which matches your interests. 

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