Humanities & Social Sciences Research Degrees

Programme details

  • Duration: Full time: 2-4 years, Part time: 2-6 years
  • Fee: See fees tab below


By embarking on doctoral study, you commit a period of your life to conducting original research and deepening your expertise. It's demanding, but hugely rewarding. Doing so can set you on a path towards a career in academia, or becoming a highly-regarded advanced practitioner in your chosen field.

This is your time to progress from learning about a subject to actively contributing to the original thinking of it. At Regent's, you will have the space and the support to develop your expertise. Our leafy campus in central London provides an ideal backdrop to think and grow.

Your time with us can lead to the award of a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

For a PhD you will be assessed on your final thesis, which would typically be no more than 80,000 words. For an MPhil your thesis should be no more than 50,000 words.

You will study and be supervised by Regent’s academic staff at our campus in London. Please note that PhDs and MPhils conducted at Regent's University London are awarded by the University of Northampton.

QualificationMaster / Doctor of Philosophy (MPhil/PhD)
ValidationUniversity of Northampton

Studying at Regent’s

As a research student you will have full control over your study time. You will be expected to direct your own schedule and keep on track. A PhD can be achieved by full- or part-time study, but through either route you will need to invest significant study time.

The role of your Supervisors

You will have regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss progress and ideas that you may have. They are here to actively engage in discussions about the topic and how your thesis is developing. Where relevant, they will also signpost you to other resources or academic connections that might add value to your research or help you to grow your network in your field of interest.

Learning resources and support

From one-to-one support from academic liaison librarians to research training programmes, our staff can help you embrace life as an active researcher. You'll find yourself able to work productively in our dedicated Postgraduate Centre, designed just for students like you. With extensive access to online libraries and relevant collections of published papers, you will feel confident that you are engaging with the latest research in your field.

Our learning resources page tells you more about specific resources available to you as a doctoral student.

Research centres

The learning and teaching environment for potential PhD degrees is underpinned by the three inter-disciplinary research centres based in the University. PhD students will be encouraged to get involved with the activities of the centres and to attend the relevant seminars. To learn more about the research centres at Regent's please see here.

How to Apply

1. Check that you meet the entry requirements

To apply for the doctoral programme, you typically need to hold an honours degree at 2:1 level or above (or international equivalent) in an appropriate subject. A higher degree such as a master’s may be required.

If English is not your first language, you will also need to demonstrate that you meet the minimum English language requirement of IELTS at 7.0, with no component less than 6.5 (or equivalent).

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, we will only be able to sponsor your visa application if you are accepted to study on a full-time basis.

2. Submit your application before the deadline for your intended start date

The next stage will be to submit an online application

The application deadlines are as follows:

  • By 1 November for students wishing to start in March the following year
  • By 1 July for students wishing to start in October of the same year

Please include the following supporting documents with your application form:

  • Copies of your university level academic transcripts and certificates
  • A 300 - 500 word personal statement outlining the reasons for applying to your chosen course and how you feel you will benefit from the course of study
  • A 1000 word research proposal (please read the guidance on how to write your proposal)
  • Two references 
  • A copy of your passport photograph (ID) page
  • Copies of any previous visas you have used to study in the UK

3. Application review and interview

Your application will be considered jointly by Regent’s and the University of Northampton. We aim to process all applications within six weeks of the date of submission. You will be required to attend an interview before we can make you an offer of a place. This will take place either on campus or via Skype.

Application deadlines

Please note the following deadlines for both intakes:

  • October intake: 1 July 

October 2024 entry 

Annual fees

UK students

Full time
Tuition fee: £6,250
Write-up fee: £4,500

Part time
Tuition fee: £4,150
Write-up fee: £2,900

International students

Full time
Tuition fee: £17,200
Write-up fee: £12,900

Deposits (non-refundable
deposit towards tuition fees)

UK advance deposit

International advance deposit

October 2025 entry

Annual fees

UK students

Full time
Tuition fee: £6,500
Write-up fee: £4,650

Part time
Tuition fee: £4,300
Write-up fee: £3,000

International students

Full time
Tuition fee: £17,900
Write-up fee: £13,400

Deposits (non-refundable
deposit towards tuition fees)

UK advance deposit

International advance deposit


Teaching and assessment

Research topics

All research degrees begin with an idea and a relationship. Ask yourself:

  • What is your big idea and how will you develop it?
  • Who are the best people to supervise your research?

There are two factors that need to be considered when applying for a PhD at Regent's:

  • Do you have a clearly defined and feasible proposal for your research?
  • Does Regent’s have available members of academic staff with relevant expertise to supervise your studies?

Although we have a wide range of specialist academic staff, we cannot accommodate all research interests. Our research expertise particularly focuses on the fields of business, management, humanities and social sciences. To find out if we have the expertise to supervise your doctoral study, please take a look at:

We have the expertise to supervise PhDs in the following areas:

International Relations and politics

  • Middle-Eastern studies
  • Security studies
  • Complexity studies
  • Migration studies

Medieval and Modern history

  • Medieval landscape history
  • Early 20th century literary and political culture in Britain
  • Catholicism in 20th century Britain
  • Protestantism in China
  • 20th century contemporary art with particular reference to issues of memory
  • Word-image works

English Literature

  • Victorian literary culture

Media, cinema and performance

See academic staff profiles.


  • Smell, taste and flavour
  • The psychology of branding and marketing
  • Forensic psychology
  • Human sexuality
  • The psychology of humour
  • Evolutionary psychology and mate-poaching
  • Social cognition
  • Cross-cultural psychology
  • Social media use

Counselling Psychology

The DPsych is a professional doctorate, incorporating a doctoral degree, rather than a PhD programme. As such, applicants will need to make a general application to the programme, outlining their academic performance, research skills and practitioner skills and experience. More information can be found on the DPsych Counselling Psychology programme page. 

Professional doctorates are doctoral degrees that entail carrying out research that enhances trainees' own counselling psychology practice while also contributing to the counselling psychology profession more widely. The counselling psychology programme team at Regent's encourage trainees to follow their own research passions, but also offer specific areas for potential projects at the outset of the programme. These areas include but are not limited to:

  • Ecopsychology and the environment in psychology
  • Intersections between research and therapeutic practice
  • The body in psychotherapy
  • The interface between politics, society and psychotherapy
  • Social justice and anti-discriminatory practice
  • Sex and gender diversity
  • Phenomenological methods
  • Qualitative research around psychosis
  • Research projects incorporating existential perspectives 
  • The relational self in context


  • The therapeutic relationship and process, competencies and treatments for therapeutic effectiveness.
  • Integration and relational research
  • Sexuality, sex, sexual attraction, gender and therapeutic management.
  • Sexual bullying and harassment in schools and universities and therapy interventions to work with bullied individuals.
  • Therapeutic approach and interventions with victims of stalking.
  • An Exploration of Female-to-Female Child Sexual Abuse
  • Working with drug addiction – A Phenomenological exploration
  • The Shifting Sound of Silence: A Grounded Theory Study
  • The Lived Experience of Migrant Women Who Have Suffered Domestic Violence
  • The Lived Experience of Intimacy in the Lives of Gay Men
  • A Qualitative Study of Psychoanalytic and Phenomenological Psychotherapists’ Perception, Understanding and Interpretation of What They Deem Therapeutic in Their Clinical Work
  • Working therapeutically with Paraphilias