Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now Don't miss our weekly PhD newsletter | Sign up now

We have 47 Child Psychology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK






United Kingdom



All Institutions

PhD Type

PhD Type

All PhD Types



I am a self funded student

Child Psychology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK

We have 47 Child Psychology PhD Projects, Programmes & Scholarships for Self-funded Students in the UK

PhD students of Child Psychology explore the biological, social, and cognitive influences that shape young minds. Your research into the early stages of human psychological development will culminate in a dissertation that should make a substantial contribution to the field.

What’s it like to study a PhD in Child Psychology?

During your PhD, you’ll generally conduct original research by working with children and families in a variety of settings that might include schools, hospitals, or laboratories. You might collect data using a variety of methods, such as questionnaires, neuroimaging, and eye-tracking technology.

Possible research areas include:

  • Language acquisition
  • Literacy and communication
  • Mathematical ability
  • Memory development
  • Developmental disability
  • Mental illness in children

Many students will propose their own research project, but there are also numerous advertised PhDs available in Child Psychology.

You’ll complete at least three years of independent research overseen by your supervisor, culminating in an extended thesis which you’ll defend in an oral examination. You may also be expected to attend additional training provided by the department. For some programmes, you may conduct research as part of a larger team.

Entry Requirements

The most common entry requirement for PhD programmes in Psychology is a an upper second-class Bachelors degree in a relevant subject, though a Masters is often desirable. Applicants with a lower classification of undergraduate degree will usually only be considered if they also hold a Masters with a Merit or Distinction.

PhD in Child Psychology funding options

The Research Council responsible for funding Psychology PhDs in the UK is the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It provides fully funded studentships that include coverage of your tuition fees, along with a stipend to cover living expenses. Advertised Psychology PhDs will often have studentships attached. Students proposing their own research project may be able to apply for a studentship after being accepted onto a programme.

Many Psychology PhD programmes, however, will only accept self-funded students. Options for independently financing your PhD include the UK government’s doctoral loan, part-time employment alongside your studies and support from charities or trusts.

PhD in Child Psychology careers

A PhD in Child Psychology will equip you with numerous transferable skills such as academic writing and publishing, data analysis, critical thinking and abstract reasoning. Many graduates will go on to careers in teaching, academia or higher education. You might choose to take up a post as a lecturer or postdoctoral researcher at a university, for example. The skillset you’ll earn will also be invaluable in numerous non-academic sectors, such as marketing, human resources, government and media.

It’s worth noting that while you’ll graduate in with an expertise in the field of Child Psychology, your PhD alone will not automatically qualify you to practice as a Child Psychologist in the UK. This requires registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). There are several vocational courses in the field accredited by the HCPC, such as the Doctorate in Educational and Child Psychology (DEdChPsy).

read more

Child sexual exploitation and abuse – perpetrator typologies, comparisons and implications for risk assessment and treatment

Child sexual exploitation (CSE) is a distinct form of child sexual abuse (CSA) and thus while CSE, from a victim’s perspective, shares many similarities with CSA, there are likely to be some marked differences between the offenders’ modus operandi, motivations and criminogenic needs. Read more

Interdisciplinary Information and Responsible AI for Child Sexual Exploitation prevention

  Research Group: Social Work
The successful PhD applicant will contribute to the research, evaluation, and creation of relevant information resources to be used by Responsible AI models and experts for the prevention of child sexual exploitation. Read more

PhD Study : Understanding children's informal mathematics experiences

  Research Group: Psychology
Research indicates that there is substantial variation in the extent to which parents engage with home mathematics activities and this variation correlates with children’s mathematical skills (Daucourt et al., 2021). Read more

PhD Study : Keep it simple? Eye-tracking the learning of numbers in early childhood

  Research Group: Psychology
Achievement gaps in numeracy start early, with children with low mathematical skills displaying a lower growth rate in mathematical achievement over time (Cahoon et al., 2021; Duncan et al., 2007). Read more

Exploring the origins of demand avoidance and relevant interventions.

Some children and young people (CYP) on the autism spectrum have a dramatic negative response to any kind of perceived demand or request, which has been termed ‘extreme/pathological demand avoidance’. Read more

Entrepreneurship in Children

Overview of the research. Some children are entrepreneurial; are children (humans) natural-born entrepreneurs?. Is childhood entrepreneurship developed or destroyed by social, economic and educational systems, or does it either develop or decline as a natural process of maturation?  . Read more


This PhD opportunity will build on a trial-based economic evaluation previously conducted alongside a randomised controlled trial into the cost-effectiveness of music therapy versus standard care for children and young people with behavioural and emotional problems attending Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. Read more


Promoting school mental health in early childhood is a critical period for identifying, supporting and addressing mental health. Early intervention can support children on how to cope with stress and challenges promoting resilience to build health relationships and communication skills. Read more

Filtering Results