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If you wish to pursue an academic or research career, there are a number of resources that you can use for information and advice.

First you need to see if you really love research and an excellent way to do this is to work as a research assistant in the dept (or in a dept near home during the holidays). Try and identify the area of psychological research you find most interesting, browse the webpages to see which members of staff engage in that research  ( and then email them or go and see them to see if they have any positions available. Most staff take volunteer research assistants in the first instance, but can then sometimes offer paid work. Summer bursary schemes can be applied for in conjunction with a staff member to provide paid research internships in the summer between your 2nd and 3rd year.

If you think research is for you, then attend the talk aimed at final UG and MSc students (but open to all) about doing a PhD (W4 Autumn term) – if you miss this session it will be posted on the VLE Employability Tutorial under Psychology Resources. The talk provides useful information on e.g. what a PhD is, why you might apply for one, how to apply, how to sell yourself, how to apply for funding etc.

An academic CV is targeted slightly differently to a standard CV for other areas of work. You should attend the Academic CV Workshop (W8 Autumn term) for help crafting an effective academic CV for use with PhD applications and/or contacting potential PhD  supervisors,

The Careers website also has useful information when considering an academic or research career. This information sheet has some general advice on postgraduate study (aimed at both those interested in taught and research based study. They also have a career planning guide aimed to support the career development of researchers. Furthermore, you should read through their ‘postgraduate researchers’ page for a list of pros and cons about an academic career, skills that you’ll need, various useful resources and vacancy websites.

Further information

More advice can be found on and you can use their search engine to look for prospective PhDs.