PhD Social and Behavioural Science

The course

Programme code
KPT/JPS (N/310/8/0038) (MQA/PA10715) 02/26
Delivery type
3-6 / 4-8 years
Intake date
January, May, September

Heriot-Watt University Malaysia welcomes PhD applications in Social and Behavioural Science. Applicants with an interest in organisational, social and clinical psychology as well as in the area of cyber wellness are encouraged to apply.


Got questions about this programme?

Contact our enquiries team.


The PhD programme on the Malaysia campus aims to nurture global research professionals capable of making significant contributions in fields of economic and societal benefit through a clear demonstration of sustained scholarship.

Our aim is to enable each student an opportunity to deploy knowledge, understanding, critical thinking and develop an analytical approach in identifying and resolving problems.


All Heriot-Watt degrees are accredited by the MQA (Malaysia Qualifications Agency).

Programmes delivered at the Malaysia campus lead to degrees awarded by ‘Heriot-Watt University'.


The mode of delivery is via supervised research work of typical duration three years and culminating in the submission of a thesis normally within 4 years from the date of first registration. Students will work under the supervision of an expert academic team; normally comprising staff from both our Malaysia and UK campuses.

Students will also be expected to publish their work in high impact journals (although this is not a pre-requisite for viva and/or graduation).

All students are subject to an annual appraisal to assess progress.  Students will not be allowed to progress to the following year of study if this process is not complete. 

The language of instruction is English.

Research areas in the field include (but are not limited to):

  • Industrial and organisational psychology
  • Counselling and Clinical Psychology
  • Developmental and Social Psychology
  • Cyber wellness
  • Hypnosis

Entry requirements

Interested applicants should complete the online application, making clear on the form that you are applying to study at the Malaysia Campus.

All applicants should hold a Masters Degree in Psychology or a relevant or equivalent qualification as recognised by the Malaysian government and deemed acceptable by the University. Occasionally, candidates holding a first class BSc Hons in Psychology or in a related field, may be admitted if they also have significant research experience.

Students will be invited to interview prior to a formal offer being made.

Supporting documents

Applicants should also submit the following:

  • Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of certificates for degrees already awarded.
  • A detailed research proposal.

English language requirements

In addition to meeting the required academic levels of achievement, students will also need to demonstrate an ability to speak, read and write in English at level IELTS-6.5 or equivalent.


View our PhD fees.

Research Degree Candidates must enrol every year for the duration of their studies, including when progressing as a Continued Affiliation (Writing-Up) student. At the time of this transfer, Continued Affiliation students will be required to pay a fee of RM700 for the first year and RM2700 thereafter while writing-up.

Note: Continued Affiliation students will have the same support as Research Degree Candidates in their normal period of study, including access to the Supervisory Team.

Scholarships and bursaries

See our range of scholarships.