Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology


The Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology degree is a research higher degree. This research postgraduate programme equips graduates with advanced knowledge of research methods and the skills to independently conduct research in many areas of behavioural science. Students conduct original research which extends the frontiers of knowledge in a specialised area of Psychology. As a result of acquiring the abilities needed to undertake independent research, graduates will also develop problem-solving and critical thinking skills which can be applied in their future learning and work environments.

The core domains of Psychology are: Biological Psychology (which includes the areas of hormones and behaviour, brain function, and genetics), Cognitive Psychology (which includes the areas of attention, perception, learning, and language), Developmental Psychology (which includes the areas of lifespan development, and the social and cultural contexts of development), Individual Differences (which includes the areas of personality, intelligence, motivation, and mental health), Social Psychology (which includes the areas of attribution, attitudes, group processes and intergroup relations, and close relationships), and Research Methods (which includes the techniques for the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data to answer a certain question or solve a problem).

Completion of the programme allows students to become experts who are able to facilitate and contribute to the advancement of Psychology. This is a required qualification for people who wish to go onto a career as an academic or independent researcher in Psychology.

Rolling Intake
3 Years (full-time)
4 Years (part-time)
Career Prospects
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow
  • Research Scientists
  • Academics - University Lecturer
  • Research Consultant
  • Technical Consultant
  • Technical Author
  • Senior Analyst
Estimated Total Course Fee
  • RM57,490
    for Malaysian students
  • USD13,789
    for international students
International students must pay their fees in RM equivalent. The USD here is just an indicative/estimation and subject to the prevalent exchange rate

Programme Structure

Core Modules

Prior to starting their thesis, students complete two taught modules: Advanced Research Methods and Advanced Statistics. These modules help students develop the necessary skills to complete their research proposal. 


In consultation with their research supervisors, students identify a research problem based on findings from existing research. They then design and conduct research on the identified problem or issue using a range of scientific techniques while following the required ethical standards. They, therefore, make a unique contribution to understanding the issue under consideration or developing new solutions to address the identified problem.

Areas of Research

The Psychology Department has three research groups: Well-being & Community Psychology, Organisational & Work Psychology, and Cognitive & Experimental Psychology. This broad range of expertise means we have research supervision in the following areas:

Healthy Ageing
Mental Health and Well-being
Organisational Health
Individual and the Workplace
Psychology and Sustainability

i.e. learning environment & technology, Inclusive education, etc.


i.e socioemotional development, family mealtime, etc

Sexual and Reproductive Health
Cognitive Experimental

i.e. face perception, sense of agency, speech perception, body image, etc.

Psychometrics/Validation Studies
Student studying

Entry Requirements

Bachelor’s Degree

A Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology or equivalent with a CGPA of 3.00 AND

Master’s Degree

A Master’s degree in Psychology

Other Qualifications

Any other qualifications will be considered on a case-to-case basis*

*For case-to-case basis an interview may be required and will  subject to the approval and acceptance by the University Senate. 

English Language Requirements

Any of the following:

  • IELTS: 7.0
  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based), 250 (computer-based), 95 (Internet-based)
  • PTE Academic: 65
  • MUET: Band 5
  • Cambridge English: Advanced/CEFR 185 (Grade A)/C1
  • SPM English 1119: 2A

Note: Any other qualifications will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Application Procedure

Initial enquiries should be made to the Programme Coordinator (email:@email). If the potential student is eligible for the programme, they will then meet with the Programme Leader to discuss their area of research interest and potential research supervisors.

Details on the specific documents required to complete the Sunway Postgraduate Application Form will be provided once the student has been assigned a research supervisor and agreement has been reached on the research topic.

Research Proposal

The research proposal should comprise between 1,000 and 1,500 words (excluding references), and covers the following structure:

  1. An appropriate title for the research project (designated supervisor if known)
  2. Introduction and justification of the study, which includes
    • Research background
    • Problem statement
    • Research objective(s)
    • Research question(s)/hypothesis
  3. Literature review
  4. Research methodology
  5. Proposed research schedule
  6. List of references


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Contact Information

Programme Leader
Dr Chee Kwan Foong
Email: [email protected]

Programme Coordinator
Nur Amalina Zainal Abidin
Email: @email

General Enquiries

Scholarships and Financial Aid

Scholarship Available

Eligibility Criteria for Bursary or Scholarship


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: 30% tuition fee waiver 
  • PhD: 50% tuition fee waiver 

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the Master by Research or PhD programmes


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: 60% tuition fee waiver 
  • PhD: 100% tuition fee waiver 

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the Master by Research or PhD programmes. CGPA >= 3.5 or Merit (or equivalent)


Programme: Master by Research and PhD   
Mode of study: Full-time   
Financial Support:

  • Master by Research: Not eligible
  • PhD: 100% tuition fee waiver including registration and resource fees. Cost of living allowance of RM3,000 per month for 36 months

Award Criteria: Sunway graduates who are meeting the entry requirement for the PhD programmes.   
CGPA >= 3.5 or Merit (or equivalent). One (1) published journal article indexed in WOS/Scopus as first or corresponding author. Eligible applicants will be interviewed, and Studentship awards will be given on a competitive basis

*Bursary is only offered to Sunway graduates from Sunway Education Group higher education institutions.   
**Scholarship is open to Sunway and non-Sunway graduates


For more information about the scholarships and financial aid, please visit the SEG Scholarships website.

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