Doctoral programme in Psychology

Degree to be achieved: Doctor of science (PhD) in Psychology
Standard period of study: 3 years
Type of studies: Full time
Amount of credits: 144 credit points or 216 ECTS
European Qualifications Framework (EQF) level: Level 8
International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) level: Level 8
Language of instruction: Latvian and English
Accreditation: the program is accredited until 21.06.2025.

Tuition fee:

EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members; Long Term Resident EU - 2500 EUR per Year
Other сountry citizens - 5000 EUR per Year

Approval of tuition fees for the year 2023/2024 is in process.

Short Program description

Aim of the Programme is to prepare highly qualified scientists and teaching staff in various areas of psychology (general, clinical, development, personality, social/organisational psychology) through improvement of their research work organisation, management and implementation skills based on greater in-depth understanding of psychology theories and methodology in at least two sub-areas of psychology, skills in national and international cooperation with other specialists in the area, and through preparation of an original scientific research study (dissertation study) to be defended to acquire an internationally recognised doctoral degree in  psychology. The programme additionally offers specialisation in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to the students studying for their doctoral degree in clinical psychology. These additional studies are aimed at improvement of their professional skills in psychotherapy (within the Baltic States, such specialisation at the doctoral level is available only at the University of Latvia). Tasks of the Programme are:

(1) To facilitate scientific research in the branches of the science of psychology represented in the programme.

(2) To assure acquisition of the skills required for research, academic and professional work.

(3) To facilitate doctoral students’ mutual, national and international cooperation in research.

(4) To support motivation for life-long education and personal growth of doctoral students.

Upon completion of the doctoral programme in psychology, the students will have acquired the following knowledge, skills, and competences:

1. Knowledge – an understanding of the overall tendencies in the development of the contemporary science of psychology, and in-depth knowledge in the area of specialisation. 

2. Skills – to prepare and conduct an original research study, critically assess its results in the form of a dissertation paper, to prepare scientific articles, and to present then at conferences; to present lectures or, in the case of doctoral students in CBT, to provide counselling to clients.

3. Competences – to independently carry out of scientific and academic work as required in the context of the contemporary science of psychology.

The knowledge, skills, and competences acquired in the programme correspond to EQF Level 7.

At present there is a considerable shortage of highly qualified psychology experts who do scientific and professional work in Latvia, and this hinders the development of psychology itself as well as development of education, mental health, and social well-being.

ERASMUS+ exchange possibilities

UL full-time students, regardless of their citizenship, have the opportunity to apply for the ERASMUS + exchange program for studies or/and traineeship.  

More information:

ERASMUS + study mobility 
ERASMUS + traineeship moblity  

Admission requirements

Masters Degree in psychology.

English language proficiency.

Autumn Intake (application start: 3 Jan 2023; studies start in Sept 2023)


Contact persons for more information about the programme:

Programme director
Prof. Ivars Austers

Programme secretary
Ruta Tilgasa