UCL Cancer Institute Students on stairs

PhD and MD(Res) Programmes

PhD students

The UCL Cancer Institute, draws together all of the research teams at UCL which focus on Cancer Biology and Translational Research, Experimental Cancer Therapeutics, and Clinical Cancer Studies. The Institute is a cross-disciplinary entity which promotes interdepartmental and cross-faculty learning and research. In recognition of our research excellence, the UCL Cancer Institute has been awarded ‘CR-UK Centre’ status by Cancer Research U.K. This has provided the Institute with a CR-UK funded PhD studentship and Clinical Fellowship training programme.

The Research Environment

The hub of the Cancer Institute is the Paul O'Gorman building with state-of-the-art laboratories located close to both the main UCL campus and UCLH ,This building houses over 300 scientists and has exceptional core equipment facilities, open plan writing up areas for research students and staff, kitchens on each level and meeting rooms. We have a courtyard café and also a roof top terrace for gathering with colleagues. The Institute is equipped with the most modern facilities for microscopy, cell culture, molecular biology, cell biology, histology, bio-informatics, genomics, and clinical research. The Institute has an active research seminar series with invited external speakers, research-in-progress seminars with internal speakers and student research seminars.

The Postgraduate Students

We have around 100 research students and 35 taught programme students in our Masters courses in Cancer and in Radiation Biology. Our postgraduate students are from a variety of backgrounds and come from the U.K., the rest of the E.U. and around the world. They are of various ages and come with anything from newly acquired BSc qualifications to medical doctors wishing to strengthen their research expertise. We encourage intellectual and social interactions between our students via our monthly student meeting and luncheon, participation in the Institute’s annual conference and poster competition, with our postgraduate society functions, and by attendance of skills and development courses offered by the UCL Graduate School. The Institute Graduate Tutor provides support for students and follows their progression.

MPhil/PhD Programme of Study

An MPhil/PhD usually takes 3 or 4 years of full time study (depending on the studentship) and 5 years if done part time. The prerequisite for admission is a minimum of an upper second-class Honours degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Although not required, practical research experiences gained during undergraduate studies, Masters’ studies or work experience/employment is highly desirable.

MD (Res) Programme of Study

MD (Res) applicants are typically hospital clinicians undertaking research associated with their employment; this is a 2 year part-time programme. These are not advertised studentships. Projects are arranged following medical doctors approaching a suitable academic clinician mentor.

How to Apply

A) Funded studentships: We have a number of funded PhD studentships available throughout any academic year, details and application instructions can be found here. Also, please visit the UCL Graduate School’s website for further information about other funding opportunities. Please note the deadlines for scholarship applications which are usually 6 months to 1 year before your intended start date.

B) Bringing your own studentship: If you have been awarded funding from your employer, government sponsor or other verifiable funding source to cover student and bench fees, as well as living expenses, please indicate this on your application form and when you discuss your interest with the Divisional Graduate Tutor, Dr Julie Olszweski, in the first instance.

All applications for postgraduate study must go through the central UCL admissions office and can be done online. Student intakes typically occur in September and January, however, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Informal enquiries and general questions should be directed to the Divisional Graduate Tutor, Dr Julie Olszewski.


Informal enquiries and general questions, to:

Graduate Tutor

Dr Julie Olszewski

Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 6911
E-mail: j.olszewski @ ucl.ac.uk

Postgraduate Teaching Administrator

Lauren James

Tel:+44 (0)20 7679 6658
E-mail: l.e.james@ucl.ac.uk