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UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science

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Research Degrees

The research degree programme at the Institute of Cardiovascular Science aims to provide interesting, challenging and excellent training for exceptional students so that they may successfully pursue careers in research, training or cardiovascular medicine. Students are initially registered for an MPhil, upgrading to a PhD subject to satisfactory academic progress. For a successful upgrade to PhD, the students must prepare a written report, give an oral presentation and pass an oral examination.

Both MPhil and PhD students investigate a relatively narrow topic but may be examined on a broad field of study. Where students need to spend periods of time carrying out work in laboratories outside of UCL, or collecting data from overseas, that will contribute directly to their thesis, they may do so provided their study leave plans are approved in advance.

The research themes represented within ICS include:

  • Arrhythmias
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cardiac Development 
  • Cardiomyopathies
  • Cerebrovascular Disease
  • Congenital Heart Disease
  • Epidemiology
  • Genetics 
  • Imaging
  • Ischaemic Heart Disease
  • Metabolism (diabetes and obesity)
  • Prevention
  • Regenerative Therapy 
  • Surgery
  • Vascular Biology and Physiology

All MPhil/PhD students are expected to undertake 10 days of generic skills training each year over their three year programme, which is logged and audited electronically. This will include, for example, courses on research design and statistics, ethical and legal issues, presentation skills, thesis production and career planning.

Science graduates must have a good first degree (2:1 or better) or equivalent.

A clinical candidate must have a registrable qualification appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a UK university or a university outside the UK in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Studies.

We offer three types of research degrees:

If you are interested in doing a PhD/MD(Res) in cardiovascular science, please look at our research pages and identify what area you would like to work in and see if we have an academic who would be able to supervise you in this area. It is advisable to contact your proposed supervisor informally before applying for your PhD/MD(Res) to see if they would be able to supervise your proposed research project. On your application form you need to detail your proposed research project and supervisor. 

UCL provides comprehensive guidance for prospective graduate students on the Information for Prospective Students pages of the UCL Graduate Prospectus. There is a particularly helpful guidance document there on contacting potential supervisors. 

For more information about the application procedures and a list of fees, please consult the UCL Graduate School website. There is also information about scholarships on this site. Please note that for some lab based research projects there will be an Additional Fee Element ('bench fees') on top of your student fees. Your proposed supervisor will be able to advise you if such fees apply to your research project. 

The School of Life and Medical Sciences' Academic Careers Office pages on Biomedical Academic Training also gives advice on selecting your supervisor, developing your project, and finding funding. 

ICS also co-ordinates a 4 year PhD programme, funded by the British Heart Foundation, to train students in collaborative research and particularly in the application of mathematical and physical techniques to problems in cardiovascular biology and medicine. There are now more than 125 members spread across 25 UCL departments, with collaborative projects where biologists and physical scientists are tackling problems of common interest. British Heart Foundation and Research Council studentships and fellowships are occasionally available for MPhil/PhD students.

If you have any questions about studying at ICS please contact our Education Officer Joanna Pajerska

Information for current research students

This page is for current ICS research students and contains links to UCL student regulations and other essential information for research students throughout their time at UCL. 

A great portal for all research students is the UCL Graduate School's website, this contains a helpful list of most of the things you will need to know as a student here.

For ICS specific information this welcome presentation from our Postgraduate Tutor Prof. Andrew Cook is a good start.

Postgraduate student regulations

E-Log and skills development
The E-Log is an on-line documentation system to assist you throughout your degree programme at UCL. It provides a framework for recording details related to your graduate research programme, scheduled supervisory meetings and activities concerning the development of your academic and key skills. The E-Log is a mandatory component of all UCL research degree programmes and is a means of monitoring the progress of students within ICS, as well as helping to ensure that they are receiving adequate supervision. You will be expected to submit short Progress Reports and to identify Objectives & Required Skills at various intervals using your E-Log; and to document Upgrade and Supervisory Sessions. These reports will be signed off by your supervisor and your general progress checked by your Departmental Deputy Postgraduate Tutor. Current students can log into their electronic log book here. 

The Graduate School provides students with full training to use the E-Log through the Skills Development Programme. This is mandatory for Research Council students, and highly recommended for all students.

Key milestones

Emergency funds

Information for supervisors