Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I find more information about the programme?
  2. Am I eligible?
  3. What funding is available?
  4. I have a specific topic of research in mind.  Can I do it at CoMPLEX?
  5. How do I apply?
  6. Who do I contact about my application?
  7. What are the next steps?

Where can I find more information about the programme? 

The MRes and PhD at CoMPLEX are integrated and cannot be taken as stand alone courses.  Our MRes and PhD pages list the structure of the course.  You can also find out what our current students are researching

We work with a wide range of departments across UCL to exploit the unique breadth of research strength at UCL.

Am I eligible?

The course is very competitive.  Applicants must have or expect a good upper class 2nd or 1st class degree in any area of the mathematical, physical, computer, engineering or life sciences (or equivalent EU/overseas degree).  For students from the life sciences, some mathematics experience is necessary (e.g. A Levels or higher).

What funding is available? 

Home students (UK or resident in the UK for three years before the course)

CoMPLEX studentships cover fees and have a tax-free annual stipend (in 2010/11 this will be ~£17,100). These are funded by the research councils EPSRC, MRC and NERC.  Some studentships are also provided by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and Cancer Research UK (CRUK).  When you apply, you will be automatically registered for these studentships. 

EU Students

We have a limited number of studentships available for EU candidates who have been resident in the EU prior to the course. If you submit a formal Graduate Application, the Programme Directors can make a determination as to suitability. The funding will be equivalent to the home studentship offer. 

Overseas students (not home or EU students)

CoMPLEX is able to nominate up to three applications from exceptional overseas students for consideration for the UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS). Overseas applicants should apply in the first round if they wish to be considered for UCL Overseas Research Scholarships.

These scholarships are very competitive and funding is not guaranteed. If you are not successful in securing ORS funding but you meet the academic requirements, you can seek scholarships through your own national funding bodies.

Details of the UCL scholarships available can be found at:

Please note that as students are studying for an MRes in the first year of the course they are not eligible for scholarships which require MPhil/PhD study, such as the Graduate School Research Scholarship, Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Award and ORS award.

Advice on scholarships can be found through the British Council.  You should also look at the UCL site for international students, which not only gives details on funding, but also details other matters relevant to international students.

Self-funded students are welcome to apply.

I have a specific topic of research in mind.  Can I do it at CoMPLEX?

During the MRes year of your studies at CoMPLEX, you will be exposed to a huge range of topics in the interface of physics/maths/engineering and the life sciences.  Our students find this inspiring and use this experience to choose their PhD.  If you already have a very specific topic of research in mind, you may be better applying directly to the department which covers your chosen field of research.  See the list of departments we work with, or the UCL homepage. 

How do I apply?

We recruit between December and Feburary for the coming September.  Our deadlines will be publicised on the apply home page.  We generally have two or three rounds of recruitment.  These close once we have filled all our spaces.  Beyond this time, there may be an additional round if further spaces become available.  This will be advertised on the apply home page.

To apply, you must complete the official UCL graduate application form.  This can be done online or downloaded.  Please note if applying online that when choosing the course applied for you are given 2 options; the MRes component and the MPhil/PhD component. You should apply for the MRes Modelling Biological Complexity (TMRCMPSMBC01) and will automatically be entered for the MPhil/PhD course.

If applying online it is essential that you email CoMPLEX,, stating your name, your UCL application number (you will find this on the 'Application Completed' screen), and the date you submitted your application.

If you are unable to use the online application process, please apply using the downloadable version of the application form. It is essential that you send a copy of your completed form, including copies of any attachments (e.g. references), to CoMPLEX at the address below, in addition to submitting your application to UCL Admissions.

Overseas students are encouraged to apply. Please be aware that if you wish to be considered for Overseas Research Scholarship (ORS) funding, your application must be received by the deadline of the first round.

Address details:


Physics Building
Gower Street

Whom should I contact about my application?

The Applications Administrator is the primary contact for all applications.  They can be reached at:


Phone:  020 7679 4323

What are the next steps?  

The applications are vetted against the eligibility criteria and successful candidates will be invited for interview. The interview will last approximately half an hour and will consist of questions from a panel designed to establish a candidates interest in and suitability for the course. At the time of interview candidates will be advised when they will be informed of the result of the interview. Reasonable travel expenses will be paid.

Page last modified on 11 jul 13 15:30