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UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

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Child Health Research PhD Programme

Departmental Postgraduate Tutor: Dr Claire Thorne

The purpose of the Child Health Research PhD programme is to provide training to PhD level for promising students with a first class honours or upper second class degree. Our aim is to build capacity in children's fundamental and translational research for the decades to come. We have a range of opportunities for study and a strong support network for students and supervisors. The programme covers all aspects of child health research, as follows:

The great strength of UCL's research has recently been reaffirmed in REF 2014. ICH was part of a UCL return to the Clinical Medicine sub-panel 1, and Public Health, Health Services and Primary Care sub-panel 2 (Main Panel A). In both sub-panels, 80% of UCL's research was rated as either world-leading or internationally excellent.  In assessment of research power, UCL’s performance was top in the UK for sub-panel 1 and was second in the UK for sub-panel 2.

The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health operates a PhD studentship scheme where applications are invited from high calibre students who wish to pursue a career in research. The studentships are funded for 3 years and an extensive and varied portfolio of projects is made available to students to choose from. The scheme is advertised in early November each year and provides a stipend equivalent to that of the Medical Research Council (MRC). For details of the scheme, please see ‘PhD Studentships

MPhil/PhD

All students (science or clinical) initially register for the MPhil degree before being upgraded (typically early in the 2nd year) to the PhD degree. For a successful upgrade to PhD, the students must prepare a written report, give an oral presentation and pass an oral examination.

Full-time students are normally registered for a minimum of 3 years.

Part-time students are required to register for a minimum of 5 years, although they can submit their thesis any time after 3 years registration with the support of their supervisors and the Institute, thereby terminating their registration.

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.

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.


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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.

Students whose first language is not English, are asked to look at UCL's English Language Requirement before submitting an application.

UCL fee schedules (see Postgraduate Research, Institute of Child Health, Faculty of Population Health Sciences)

Fees are payable per annum in advance and are reviewed annually.

A modern research career is based on research skills, collaboration and effective networking. Networking skills in particular will greatly benefit students in their careers. Students are supervised by internationally recognised and well-connected research leaders, and they are also expected to attend national and international conferences where networking is developed with peers and research leaders in academia, medicine and the private sector.

Our programmes produce highly employable graduates, over 80% of whom
enter the workforce immediately, thanks in part to the prestige accorded
to the Institute by employers. Students are trained to the highest
research standards and benefit significantly from the UCL skills
training programme.

To be registered for a research degree, candidates will normally be expected to have obtained an upper second or first class honours degree or equivalent. In addition, registrable qualifications in medicine, dentistry and veterinary sciences from a UK university or an equivalent qualification from an overseas university. Certain professional qualifications approved by UCL also allow for qualifying examinations to be set in certain circumstances.

Country specific information on the acceptability of international qualifications for admission to UCL is available on the UCL website.

Applicants must meet UCL's English Language requirement as set out under 'Information for Prospective Students'.

The following application forms should be completed:

  1. UCL Graduate form - Online application
  2. ICH Research Degrees application form -Complete and email to stella.fusco@ucl.ac.uk.  This form cannot be processed unless an online UCL graduate application form has been submitted (see 1 above).

Closing dates

Registration for a research degree can be with effect from the first day of any calendar month.  Please note that the UCL Admissions Office do not allow backdating of registration dates.

Information on potential sources of funding be found on the