Institute for Global Health


Research Degrees

The MPhil/PhD programmes we offer at the Institute for Global Health are relevant to a variety of disciplines relevant to global health. Our programmes aim to provide interesting, challenging and excellent training for exceptional students so that they may successfully pursue careers in research, medicine, health services, laboratory science, policy, or public health. Students are initially registered for an MPhil, upgrading to a PhD, subject to satisfactory academic progress. For a successful upgrade to PhD, the student must prepare a written report, give an oral presentation and pass an oral examination.

MPhil/PhD research in IGH is varied and may have an international dimension, including field work carried out abroad, setting up a study within the UK, or using data from existing studies working with the respective IGH-based Principal Investigator. The programme lasts three years, if taken full-time, or five years if part-time. Students, with help from their supervisors, finalise their research proposal during the first year, informed by the current literature and practice. It may also require collection of preliminary data, pilot questionnaires etc.

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 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.

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.

Further information about the our research areas and staff can be found here.


Global Health MPhil/PhD

Guidance on how to contact potential supervisors

Information on PhD fees, costs and funding

Information about scholarships and bursaries

Details on qualification and English language requirements

UCL Graduate Prospectus

Degree Topics

Below are the research degree topics from current students.

  • How will current health spending in Kuwait meet the demands of a changing epidemiological and demographic landscape? Exploring ways to improve the efficiency of health spending
  • Intimate partner violence as a form of family violence and common mental disorders in informal settlement areas of Mumbai, India
  • Factors associated with HIV transmission risk behaviours among population groups at risk of sexual transmission of HIV in the UK
  • A mixed methods study to understand the influence of community health worker’s home visits on equity in perinatal health in Uttar Pradesh, India
  • Reconciling the irreconcilable? An application of economics to long-term fiscal sustainability of the HIV and AIDS response in Uganda
  • The use of herbal medicines in pregnancy and its impact on birth outcomes in rural Malawi
  • What is the role of pathogen genomics in enhancing understanding of epidemic transmission of HIV and Ebola?
  • The motivation of village health teams (VHT) to perform their duties in Uganda: the relationship between motivation and VHT identity in the context of the two inSCALE interventions
  • Defining the burden of co-morbidities in people living with HIV
  • Prevalence, clinical manifestations and management of HPV in men who have sex with men
  • Clinical outcomes for people living with HIV >50 years of age (POPPY)
  • Gender Equality: Greater than the sum of its parts. Exploring layered gender disadvantage through the creation of an individualized gender equality score in rural Peru
  • The philosophy, theory and practice of Zuo Yuezi (sitting the month) – the postpartum period to engage, and promote health of, mothers on Mainland China
  • Early childhood development and the adversities of HIV in terms of their cognitive development
  • Health outcomes following transition to adult care among young people with perinatal HIV
  • Whole genome sequencing and mathematical modelling of isoniazid-resistant TB in hard to reach populations
  • Epidemiology of Sexually Transmissible Enteric Infections and their capacity for acquiring antimicrobial resistance genes in sexual networks of men who have sex with men
  • Barriers to access among migrants in Europe: improving HIV testing, prevention and treatment services
  • Attitudes to and Understanding Risk of acquisition of HIV over Time
  • HIV and tuberculosis co-infection in England, Wales and Northern Ireland: Prevalence, risk factors and transmission
  • Maternal Morbidity in Northern Nigeria: Perceptions, Care-seeking and Measurement
  • Experiences of HIV-positive youth with HIV care and engagement in Zambia
  • Can whole genome sequencing (WGS) inform public health activity in the control of gonorrhoea? Investigation of the correlation of socio-demographic, clinical, behavioural, spatial and other contextual characteristics with phylogenetic clustering of gonorrhoea and rapid transmission sexual networks
  • The double burden of malnutrition in urban informal settlements in Mumbai: prevalence and determinants in a prospective observational cohort 
  • Cancer in HIV positive patients using EuroSIDA and D:A:D 
  • Modelling the current and future global burden of vector-borne diseases
  • National longitudinal survey of healthcare needs and risk behaviours of HIV positive people
  • The mental health and psychosocial impact for Syrian refugees fleeing protracted conflict: an in-depth analysis of the stages of transition and health narratives
  • An exploration of Child Maltreatment in China: Prevalence and Attitudes
  • Diabetes governance in Saudi Arabia and the impact on integration of diabetes care within primary care and patient satisfaction
  • An investigation into the impacts of climate change on population migration patterns and associated health and social indicators
  • The impact of maternal mental health on the outcome of a comprehensive based intervention addressing early childhood stimulation, economic resilience and HIV care delivered to HIV infected women and their children in Zimbabwe
  • What is the public health utility of measuring linkage to care following HIV diagnosis? Examples from the UK and other European epidemics
  • HIV/HCV co-infection in Europe (EuroSIDA cohort)
  • High-risk sexual behaviour among HIV negative MSM in the UK: behavioural surveillance for better HIV prevention
  • The Introduction of HPV Vaccine in India: A Case Study of Socio-cultural, Political and Scientific Spaces and Health Policy
  • Evaluating interventions in prisons to reduce burden of BBV
  • Understanding men and gender: masculinities, SRH, HIV and violence in Southern Africa
  • An investigation of the sociodemographic characteristics, sexual behaviour, sexual and wider health, and health needs of men who have sex with men (MSM) who identify as heterosexual using data from probability and convenience sample surveys from around the world
  • Obesity in School-Aged Children in China: Exploring Parents’ and Grandparents’ Perceptions to Inform Policy

How to Apply

Information about studentships can be found on the UCL scholarships and funding website.

If you would like to apply to undertake a postgraduate research degree at IGH, please submit a formal online application to UCL for consideration. This must include a 3-4 page research proposal. The Departmental Graduate Tutor will need to assess whether there is the appropriate expertise within IGH to supervise your project, as well as the suitability of your academic background and writing skills. Your chances of being considered are greatly increased if you identify a suitable supervisor within your application. Please read this document carefully before making an enquiry or applying.

In your application (and any enquiry) please provide clear details about your funding status. If funding is not in place, be clear about your plans for funding applications and any timelines involved in knowing the outcome of these. Please also state if your proposed study plan includes periods of time spent overseas collecting study data (you should consult UCL's study leave regulations prior to setting out your study plan).

For your information, please see the UCL website for information on tuition fees and living expenses whilst in London.

You should also check the general entry requirements for Graduate Research Programmes, Information by Country, where applicable.  

For English language requirements, please also see the English Language Requirements page. Once we have received your application, we will be in contact as soon as possible to let you know the outcome.

In the meantime, if you have any queries not addressed here please contact Lydia Clinton, our Teaching Administrator.