Research Degrees

The research degree programme at the Institute for Global Health aims to provide interesting, challenging and excellent training for exceptional students so that they may successfully pursue careers in research, training, medicine, child health 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 students must prepare a written report, give an oral presentation and pass an oral examination.

MPhil/PhD research in IGH normally has an international dimension, often with field work carried out abroad. The programme lasts three years, if taken full-time, or five years if part-time. Students, with help from their supervisory committees, finalise their research proposal during the first year. This may require travel to the study site to collect 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 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.

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 our PhD students and their projects which are currently in progress can be found on our staff page

PhD Applications

Prior to submission of your on-line application we suggest you browse the people and research pages on this website to determine whether there is a potential supervisor within IGH who shares similar interests to you.  You can also send a short research proposal and CV to Therese Hesketh who can help you identify a potential supervisor.  If you have identified a potential supervisor already you may contact them directly.

Once a potential supervisor has been identified we may interview you either in person or over the phone. It is expected that your research ideas will change over the first year of your PhD but you are required to submit a proposal as part of the application process.

Information on PhD fees, costs and funding

Information about scholarships and bursaries

Details on qualification and English language requirements

UCL Graduate Prospectus 

Online Application Form

Examples of degree topics

Below are examples of research degree topics from current and previous students with contact details provided where available.

Current topics 

  • How Do Women’s Groups Work: Community Mobilisation for Neonatal and Maternal Health in Rural Malawi | Contact
  • Nutrition, Body Composition and Anthropometric Status of HIV- infected Adults: A Case Study of Refugees and Host Nationals in Uganda | Contact
  • Factors affecting nutritional status and eating behaviours in Saudi Arabian adolescent girls | Contact
  • The effectiveness of a community-based key-informant surveillance system in measuring vital events in Malawi | No contact details
  • The effects of antenatal micro-nutrient supplementation and current air pollution on growth and lung function in 8-10 year old children | Contact
  • Investigation of the benefits of women’s groups in Malawi via adapted quality of life measurement, best-worst scaling choice-experiments and contingent valuation | Contact
  • Clean Delivery Practices and Perinatal Sepsis in Rural South Asia | Contact
  • Private health providers and perinatal health care in vulnerable urban areas of Mumbai | Contact
  • Assessing the potential of community mobilisation with women’s groups to improve child growth among undeserved tribal communities of Eastern India | Contact
  • Food security, food prices and affordability of a nutritionally adequate diet in rural plains Nepal: impact of the global food price crisis on the poor | Contact
  • Impacts of Intra-slum Migration Within Mumbai's Urban Slum Communities | Contact
  • A Method To Design Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods For The Management Of Malnutrition | Contact
  • The Processes of the Policies to Prevent Congenital Syphilis and other Mother-to-Child Transmitted Infections in China | Contact

Information about studentships can be found on the