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

Information on PhD fees, costs and funding

Information about scholarships and bursaries

Details on qualification and English language requirements

UCL Graduate Prospectus

Examples of degree topics

Below are examples of research degree topics from current and previous students.

  • How Do Women’s Groups Work: Community Mobilisation for Neonatal and Maternal Health in Rural Malawi 
  • Nutrition, Body Composition and Anthropometric Status of HIV- infected Adults: A Case Study of Refugees and Host Nationals in Uganda 
  • Factors affecting nutritional status and eating behaviours in Saudi Arabian adolescent girls
  • The effects of antenatal micro-nutrient supplementation and current air pollution on growth and lung function in 8-10 year old children 
  • Clean Delivery Practices and Perinatal Sepsis in Rural South Asia 
  • 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 
  • Impacts of Intra-slum Migration Within Mumbai's Urban Slum Communities 
  • A Method To Design Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods For The Management Of Malnutrition 
  • The Processes of the Policies to Prevent Congenital Syphilis and other Mother-to-Child Transmitted Infections in China 

How to Apply

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

If you would like to send an enquiry, please submit a formal online application to UCL for consideration, which should include a 3-4 page research proposal - 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, please provide Stella Fusco, our Senior Research Degrees Administrator, with details of your funding as well as an outline of your study plan which should include proposed periods when you will be overseas collecting data (you should consult UCL's study leave regulations prior to setting out your study plan). If you do not already have funding in place, let us know your plans for funding applications.

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

Should you have any queries regarding the registration process, please contact Stella Fusco in the first instance.