Recruitment Schedule Entry 2015:

RECRUITMENT OPEN DAY November 2014  tbc
INTERVIEWS: December 2014
NIMR / CRUK/Crick interviews 20th - 24th January 2015
START DATE: September 2015  

The UCL MBPhD Programme is looking for individuals with commitment, determination, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn. Departments and supervisors are extremely keen to recruit MBPhD students, who have a reputation for brains and dedication.

The MBPhD course at University College London is a tailor-made course for budding young clinician-scientists. Students can expect to graduate with not only excellent clinical and diagnostic skills, but also with a track record in research on which to launch a career in academic medicine. Students are taught by clinical academics from the very start, so that they are exposed to potential role models from an early stage, some of whom supervise the students through their PhDs. Ensuring this delivery of high-quality training to students means that clinical training is in no way compromised.  Bedside teaching continues to run for MBPhD students throughout the year, while they are immersed in their PhD's so that they do have constant contact with the clinical side of their degrees, and often is a source of perspective in their research lives. Continuous one-to-one mentoring via the Course Tutor is available throughout the years of the MBPhD, offering academic, clinical and pastoral support.

In this programme, we have collaborations with some very eminent world-class institutions, whose Principal Investigators are at the cutting edge of research in their respective disciplines. These include the Mediucal Research Council's National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill, and Cancer Research UK's London Research Institute.  Both these Institutes are founding partners of the new Francis Crick Institute, opening in 2015.

We are passionate here at University College London to encourage young inquisitive minds to enter early into a research career. The combination of being able to carry out a period of research as well as keep up clinical medicine is an ideal foundation for a career in clinical academia, which is both exciting and rewarding.

Preliminary enquiries should be directed to Prof GW Stewart  or Ms Susan Beesley or to current students or alumni of the program. 

Hard copies of the Information Booklet are available upon request from


  • The course is open to students who are currently undertaking an undergraduate medical course Year 1 and Year 2 in the United Kingdom and are completing an Intercalated/Integrated BSc.
  • Current UCL MBBS students have the option of applying during Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care) to commence their PhD in the September following completion of MBBS Year 4 (See "Route B" of the timetable)
  • The candidate must, satisfy the general regulations for transfer to Year 4 of the UCL MBBS clinical course (  The only acceptable qualification for transfer to the UCL MBPhD programme is the first two pre-clinical years of a full 5 years MBBS (or equivalent - i.e. MBCHB) at a UK Medical School.
  • Applicants who are following accelerated graduate medical programs, or who entered their medical course as a graduate may request exemption from the Intercalated BSc requirement if their degree is in a relevant field. 
  • There is no "Fast-Track" Graduate Entry Programme at UCL, all graduates follow the same programme of study as the undergraduates, except the integrated BSc year is waived.
  • Entry to the MBPhD programme is conditional on achieving an upper second or first class honours degree.
  • Oxford and Cambridge applicants must also apply to UCL Medical School via the Oxbridge clinical transfer scheme (MOCAG) and receive an offer of transfer.
  • At present, College regulations preclude transfers from institutions outside the United Kingdom.


In the course, the PhD is sandwiched between the first and latter two years of clinical training. An introduction to clinical medicine is essential, as it focusses thoughts on potential translational benefits. Students will normally enter the clinical part of the MBBS programme (Year 4: Integrated Clinical Care) with their contemporaries, following their iBSc. After completion of MBBS Year 4, MBPhD students will divert to research studies for a period of three or four years. During the PhD, a regular clinical teaching programme keeps students’ clinical skills and knowledge up-to-date.   Re-entry into the MBBS for the two remaining years is contingent on submission of the PhD.

Current UCL students have the option of applying during UCL MBBS Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care) to commence their PhD in the September following completion of MBBS Year 4.  See "Route B" of the timetable below.


The PhD research can be undertaken either within UCL (which includes many world class institutes including the Institute of Child Health, the Institute of Neurology at Queen Square and the Institute of Ophthalmology at Moorfields), or alternatively students can choose projects at the MRC National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill or the CRUK London Research Institute. The latter two institutes are founding partners of the new Francis Crick Institute, opening in 2015.  This new institute, led by Sir Paul Nurse,  will provide world-class scientific training, second to none.

View a pdf version of the timetable here...

* Completing Research Status: MBPhD students who have completed their approved period of PhD registration (3 years) may register as CRS students while they write up their theses. Students on CRS status have continued access to UCL facilities and are not required to pay fees for this period. 


The clinical element of the course is funded by standard Student Loan and NHS bursary arrangements, as for regular medical students.

The PhDs are funded from different sources: an allocation from the MRC DTG fund to UCL, a generous grant from the UCLH/UCL NIHR Biomedical Research Centre. We are grateful for charitable donations from different bodies, including The Astor Foundation, the Rosetrees Trust and The International Journal of Experimental Pathology. We are very grateful to the MRC National Institute for Medical Research and CRUK London Research Institute for making studentships available in their institutions. The A*STAR fund in Singapore has contributed more than its fair share to this programme. Glaxo-Smith-Kline made a very generous contribution some years ago. Other PhDs are supported by grants directly made to the supervisors.

There are typically about 8 studentships available annually for PhD study. Studentships are ordinarily for 3 years, and include a stipend of approximately £15,000; UCL home level fees, plus a contribution to laboratory costs. Students do not pay fees during CRS registration.

Students can also apply for a wide range of additional funding via the UCL Scholarships & Funding office


ALL students should apply in the year prior to starting their clinical training; for most, this will be during their Intercalated BSc.

Current UCL students have the option of applying during UCL MBBS Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care) to commence their PhD in the September following completion of MBBS Year 4.

The deadline for receipt of application forms for Entry 2015 is November 2014 (tbc)

How To Apply

  1. An application form can be downloaded here or obtained from the Programme Administrator.
  2. All applications must be signed and include: a copy of the application form, a copy of curriculum vitae and references from iBSc project supervisor and pre-clinical/personal tutor or supervisor.
  3. Applications submitted without the enclosures will be returned to the candidate.
  4. Applications (with all enclosures) must be submitted via email to plus two hard copies (with all enclosures) posted to:

Ms Susan Beesley
MBPhD Programme Administration
(Room 238, The Medical School Building)
University College London
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT

    Students who are undertaking Year 1 - Year 3 of their medical course at the Universities of Oxford or Cambridge should apply through the normal Oxbridge transfer scheme (MOCAG), stating UCL as first choice and submit a separate application for the MBPhD programme. 
    (Students who are undertaking their Year 1 + Year 2 + iBSc course at a medical school in the United Kingdom other than Oxford, Cambridge or UCL, and students undertaking a 4-year accelerated graduate programme) In order to gain exemption from the UCL Year 1-Year 2 course, students must have completed a curriculum that covers the same topics. In this instance, students are asked to provide a full academic transcript and full details of their Year 1-Year 2 programme of study with their application form. The Faculty Tutor will determine eligibility for exemption from the Year 1-Year 2 course and suitability for entry to Year 4 of the UCL course before selection for interview for the MBPhD programme.  

Application Pack


Submit two copies of complete application and all enclosures (inc references) to:

Ms Susan Beesley,
MBPhD Programme Administration
(Room 238, The Medical School Building)
University College London,
Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT

plus via email to:

(Applications will be acknowledged via email within 2 days of receipt.)


Applicants who are successful in gaining entry on to the UCL MB-PhD programme are invited to consider carrying out their PhD research at the Medical Research Council National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) or the Cancer Research UK London Research Institute (LRI). Students starting their PhDs in September 2014 will join the new Crick-NIMR and Crick-LRI PhD programmes and transfer into the Francis Crick Institute with their research group in 2015 or 2016. Interested applicants can find out more about these PhD programmes here:

Applicants who are offered a place on the UCL MB-PhD programme will be able to find out more about the PhD programmes and PhD projects available in these affiliated institutes by attending their annual PhD interviews during the week 20th - 24th January 2014.

Applicants who would like to be considered for the Crick-NIMR or Crick-LRI PhD programmes will need to let us know which projects they are interested in by Friday December 20th.

If you have specific questions regarding doing your PhD at the NIMR or LRI, please contact Dr Donna Brown, NIMR (, or Dr Sally Leevers, LRI (   

Recruitment Open Day 2014

DATE TO BE CONFIRMED (November 2014)

The UCL MBPhD Recruitment Open Day provides an opportunity for prospective students to interact with not only members of faculty staff but also present and past students to find out more about the programme and to understand more about life as an MBPhD student.

After an introduction from the course tutor, Professor Gordon Stewart, there will be short talks from representatives of the main institutions were MBPhDs undertake their PhDs. There will then be a talk by a graduate of the course and by a current student, following which there will be the opportunity for questions and informal discussions.

Programme TBC:

2.00pm GW Stewart Introduction
2.40pm Refreshments & Discussion  
3.30pm Close  

To register attendance, please contact (deadline tbc)



Page last modified on 28 mar 14 12:24 by Susan Beesley