4th European MD/PhD Conference - June 2015

Alumni News...

Bryan A Strange
Functional organization of the hippocampal longitudinal axis
Nature Reviews - October 2014


Annual Dinner: Thursday 19th March 2015

Annual Symposium: Thursday 28th January 2016 - tbc



Download information booklet (pdf)

Essential Information for Current Students

The information provided below is always being updated, please ensure you visit this site regularly to ensure you are aware of the latest changes. 

A copy of the 2014/15 entry Handbook is available to download (pdf) here...

If you have any questions or would like to suggest items to be added to these pages please contact the MBPhD Programme Administrator: Ms Susan Beesley (Tel: 020 7679 0886)

Astor Travel Bursary Scheme

The principal aim of the MBPhD Astor Travel Bursary is to encourage MBPHD students to present their research at international conferences. Awards are for a maximum of £500 per student during their programme of study and this can be split over two applications totalling a maximum of £500.  Further information can be downloaded here:

Careers & Foundation Training

Contact details and information for Careers and the UCL Foundation Training School are available on the following medical school website:


An alternative resource is the SLMS Academic Careers Office.  The ACO promotes, supports and develops all aspects of academic and clinical academic careers in the School of Life and Medical Sciences (SLMS). http://www.ucl.ac.uk/slms/

Clinical Teaching Programme

Clinical teaching during the PhD takes place on Thursday evenings. Tutorials are delivered by consultants or registrars, alternate between bedside teaching and seminars, and cover both medical and surgical specialities. Students are informed of topics and venues by e-mail.

All MB PhD students are welcome to attend the Clinical Teaching Programme, regardless of their phase of training. In those about to undertake medical school examinations, teaching is often targeted to facilitate revision, and additional support is available to MB PhDs to ensure clinical skills are up to scratch by the time of qualification.

Additional clinical teaching opportunities that are open to MB PhD students include:

  1. Morning report. 1230pm each Tuesday in the UCLH P02 seminar room.
  2. Junior Clinicopathological Case presentation. 4pm each Tuesday during term time in the Rayne 2nd floor seminar room.
  3. Grand Round. 1245pm each Wednesday in the Rayne 2nd floor seminar room. 
  4. Clinical Pharmacology Case of the Week. 8am each Thursday in the small training room, 4th floor East, 250 Euston Road.
  5. Shadowing the A&E Medical Registrar. Each weekend (10am-8pm Saturday, 10am-7pm Sunday in A&E). 1-2 students/day maximum, to be agreed in advance within group and with on-call registrar.

Cordwainers Prize

The Cordwainers' Prize for the Best MBPhD Thesis Of The Year

The Royal Free Hospital was founded by one William Marsden, at one time the Master of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers. The Company has maintained a strong link with the hospital ever since and has now generously donated a prize for the best PhD thesis presented by an MBPhD student.

  • The prize will consist of a cheque for £1000.
  • The award is open only to MBPhD students at UCL.
  • All students submitting a thesis in the current calendar year are eligible to apply.
  • Applying students are expected to:

1. Submit one copy of the thesis.

2. Submit copies of papers and abstracts published, in press and submitted.

3. Submit a one page summary of the research work, outlining the scientific contribution that has been made.

4. Present their thesis to the selection panel in January.

  • The theses will be examined by a distinguished clinical scientist panel, chosen by the MBPhD management committee.
  • The thesis will be judged on the following grounds:

1. The timeliness of its submission

2. Its contribution to clinical science

3. The quality of its presentation.

  • The award will be made in the autumn term. The winner will be required to attend the Marsden Lecture (third Thursday in November) to receive the award.  The Marsden Lecture is held in recognition of the Royal Free Hospital’s founder, William Marsden and is open to the public.
  • The MBPhD Management Committee will reserve the right to make no award.
  • The honours board of previous prize winners is on display in the Cruciform Building.

Award Administration

  1. The Faculty of Medical Sciences will notify:
  • the successful candidate by the end of January following the theses presentation event.
  • The Clerk of the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers
  • The medical student administration department of the name of the selected scholar

2. The gift of £1,000 will be paid directly to the student by the Worshipful Company of Cordwainers

3. The gift will be gratefully acknowledged in appropriate UCL publications under the name ‘The Cordwainers Prize for the Best MBPhD Thesis Of The Year'

4. UCL reserves the right to vary these regulations should it become necessary to do so.

5. Awards are subject to the provisions of the General Regulations. 

Prize Winners...


The ePortfolio (login) is a collection of documents providing evidence of learning, achievements and personal and professional development. It is a place for you to reflect on and describe your learning and to collect, in a structured way, evidence that will assist you in providing evidence of achievements and competencies and your ability to reflect on practice.

Further information on the MBBS Portfolio can be found here:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/medicalschool/staff-students/course-information/portfolio/eportfolio

MBPhD students are expected to complete 4 Supervised Learning Events (SLEs) a month throughout their PhD registration. Usually these will be CBDs or MiniCEX. Professor Stewart will sign-off “tickets” and the MBPhD administration will monitor recording of activity.

The Clinical assessment Exercise (CEX) is a snapshot of the student-patient interaction.  The observation may be of any interaction between a student and a patient, including taking a history, examination, patient counseling etc, (depending upon the firm/ module) allowing assessment of the clinical skills, attitudes and behaviours of students essential to a high quality history and examination.  The encounters should try to represent a range of clinical problems.

The Case Based Discussion (CBD) should be used by a student to have a focused discussion around a patient they have seen with a doctor who then assesses them on the basis of that discussion.  The patient is not normally present. The aim of the CBD is to enable an assessor to provide systematic assessment and structured feedback.

Possible MBPhD Supervised Learning Events:

  • Grand Rounds or any case discussion session – (Teaching Event Self form)
  • Journal Club (Teaching Event Self form)
  • Attending MBPhD clinical teaching session
  • Attending ward round
  • Attending outpatient clinic
  • Attending Casualty or ward for observation or participation

Exposure Prone Procedures  (EPPs)

What are EPPs? The Department of Health defines EPPs as “those invasive procedures where there is a risk that injury to the worker may result in the exposure of the patient’s open tissues to the blood of the worker. These include procedures where the worker’s gloved hands may be in contact with sharp instruments, needle tips or sharp tissues (e.g. spicules of bone or teeth) inside a patient’s open body cavity, wound or confined anatomical space where the hands may not be completely visible at all times”. Venepuncture, canulation and suturing are not considered as EPPs.

Do I need to do EPPs to qualify with MBBS or register with the GMC?
No. The GMC is absolutely clear about this. Performing EPPs as a student is not a requirement for either the MBBS or for Provisional Registration. However, you should be aware that choosing not to do EPPs as a student may limit the jobs you can do and, ultimately, your career options. For this reason, recommend that all students have the tests required for the Additional Health Clearance (which includes hepatitis C and HIV screening). Students who do not wish to have the extra tests can opt out, but will not be able to do EPPs and will need to be seen in the Welfare Clinic to be given a card exempting them from EPPs.

What happens if either of these tests is positive?
In the unlikely event of a positive test, you will receive guidance and an appropriate referral to a specialist. You should be reassured that your test results will not be disclosed without your informed consent.

Further information can be obtained from the Medical Student Occupational and Travel Health Centre website...

Exceptional Leave

Exceptional leave requests must be submitted for all absence requested during clinical term times except self directed learning. Additional leave may only be granted in exceptional circumstances with the prior permission of the Consultant during whose firm exceptional leave is requested and a Welfare Tutor. The MBBS regulations require students to complete the full prescribed course of study before entering finals. Unauthorised absence will be taken as failure to complete the course.

Exceptional Leave must:

  • be no more than 1 week in duration (n.b. more than 2 days will not normally be granted during 1 week attachments)
  • not clash with specific events e.g. introductory days, examinations etc
  • be for clear and well founded reasons
  • be requested at least 2 weeks prior to the event (for non emergencies)
  • be approved by the Consultant/Educational Supervisor from whose firm the student will be absent
  • be countersigned by Welfare Tutor (WT)
  • be notified in advance to the MBBS Year 3, 4 or 5 Administrator

Further information and leave application forms can be found here...

NHS Bursaries


In your clinical Years 5 and 6 you may be eligible to have your fees paid for by the NHS and receive an income-assessed bursary. To find out if you eligible please click on the appropriate link at the foot of this page.

If you have questions regarding any aspect of the NHS bursary scheme and your application,  please deal directly with the NHS or your relevant authority:

If you are unable to find an answer on these pages or from your funding authority, please contact Jelena Baburina in the Medical School.

Please note that any bursary may not be sufficient to fully support your living expenses.

UCL is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Personal Tutor Scheme

UCL requires all students have access to their personal tutor throughout their study at UCL, and MBPhD students have the opportunity to meet on a 1:1 basis on a minimum of 3 occasions in each academic session. In view of the unique duration and scheduling of the MBPhD programme and the location of teaching in the later years, arrangements have been put in place to ensure the most appropriate personal tutor support at each stage. If a student is unable to attend a session, or requires an additional meeting, contact with the Personal Tutor can be made via email or telephone.

MBPhD Personal Tutor 1:1 sessions will be scheduled in September, December, April and July.  Professor Gordon Stewart is the Personal Tutor for all MBPhD Students.  Each session is open to all MBPhD Students at any stage of the MBPhD programme, however,  the timetable below shows the minimum number of attendances required by UCL for each Year of the Programme.  This timetable should be read in conjuction with the complete MBBS arrangements available here...

Session MBBS PhD
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Students that commenced PhD in September
Early/mid- April
  • Year 4
  • Year 5
  • Year 6
  • Students scheduled to return to MBBS in September
Early July
  • Year 4
  • Year 5

The Personal Tutor Meeting Report is to be completed during meetings with the Personal Tutor. The forms will be kept by the Medical School as part of students' personal and academic development and can be seen only by authorised staff members. Students will be sent an electronic copy of the form for their ePortfolio.


The MBPhD Programme is uniquely governed by both the MBBS and Research Degrees regulations.

During the approved PhD period of study* the student will be governed by the UCL Research Degree Regulations. Upon their return to MBBS Year 5 (Life Cycle) they are governed by the regulations for MBBS degrees.

MBPhD students will not be permitted to return to the MBBS programme before submitting a thesis for the PhD examination and will not be permitted to take the final examination for the MBBS degrees before being examined for the PhD examination.

A return to the MBBS programme will be determined by an academic review at 24 months of PhD registration (see Academic Review & Monitoring Regulations).

If a student is unable to submit their thesis by the end of their approved period of registration  they may register as Completing Research Student Status (CRS) for 12 months while they write up their theses. CRS status means that students do not pay fees but have access to UCL facilities and can have one draft of their thesis read by their Supervisor (Graduate Research Degrees - Code of Practice). Transfer to CRS status is only permitted with the approval of the students supervisor and the Faculty Tutor and the student must have successfully upgraded from MPhil to PhD.  

Please note there is no central funding provision for extensions of a students PhD beyond the approved period of study and it the responsibility of Supervisors to source additional funding for any extended research period.

* Approved period of study
   2 years 8 months for students enrolled on MBPhD programme prior to 2014, and 3 years for students enrolled on the MBPhD programme from 2014 onwards.

UCL Codes / Regulations / Guidelines:

Research Degree Submission

As students are expected to return to the clinical programme in September, it is important that they enter for the examination and nominate their examiners in the May prior to their return.

Theses should be submitted no later than the Friday prior to the first day of term of the clinical programme. Further information regarding submission of a Research Degree can be found at the Doctoral School website.

Student Loans Company

You should apply in the normal way for MBBS Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care). If you are an external student, and have already applied for student finance prior to your transfer to the MBPhD Programme, you will need to inform Student Finance via a 'change of circumstances form' as soon as possible as this is likely to affect your ability to enrol. 

A Change of Circumstances form will be completed by UCL when you transfer to the PhD component of the programme.

You may be eligible to apply for an NHS bursary when you return to  MBBS Year 5 (Life Cycle) after your PhD.

More information on the Student Loans Company can be found here...

Further information on Change of Circumstances and forms for Student Finance England can be found here...


Detailed versions of the timetables are available as Acrobat PDF files below:

Year of Entry:

Lost Your ID?

If you have lost (or had them stolen) your UCL or UCLH Trust ID, you need to get these cancelled urgently.

  • Further details on cancelling your UCL ID and obtaining a replacement card can be found here...
  • In order to obtain a replacement UCLH Trust ID, you must take the completed application form (obtainable from s.beesley@ucl.ac.uk) to the cashiers at UCH (located on the ground floor, between pharmacy & the chaplaincy).  Pay £10, obtain a receipt and take both the receipt & application form to the ID room in John Astor House.  Give both receipt & application to the ID card operator, who will then produce the new card.

UCL Information Systems

Information Systems provides central IT services to UCL students and staff. Further details on services can be found at the IS website.  During your PhD research your Department may allocate you a Departmental e-mail account. This new account is completely separate to your main UCL account and will have a different username and password. If you are allocated a new account, it is important that you arrange to forward your main UCL email to your new account as all centrally generated e-mails regarding registration, Portico etc will be sent to your main UCL account.


UCL Scholarships and Funds

 Further information regarding the Graduate School Scholarships and Funding opportunities can be found here...

A full list of the scholarships and prizes available at UCL are available here...

Pregnancy Testing A Cow

Doing a PhD is a bit like pregnancy testing in cattle. You never know exactly where you're going, it's a bit messy at times, but well worth it when you find some positive results. 

UCL is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Page last modified on 21 jan 15 11:34 by Susan Beesley