Information for PhD students

PhD Prize

The 2013 PhD prize was won by Isabel Christie for her paper on "fMRI response to blue light delivery in the naive brain: implications for combined optogenetic fMRI studies" published in Neuroimage.

General Information

PhD Student Handbook

The Department of Medical Physics & Bioengineering provides a Handbook for all new PhD students. This contains a broad range of useful information, and provides a general guide to the department and how it functions. Our Handbook includes a copy of the UCL Graduate School Code of Practice for research degrees, which can also be downloaded here.

Research student online log

All research students and their supervisors at UCL are required to complete the research student log. This must be done at the start of the project, and then at 3, 6, 12, 18 and 36 months. It must be fully up-to-date before students are permitted to enter the upgrade or final PhD exam.

Skills training programme

The UCL Graduate School offers a range of training courses for PhD students. The Medical Physics department also has a range of MSc lecture courses that PhD students can attend. Details can be found via the UCL moodle website and searching for course codes starting MPHYGB.

Each training activity on the Skills Development Programme website is assigned a number of points. Research students should be aiming to accrue 20 points per year. A point is worth approximately ½ day of training: two weeks per year is therefore equivalent to 20 points per year.

All Research Council funded research students are required by their funding bodies to participate in the Graduate School Skills Development Programme and/or appropriate departmental courses to a degree equivalent to two weeks per year of their funded studentship.

Exam procedure – MPhil to PhD upgrade

Initially PhD students are registered for the MPhil degree. If they wish to proceed to a PhD, their registration must be changed accordingly. To upgrade from MPhil to PhD status the student is assessed by means of an upgrade report and viva, outlining the work accomplished so far, and the programme of further work that will lead to a successful thesis. These components will be considered by an upgrade panel. The purpose of the upgrade is to assess the student’s progress and ability to complete their PhD programme in a reasonable time frame.

UCL Research Degree Regulations state that upgrade cannot be done before the end of the first year of registration for fulltime students. There should be two possible attempts at upgrade; the first between 12 and 18 months and, if the student fails at the first attempt, the second between 18 and 24 months. The period between the first and second attempt should normally be no more than 6 months.

For Part time students, whose programme of study is typically 5 years, the first possible attempt at upgrade should take place between 20 and 30 months and, if the student fails at the first attempt, the second between 30 and 40 months. The period between the first and second attempt should normally be no more than 10 months.

It is expected that most students will successfully upgrade on the first attempt. Two attempts only will be permitted. Full details of the upgrade procedure can be found here and in our PhD Student Handbook. The MPhil transfer form can be downloaded from here.

Exam procedure – PhD exam

Students entering their final year are strongly advised to read through the full details of the PhD exam procedure.

At least 4 months before the submission date of the thesis and exam entry form must be completed. The form and guidance notes can be found here. Guidelines for formatting the PhD thesis can be found here.

Points of contact

The initial points of contact are the primary and secondary supervisors. Additional points of contact are:

Information for PhD supervisors

New information for overseas students

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) was introduced by the British Government in November 2007 is a new mandatory requirement for postgraduate students. You will need an ATAS certificate if you are a non EU/EEA (including Switzerland) citizen and intend to undertake graduate study in the Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering.

Please see UCL's requirements and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance and the application form.