Cell and Developmental Biology MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

  • Affective disorders
  • Biological clocks/sleep
  • Cell fate determination and pattern formation
  • Cell migration
  • Cell signalling and signal transduction mechanisms
  • Early development (e.g. fertilisation, gastrulation, embryonic induction)
  • Evolution and development
  • Intracellular movements: endocytosis, exocytosis, RNA, protein, lipid and organelle traffic
  • Learning, memory and long-term change in the nervous system
  • Left-right asymmetry
  • Live imaging
  • Neural development and neural cell biology
  • Neuroaesthetics
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Pain
  • Regeneration and repair
  • Stem cell biology.

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Visit the IRIS research portal to learn more about researchers' activities, research groups, research centres and interdisciplinary networks across the whole of UCL.

IRIS department: Div of Biosciences

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised Master’s degree in an appropriate subject.

English level expected: Good


Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.


  • UK/EU Full-time: £4,500
  • UK/EU Part-time: £2,250
  • Overseas Full-time: £20,900
  • Overseas Part-time: £10,450


Across the division there are three Wellcome Trust four-year programmes and one MRC four-year programme; MRC, BBSRC four-year PhD, BBSRC quota and CASE three- and four-year studentships; NERC; and others. There may also be funding opportunities through individual research grants as well as through other programmes such as those offered by CoMPLEX.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Fees, Costs and Funding page.

Full details of funding opportunities can be found on the UCL Scholarships website


Many of our recent graduates have taken up postdoctoral positions, e.g. in the UK at UCL, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, in Europe at the Max Delbruck Center in Berlin and the University of Verona, and across the world at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital, Stanford University, the University of Connecticut, the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York and the MIND Institute, University of California at Davies. Some have continued medical/other studies or taken up teaching positions.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • MIND Institute, University of California at Davies, Postdoc, 2012
  • Department of Life Sciences and Reproduction, Section of Biological Chemistry, University of Verona, Postdoc, 2012
  • Max Delbruck Center, Postdoc, 2009
  • Stanford University, Postdoc, 2010
  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Postdoc, 2010


UCL is a highly recognised, international institution, and a graduate degree from UCL opens up numerous national and international work opportunities. Most of our graduate students pursue very successful careers in science, the media and medicine.


UCL is located in the centre of London and is surrounded by numerous other research institutions, including the new Francis Crick Institute and the Sainsbury-Wellcome Neuroscience Centre. Students are encouraged to meet and collaborate extensively with members of these institutions. Regular seminars and training courses encourage interaction across London, the UK and Europe. All students regularly attend international conferences, workshops and retreats, providing opportunities for networking with colleagues and potential future employers

Next steps


Mrs Debbie Bartram

T: +44 (0)20 3549 5462


Cell and Developmental Biology

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Prospectus subject

Cell and Developmental Biology

Faculty overview

Life Sciences


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Alumni View

"UCL has been great for networking. At the major conferences I attend each year I meet friends and colleagues even though they might be in different sub-disciplines. I am still in regular contact with many people from UCL who are scattered throughout the world, especially in the USA."

Jaime McCutcheon

, University of Leicester, 2007

Student View

"I have attended several conferences/seminars both internally and externally, which have provided excellent opportunities for meeting other researchers in my field. This has been invaluable both for discussing current research and for future opportunities/research areas."

Antonia Ford

Degree: Biological Sciences

Subject: Genetics, Evolution and Environment, Faculty: Life Sciences