Ophthalmology MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

  • Cell science: angiogenesis; membrane trafficking; annexin biology; tight junction biology; cytoskeleton; cell signalling; leukocyte trafficking; chaperones; neurodegeneration; control of wound healing
  • Genetics and gene therapy: single gene and complex genetics of eye disease; genetic epidemiology; gene therapy for eye disease from experimental models to clinical trials
  • Multi-disciplinary studies of disease: age-related macular degeneration; glaucoma; diabetes; retinitis pigmentosa; ocular scarring; neurodegeneration
  • Ocular immunology and allergy: applied ocular immunology; understanding basic mechanisms causing disease to identify novel therapeutic approaches; determining to what extent T-cells, eosinophils and mast cells damage the cornea and conjunctiva in allergic eye disease
  • Regenerative medicine: stem cell therapy for eye disease; transplantation strategies (corneal and retinal disease); optic nerve regeneration
  • Visual neuroscience: neurophysiology of central visual processing; imaging of retina and CNS; neuronal plasticity; evolutionary paradigms of vision; visual pigments.

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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: Institute of Ophthalmology

Entry requirements

MPhil/PhD: candidates normally require a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university (or its overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

English level expected: Standard


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


Several studentships are normally available each year.

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


Recent graduates have taken up a number of academic posts at UK universities including UCL and Oxford. Others have pursued careers in industry or continued with clinical or other medically related careers.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • UCL, Postdoctoral Research Assistant, 2011
  • King's College London, Cell Researcher, 2011
  • Hammersmith Medicine Research, Clinical Project Manager, 2011
  • University of Western Australia, Associate Professor and Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon, 2011
  • University of Cambridge, Clinical Lecturer in Public Health, 2011


Postgraduate students are supervised by internationally renowned experts in their field with access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. In addition, our close partnership with clinicians in Moorfields Eye Hospital, who also contribute to our teaching, allows for rapid translation of basic research to address clinically relevant eye diseases and disorders.


Students are encouraged to attend diverse weekly seminars where they have the opportunity to meet with external speakers. PhD students also have the opportunity to attend overseas and national conferences where they are encouraged to present posters and network with key researchers in their field.

Next steps


Mrs Anne Snowling

T: +44 (0)20 7608 6878


Institute of Ophthalmology

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Prospectus subject


Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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Staff View

"In London, and at UCL in particular, I am surrounded by excellent colleagues who have helped me to shape my research in numerous ways. At least half of the techniques we use today in the laboratory were unknown to me until I joined UCL and started collaborating with colleagues."

Professor Matteo Carandini

Professor of Visual Neuroscience

Student View

"A particularly valuable aspect of my degree is that I am part of UCL’s vast neuroscience community. This provides great networking opportunities and gives me the chance to learn from world-leading academics and experts in my field."

Seetal Chavda

Degree: Visual Neuroscience PhD