UCL Interaction Centre MPhil/PhD

Research areas:

A number of themes link the research projects we work on in UCLIC and some projects occupy more than one theme. These themes employ both quantitative and qualitative methods and draw on the best scientific traditions in Human Sciences and Computer Science to improve human-computer interactions. Theoretical understanding from empirical studies is applied and tested through novel interactive systems that are designed to improve the user experience, e.g. reducing errors, improving effectiveness and creating a positive overall user experience.

Research areas are:
  • Behaviour Change – Designing ubiquitous technologies for behavioural change
  • Interacting with Information – How people engage with information resources within the context of their broader activities.
  • Interactions in the Wild – In the wild prototyping and user studies of innovative technologies
  • Affective Computing – Posture recognition for assessing affective state; Developing hardware that can recognise different laughter types
  • Health and Well-Being – Reducing stress at work by reducing errors in work contexts (especially in healthcare); Improving technology to support a positive Work-Life balance; Enhancing engagement and immersion in digital hobbies such as games and citizen science projects
  • Creativity – Evaluating and developing tools to support learning and creativity; Technology to engage the Aging population

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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: UCL Interaction Centre

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or a taught Master’s degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a subject relevant to human-computer interaction. Such subjects include Psychology, Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering Design, or other cognitive or applied sciences. Applicants with other qualifications and sufficient relevant experience and background knowledge may be considered.

English level expected: Good


  • All applicants: 30 June 2014
  • Scholarship applicants: 31 January 2014
Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by 31 January in the year you wish to start. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by the 31 January deadline, but later applications can sometimes be considered. Applications should be made as soon as possible, and not later than 30 June for entry in September/October.


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

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


Recent graduates have either pursued academic careers as researchers and/or lecturers and some additionally work as usability consultants alongside their postdoctoral roles. Some have continued as postdoctoral researchers within the department or other departments in UCL, while others secured research internships abroad (eg, Microsoft Research in California), or other postdoctoral positions in Europe, North and South America, Asia and New Zealand.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Garmin, Canada, UX Designer, 2010
  • University of Missouri, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2010
  • Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia, Senior Lecturer, 2012
  • UCL, Postdoctoral Researcher, 2009
  • Microsoft Research, California, Research Intern, 2012


The interdisciplinary nature of research in UCLIC means that our research graduates are adaptable and able to work across many fields with people from different professional backgrounds both in academia and industry. Consequently, they are creative, motivated individuals with a keen understanding of the needs of government and commercial organisations as well as having academic knowledge and skills.


UCLIC are currently collaborating with the BBC Research and Development department on a usability project (launched July 2013). We also have strong links with hospitals and manufacturers of medical devices, as well as other commercial organisations. We continue to work with Intel and Imperial College London within the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities, which was set up last year. Most of our research projects similarly involve collaborations with Universities across the UK, Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Asia and Australia.

Next steps


Dr Louise Gaynor

T: +44 (0)20 7679 0686


UCL Interaction Centre

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Prospectus subject

Interaction Centre (UCLIC)

Faculty overview

Brain Sciences


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Alumni View

"My experience at UCL has helped me obtain two internships at research labs: Palo Alto Research Center in 2011, and Microsoft Research in 2012."

Dr Christian P Janssen

Postdoctoral Fellow, The Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, 2012

Staff View

"The current department with which I am affiliated is one of the best in the UK and also in the world, so I feel privileged to work in such a high-quality environment. The available research facilities offer me an enormous range of opportunities to develop my research ambitions."

Dr Jyrki Tuomainen

Senior Lecturer in Psychology

Subject: Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences, Faculty: Brain Sciences