UCL Doctoral School

The UCL Doctoral School provides support to UCL’s research student community in a number of different ways and is here to ensure that your time at UCL fulfils your needs and expectations, equips you for leadership roles in the research world and elsewhere, and enables you to make the most of the excitement of research. Through courses, inter-disciplinary programmes and scholarships we encourage students to look beyond the boundaries of their chosen discipline, as well as sharing and broadening knowledge across disciplines through societies and competitions. 

A number of the key initiatives are listed below.

UCL Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees

The Doctoral School issues a Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees, designed to help graduate research students during their time at UCL. It complements the formal UCL Academic Regulations and Guidelines for Research Degree Students. In contrast to the Regulations which provide the minimum framework and requirements for completion of a degree, the code contains guidance on good practice, outlining what you can expect from your supervisor and department, as well as your responsibilities as a research student.

Research Student Log

Use of UCL’s online Research Student Log is mandatory for all UCL research degree students and the log is intended to be used in a flexible manner, to allow for different research processes between disciplines. The student and Principal Supervisor document academic progression and skills development training in the log and it is the responsibility of the student to maintain this log for her or his own long-term benefit. The log reflects a dialogue between you and your Principal and Subsidiary Supervisors and records a series of review meetings (including important milestones such as the MPhil to PhD upgrade) and discussions on academic (subject discipline), generic and transferable skills training.

Doctoral Skills Development Programme

The purpose of the Doctoral Skills Development Programme, which is open to all research students, is to give you the opportunity to expand your generic research skills and personal transferable skills. These skills are intended to help in your research and also to enhance your employability. The courses are offered free-of-charge and are in addition to specific training offered by academic departments and faculties.

The training programme is regularly reviewed and updated to meet changing needs and new developments. Full details can be found on the Doctoral School's website at: http://courses.grad.ucl.ac.uk/

Financial support

Research Scholarships are offered to outstanding research students. See www.ucl.ac.uk/scholarships for details.

You may also be able to apply for funding for key activities such as presenting your work at conferences, and for meeting unforeseen but necessary research expenses for example for travel to a lab or archive, or for fieldwork. The exact route for applying for such funding depends on the department and faculty in which you are based. Full details can be found on the Doctoral School website: http://www.grad.ucl.ac.uk/funds/


The Doctoral School runs various events and competitions throughout the year, including a Review Competition and the Research Images as Art Competition. Our Research Images competition is open to all UCL graduate students and academic staff, either science or arts based, with entrants invited to submit images associated with their research which have aesthetic appeal. An exhibition of the images is held centrally in UCL and assessed by a panel of judges. Prizes are awarded for the best images.

Facilities, academic societies and events

The Doctoral School plays an important role in providing intellectual and social contacts between research students, enabling you to meet fellow students from different disciplines, countries and backgrounds.

One element of this is the provision of some central space for graduate students in addition to whatever facilities are provided to you by your department and/or faculty:

  • a dedicated Graduate Computer Cluster Room (located in the Science Library)
  • a Graduate Hub comprising a seminar room for group discussion and presentations, a breakout space with integrated kitchenette, and a common room.
  • a Graduate Study Suite – 'Research Grid'. The suite includes 16 large study desks with PCs and a group working room for six students. There is a small bank of lockers in the entrance lobby, alongside comfortable seating and a tea point.

You may also join one of the supported academic societies, which organise graduate seminars and social events.

Welcome events for new research students provide an excellent introduction to the services and facilities on offer, and to the activities of the Postgraduate Association of the Students' Union.