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Cell and Developmental Biology MPhil/PhD

Graduate students entering programmes will work with internationally renowned mentors and will be immersed in research at the cutting edge of basic science. Graduating students emerge well trained and rounded with outstanding skills that are internationally recognised, poised to take up posts in leading groups around the world.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
Overseas:
£21,530 (FT) £10,765 (PT)

Application deadlines

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 below) 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.

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 Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Overview

The world leading research groups of the department study biological questions ranging from molecule to man. These are listed below and are remarkable in their breadth and depth from fundamental aspects of cell biology through to behaviour and from key questions in biology to understanding mechanisms of human disease.

Research areas

  • Affective disorders
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Biological clocks/sleep
  • Calcium signalling
  • 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
  • Mitochondrial biology
  • Neural development and neural cell biology
  • Neuroaesthetics
  • Neurodegenerative disease
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Pain
  • Regeneration and repair
  • Stem cell biology.

Funding

Across the division there is a wealth of graduate programmes that will bring students into the department. Students interested in studying for a PhD may approach academic staff individually, as there are a variety of intradepartmental opportunities or opportunities to write grant applications for PhD funding.

Students may also apply for any of the other programmes listed on our webpage which are suitable for their skills and interests. These include four-year programmes in which the first year is spent in taught courses or in rotations through several different laboratories before deciding on their final PhD lab and project, and there are also several three-year programmes, in which students will enter the host lab of their PhD directly.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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 University of Verona and the University of Zurich, and across the world at Stanford University, the University of Connecticut, the Mount Sinai Medical School in New York, Rutgers University, the University of Nebraska and the MIND Institute, University of California at Davies. Some have continued medical/other studies or taken up teaching and managerial positions.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University (2011)
  • Lecturer, University of Zurich (2011)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, MIND Institute, University of California at Davies (2013)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Connecticut (2013)
  • Portfolio Manager, EPSRC (2013)

Employability

UCL is an internationally recognised and respected institution. 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.

Networking

UCL and its extended network of research institutes are located in the centre of London and are 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

Why study this degree at UCL?

The groups at UCL are world leading, generating seminal contributions to their fields of study. Students working in the labs are welcomed into vibrant groups of enthusiasts, exposed to a wealth of expertise in an extraordinary open and collaborative scientific community. Access to help in almost any conceivable area is available in the extensive network of scientists that make up the UCL scientific community.

Within the departments there are regular lab meetings, project presentations, journal clubs, student led symposia and other opportunities to hone presentation skills and training, extended through regular seminars from experts from around the world, and locally organised international symposia.

Student / staff ratios › 34 staff › 0 taught students › 73 research students

Department: Cell and Developmental Biology

Degree reviews

Student review

"I became interested in developmental biology during my BSc, and wanted to pursue this area of research in a PhD (and hopefully a career!). Within the field, CDB is a major centre of research, and the 4 year PhD studentship programme seemed perfect for what I wanted to do. I contacted my current supervisor within the department, and she encouraged me to apply."

Elizabeth Ward

Subject: Cell and Developmental Biology PhD
Staff review

"The environment at UCL for research in my field (neuroscience) is unparalleled. Across UCL, there is not only tremendous breadth in neuroscience (molecular, cellular, systems, cognitive, computational), but also amazing depth. UCL's neuroscience community is so large and so diverse that even after 10 years at UCL I am still discovering colleagues here whose work is somehow directly relevant to my own."

Dr Jennifer Linden

Subject: I supervise PhD and MSc students from the Ear Institute and also from the departments of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology; Cell and Developmental Biology; Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences; and the Institute of Ophthalmology. I also teach topics related to hearing on MSc and BSc modules in many of these departments.

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

Application deadlines

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 below) 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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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