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Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£4,635 (FT)
Overseas:
£21,530 (FT)

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 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.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in any area of the mathematical, physical, computer, engineering or life sciences from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. For students from the life science, some mathematics experience is necessary (e.g. a minimum of an 'A' grade for A Level mathematics). Progression to the PhD element depends on successfully passing the MRes programme in the first year.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

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:

Research areas

The MRes and MPhil/PhD together form an integrated four-year programme. Students are involved in a range of interdisciplinary research projects that involve collaborations between supervisors drawn from the UCL departments within the Faculties of Brain Sciences, Engineering Sciences, Life Sciences, Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Medical Sciences, Population Health Sciences and Social and Historical Sciences. Each project has dual supervision, with one supervisor from the mathematical and physical sciences and the other from the life and medical sciences.

The research carried out addresses biological complexity. Research is organised into themes across the biological scales:
  • Biomolecular mechanisms
  • Cancer biology
  • Immunology and Infectious disease
  • Evolution and dynamics of populations
  • Integration of cellular function
  • Interdisciplinary cardiovascular research
  • Physiological and neural systems
  • Synthetic biology
  • Systems biology.
This diversity exploits the unique breadth of research strength at UCL which allows us to offer challenging research projects both within and across the scales of biological organisation. The training experience offered meets the UK need, both in industry and academia, for outstanding graduates able to apply mathematical, computational and physical science techniques to real biological problems. Examples of current PhD projects include: Mathematical Modelling of Genomic Evolution, Cellular Metabolic Signalling, HIV, Biology and Immunology; Biophysics of Vascular Fluid Mechanics, Hearing and Ion Channels; Imaging, Optical and Scanning Probe Approaches to Nanoscale Bioscience; Spatial Ecology.

Funding

Studentships are available from CoMPLEX UCL, BBSRC, British Heart Foundation, EPSRC, MRC, Renishaw Plc., Child Health Research Appeal Trust, National Physical Laboratory, AstraZeneca, Annals of Human Genetics and the Sackler Institute. Doctoral Training Centre Studentships provide full funding for four years (for UK and limited EU places).

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

The majority of recent graduates remain in academia in interdisciplinary science. They have taken up postdoctoral and fellowship positions in academic and industrial research centres in the UK, Europe and USA. A small number have pursued careers in science policy analysis, cyber security, science teaching, statistical and mathematical consultancy, technology consultancy, or in management and the financial sector.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Research Scientist in Multi Criteria Decision Analysis, Public Health England (2009)
  • Research Fellow, John Higgins laboratory in the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) (2009)
  • BRC Statistical Modeller, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London (2008)
  • Software Developer, Gloucester Research, London (2007)
  • Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School (2008)

Employability

CoMPLEX management has undertaken market research and built upon relationships with existing and new partners within academia and industry, to develop our existing CoMPLEX programme. so that it continues to be designed specifically to provide training that meets market needs. Graduates have excellent publication outputs, this, together with CoMPLEX's international reputation means that graduates are and will continue to be recognised when entering the job market. Some of our graduates have already established leadership roles in interdisciplinary science, e.g. Assistant Professor in Physics, Stanford University.

Networking

CoMPLEX has a close relationship with a number of external partners who contribute to our supervisor pool, such as the Zoological Society of London, Cancer Research UK, Microsoft Research Cambridge, Renishaw Plc., the Francis Crick Institute, Child Health Research Appeal Trust, Science & Technology Facilities Council, AstraZeneca and the MRC National Institute for Medical Research. Students will have the opportunity to apply to undertake a three-month secondment at some of the above partners, as well as lonscope Ltd., Pfizer, Public Health England and Rutgers State Unviersity of New Jersey to enrich their research experience and help develop their scientific career.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Student / staff ratios › 295 staff › 15 taught students › 59 research students

Department: Centre for Mathematics and Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology

Degree reviews

Staff review

"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

Subject: I contribute to programmes such as Neuroscience MSc, Biology of Vision MSc and Brain and Mind Sciences MSc. I also contribute to PhD programmes such as the one offered by CoMPLEX, and in Neuroscience.
Alumni review

"I found my position at the Massachusetts General Hospital through a networking event organised by UCL. When I was a PhD student, my department organised a student exchange with the Systems Biology Department at Harvard University."

Lorette Noiret

Subject: CoMPLEX PhD
Staff review

"I enjoy the continual interaction with people of a high intellectual calibre from many different disciplines. At UCL one is in the centre of things"

Dr Jonathan Chubb

Subject: MRC LMCB, CoMPLEX, BBSRC DTP

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 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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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