Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 4 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£4,770 (FT) £2,385 (PT)
£22,180 (FT) £11,090 (PT)

Application dates

This four year programme commences in September each year. The application deadline is usually early January of that year. 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:

Research areas

  • Biological clocks in development, differentiation, disease and regeneration
  • 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
  • Induction, tissue interactions
  • Left-right asymmetry
  • Live imaging
  • Morphogenesis, tissue patterning
Neural development and neural cell biology

Neurodegenerative disease
  • Regeneration and repair
  • Stem cell biology
  • Tissue engineering
  • Monozygotic and conjoined twinning


Across the division there are three Wellcome Trust four-year programmes and one MRC four-year programme; MRC, BBSRC four-year PhD, BBSRC quota and CASE three- and four-year studentships; NERC; and others. There may also be funding opportunities through individual research grants as well as through other programmes such as those offered by CoMPLEX.
Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Fees, Costs and Funding page.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed (where available) 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.


Many of our department's 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 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 Student, ETHZ, Switzerland (2013)
  • Explainer, Learning Department, Science Museum (2013)
  • Postdoctoral Student, Institute of Ophthalmology (2013)
  • Medical Writer, Abacus International (2013)


UCL is a highly recognised, international institution, and 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.


UCL is located in the centre of London and is 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?

Student / staff ratios › 88 staff including 45 postdocs › 75 research students

Department: Cell and Developmental Biology

Degree reviews

Student review

"UCL is a great university for research so it was always somewhere I wanted to consider for my PhD. I loved living in London during my degree and really enjoy residing in a city where there are so many great (and sometimes free!) things to do during my free time."

Sophie McLachlan

Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD
Student review

"UCL is a great university and located in the heart of the world's greatest city, and the universities collectively have great library facilities - I have been able to use UCL, Senate House, King's College London and SOAS' libraries."

Adam Parr

Development and Stem Cell Biology

Application and next steps


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.

Application deadlines

This four year programme commences in September each year. The application deadline is usually early January of that year. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now


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  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
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