The UCL Ear Institute includes arguably the greatest range of auditory scientists housed in a single institution anywhere in the world. This multidisciplinary environment provides a unique opportunity to undertake research and receive world-class training in state-of-the-art techniques. Interacting with different specialities is encouraged providing greater scope for career development.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5060 (FT) £2530 (PT)
- £23540 (FT) £11760 (PT)
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.
A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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: Standard
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
The extensive specialities of the research investigators at the Ear Institute provide an opportunity to study just about every aspect of hearing from cell and molecular biology to clinical research and cognitive neuroscience. Collaborations between these areas also allow novel experimental approaches that cross traditional scientific boundaries.
- Molecular genetics of hearing and deafness: discovering the genetic causes of deafness and hearing loss; molecular mechanisms of hair cell loss; whole transcriptome and whole exome approaches
- Cell biology of hearing and balance loss: understanding the mechanism of sensory hair cell death; repair of the sensory epithelia; hair cell regeneration; stem cell-based approaches for screening and therapy
- Cellular physiology of hair cells: mechanisms of transduction; biophysics of afferent synapses; physiological characterisation of auditory neurons; electrophysiology
- Clinical audiology: evaluating current approaches for hearing impairment, tinnitus, cochlear implants, balance disorders and new diagnostic tools
- Cochlear homeostasis: epithelial barrier functions; roles of gap junctions; fluid and ion homeostasis
- Cognitive neuroscience: brain mechanisms of sound localisation; coding complex sounds in auditory cortex; molecular physiological basis of synaptic and neural activity
- Molecular genetics of hearing and deafness: identifying susceptibility genes for age-related hearing loss
- Psychophysics and speech perception: spectral and temporal processing, pitch perception, binaural hearing, development of speech perception and music perception
- Testing auditory function: otoacoustic emissions to identify susceptibility to hearing loss; development of sensitive audiological test procedures for diagnostic clinical use.
Research students can apply for an award of £2,000 available annually to support research activities in a competitive process. Other funding opportunities may be available through individual research grants from various sources.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent graduates have gone on to work in research institutions across the world, in higher education, in schools, the NHS (Moorfields Eye Hospital) and other disciplines.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Postdoctoral Researcher, École Normale Supérieure
- Senior Lecturer, UCL
- Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL
- Psychiatrist, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust
- Trainee Patent Attorney, Carpmaels & Ransford LLP
Research students who study at the UCL Ear Institute are exposed to a unique and truly multidisciplinary environment in a world-class institution. Academic employers across the world recognise the strength of the institute and the employability of students is therefore greatly enhanced. The excellence of the training environment is also recognised by non-academic employers as recent students have obtained prestigious positions in government departments and in patenting law. In addition, the engagement with leading manufacturers and suppliers of audiological devices and pharmaceutical companies provides excellent employment opportunities for students.
The UCL Ear Institute (EI) is highly engaged with external groups including charities, investors and companies. Students will gain from the EI’s commitment to enterprise activities by being exposed to such groups and supported in entrepreneurial and commercial endeavours.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The institute has multiple state-of-the-art laboratories specialising in cell and molecular biology, genetics, auditory function, imaging, auditory processing and cognitive neuroscience. The institute's location, next to the largest ENT hospital in the UK, provides a wonderful training environment for prospective research students, both clinical and non-clinical. However, what makes it exceptional is the interaction between these laboratories and scientists to create research that is both novel and distinct.
All research students benefit from this interaction to develop the skills and knowledge base that enables their future career development, whether academic, clinical or in other fields.
Department: Ear Institute
Student / staff numbers
› 59 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Ear Institute
83% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"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 LindenI 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.
Reader in Neuroscience
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.
Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. You should identify and contact potential supervisors and the Departmental Graduate Tutor before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now