Home Menu


Genetics, Evolution and Environment MPhil/PhD

Undertaking a PhD in the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE) provides training and expert knowledge in a specialised field of research. As well as facilitating your studies, we also recognise the importance of obtaining a broader skill set, and the programme provides key transferable skills for future employment.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) £2,455 (PT)
£22,850 (FT) £11,420 (PT)

Application dates

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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:


The Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE) carries out world-class research and promotes an integrative approach to understanding biological systems at functional and genomic levels. We provide an enabling environment with excellent research facilities, analytical equipment and specialised laboratories. Staff are affiliated with subject-specific research units including the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER); Genetic Anthropology; Mathematics & Physics in the Life Sciences and Experimental Biology (CoMPLEX); and the Institute of Healthy Ageing. GEE is also home to the UCL Genetics Institute, which applies biostatistical analysis and bioinformatics approaches to the genetics of clinical disease. These links provide an excellent environment for postgraduate training that equips students with skills and opportunities for a diverse range of careers.

Research areas

  • Biodiversity and environmental biology
  • Biology of ageing
  • Computational biology
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Evolution and development
  • Human genetics and human evolution
  • Systems biology
More information can be found on the department website: Genetics, Evolution and Environment MPhil/PhD


Across the division two are three Wellcome Trust four-year programmes, one MRC four-year programme and BBSRC and NERC four-year PhD programmes. 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.

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


Graduates of our research programmes have followed a diverse range of career paths including working as postdoctoral researchers in universities and research institutions, in industry in the UK and abroad, science communications officers for charities and in conservation organisations, and editorial positions with scientific journals.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Research Associate, UCL
  • Research Associate, Perrett Laver
  • Research Associate, Imperial College London
  • Senior Curator of Lepidoptera, Natural History Museum
  • Trainee Patent Attorney, Mathys and Squire


PhDs offered by our department cover a broad range of topics so that students gain a valuable range of transferable skills that are highly desirable in the workplace. The doctoral training centres specifically encourage an interdisciplinary experience for PhD students, ensuring a broad skill set designed for academic life as well as non-academic related careers.


Our research students receive appropriate training not only in technical skills, but also in personal skills and are actively encouraged to present their work at local meetings and on the international stage.

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 2012–2014 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Our students gain a valuable range of transferrable skills. The doctoral training centres specifically encourage an inter-disciplinary experience for PhD students, ensuring a broad skill set designed for academic life as well as non-academic related careers.

Department: Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Student / staff numbers › 49 staff including 42 postdocs › 76 research students

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: Genetics, Evolution & Environment

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"The availability of DNA and RNA sequencing data makes modern evolutionary biology for me one of the most exciting areas to work in. At UCL I have had the opportunity to participate in international conferences, which was a great learning experience. I also organise an introductory course on scientific programming for the UCL Doctoral School, where I get to meet many interesting students from a diverse background."

Fabian Zimmer

Genetics, Evolution and Environment PhD

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

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. 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

Contact information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

Learning and living

At UCL we're proud of our pioneering history, our distinguished present and our exciting future. UCL is a great place to be a student.

  • World-leading reputation
  • Extensive connections that benefit your study and career
  • The best and brightest staff and students from over 150 countries
Find out more