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Infection and Immunity MPhil/PhD

We offer research training of the highest standards in the UCL Division of Infection & Immunity with the aim of forming the future leaders in the field. The Principal Investigators offering projects are internationally recognised leaders in infection and immunity, providing a unique opportunity for networking and furthering the students’ careers.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3/4 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)


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 first class degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a Russell Group University, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or an appropriate Master’s degree.

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.

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 Division of Infection & Immunity is an internationally renowned centre for research and graduate training in human immunology, pathogen biology and the host-pathogen interaction. The division includes the Research Department of Infection and the Institute of Immunity & Transplantation. It has strong international links with American, European, and developing world research centres, including the newly established African Health Research Institute in Durban. We are commited to research-based teaching and host a dynamic community of postgraduate students. Our PhD programme provides research training in basic and translational science and the offering reflects our broad-ranging research expertise. We also have a strong track record in training clinician scientists, supported by fellowships from the Wellcome Trust, MRC and BBSRC.

Research areas

Principal research areas are:
  • Autoimmune diabetes
  • Cancer and Leukaemia/Gene therapy
  • Computational immunology and bioinformatics
  • Herpes viruses
  • HIV and retroviruses
  • Host-pathogen interaction
  • Immune regulation
  • Immunity to hepatitis
  • Immunology of ageing
  • Innate immunity
  • Primary immune deficiency
  • Tuberculosis
  • Virus evolution and drug resistance
More information can be found on the department website: Infection and Immunity MPhil/PhD


UK/EU students can apply to MRC studentships to do a PhD in the Division of Infection & Immunity via the UCL-Birbeck MRC Doctoral Training programme.

In addition, we welcome applications from overseas students who have won competitive scholarships to train abroad.

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 secured postdoctoral positions in universities or research institutions in the UK, Europe, the US and Middle East. Others are working in research and development for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies or in scientific journalism, patent law, health consultancy and management.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • NHS Doctor (Specialist Registrar Grade), Barts Health NHS Trust
  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
  • Trainee Medical Writer, Caudex Medical
  • Postdoctoral Clinical Fellow, UCL


A strength of the Division is its position at the interface between basic research and clinical medicine, fostered by UCL Partners, a consortium bringing together UCL with major hospital trusts in the area. Basic research in infection and immunology is also strong in the Division. About 60% of our graduates carry on in academia and another 25% choose the medical field as clinician scientists or research scientists in translational research areas. UCL's reputation also benefits those graduates who choose to enter clinical trial management, science writing/publishing, biotech/pharma, or intellectual/property/patent law.


Doctoral research training is always supervised by leading international experts in their fields, and the research is routinely presented at the major international meetings in each discipline. As a result, students are provided with direct personal contacts to the key people in their areas of expertise, and regularly obtain postdoctoral appointments at the most prestigious research centres (for example, Harvard and Stanford). The opportunity to spend periods of time in other laboratories worldwide (recent examples include Yale, Stanford and Cape Town) also offers strong opportunities to broaden the student contact base.

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?

In addition to a vibrant and collaborative research community, we have weekly internal seminars and a yearly PhD colloquium where PhD students present their results. A postgraduate club runs on a termly basis where invited speakers, who are leaders in their field (academia, pharma, biotech, law, politics, etc.), discuss their career experience. These initiatives facilitate networking and help students to become part of a community in the division.

In addition to the primary supervisor, there is a thesis community composed of more than two senior staff members with expertise in the area of the project. Through regular meetings with the student, the thesis committee provides advice and support.

Department: Division of Infection & Immunity

Student / staff numbers › 35 staff including 42 postdocs › 81 taught students › 72 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: Division of Infection & Immunity

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

"I am convinced that this degree programme will give me a set of skills and a way of thinking that will enable me to apply myself in a wide range of career opportunities."

Therese Liechtenstein

Infection and Immunity MPhil/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

UK/EU/EEA nationals who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more prior to application may apply to the Birbeck-UCL MRC Doctoral training programme within the themes of “Fundamental mechanism of Disease” or “Experimental and Personalised Medicine”. Successful applicants will be able to take a PhD in the Division of Infection & Immunity. This scheme will be open to applicants in October 2016, with shortlisting taking place in December and interviews in January/February 2017. Applications to other PhD schemes may start at any time of the year. In this case, dailiness are dictated by individual funding arrangements. PhD students typically start in September. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

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