Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD

Outstanding science, strong industrial engagement, and tangible impact are all hallmarks of our PhD programme and of our research culture. Our students work and learn both in UCL’s world-class laboratories but also in partnership with a wide range of collaborating institutions & companies worldwide, enhancing knowledge, networking and employment opportunities.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
£21,530 (FT) £10,765 (PT)

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

Normally a UK Master’s degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant professional qualifications and/or appropriate work experience may also be taken into consideration.

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 department specialises in applying advanced principles of engineering science – experimental, computational and theoretical – to generate new knowledge and introduce innovative solutions to a diverse range of challenges. From biomedical systems to the marine environment, from clean and low carbon power systems to pioneering materials and manufacturing, and in many other fields, we propose ground-breaking technologies that change the world.

Research areas

  • Biomechanical engineering: biomaterials, encapsulation; tissue engineering; biofluidics and CFD; biophysics; cardiovascular engineering; medical devices and mechatronics; ultrasonics and non-destructive evaluation
  • Energy and environment: IC engines and fuel systems; fluid mechanics and microfluidics; refrigeration and air-conditioning; turbomachinery, CFD, and environmental and pollution modelling
  • Marine: naval architecture; marine vehicle applications and design methods; renewable energy; electric propulsion and power systems; electric ship/submarine; computer-aided design; novel ship types and low carbon shipping.


Industrially funded studentships may be available for suitably qualified research applicants. There are also departmental bursaries to cover tuition fees partially or in full for UK/EU research applicants. Please visit our department webpage for funded vacancies.

Self-funded candidates are advised to contact staff in the department to discuss possible research topics.

SPDC Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship

Tuition fees, plus stipend, flights and allowances.
1 year
Prospective Master's students from Nigeria who display intellectual ability and leadership potential, and have a high standard of English, i.e. at least 6.5 in IELTS. Students must be aged between 21-30 years, and originate from one of the Niger Delta States in Nigeria, namely Rivers, Delta or Bayelsa, and currently reside in Nigeria. Applicants must intend to return and take up permanent residence in Nigeria after completion of the proposed programme of study. The eligible programmes for this award are MSc programmes in Chemical Process Engineering, Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. Students must have obtained a degree of at least an equivalent standard to a an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and be neither a current nor former employee (who have left employment less than five years before) of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies or Wider Perspectives Limited, or current employee's relatives Applicants must not already have had the chance to study in the UK or other developed country.

Brown Family Bursary

1 year
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


A research degree in Mechanical Engineering opens the door to many rewarding careers, not just in engineering. You are likely to find employment in a wide range of industries and organisations, both at home and abroad.

Recent graduates have entered professional occupations in the UK and overseas with leading industrial and shipping companies (e.g. Technip UK Ltd, DNV, Mahle Powertrain Ltd), the automotive industry (e.g. Ford, Jaguar, Delphi Diesel Systems), technical consultancies and government agencies. Others have pursued postdoctoral research and lectureships at UK and overseas institutions (e.g. UCL, University of Cambridge, University of Bristol).

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Metallurgist, Metrode Products Ltd (2012)
  • Actuary, Towers Watson (2012)
  • Officer, Greek Army (2012)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL (2011)
  • Lead Engineer, GE Jenbacher (2011)


Our research projects are often industry sponsored and have direct practical relevance, which means many students will secure employment before graduating. Because we collaborate with other departments and universities and engage in a wild range of multi-disciplinary research activities you will often be jointly trained by a range of experts, making you highly attractive to an employer.

Research graduates in engineering with a good analytical ability are in high demand and our graduates have little difficulty in gaining employment across many industrial sectors.


There are ample networking opportunities both within and beyond the UCL research community. For example, the department frequently organises seminars, inviting prominent speakers from industry and other academic institutes, that provide opportunities for students to consult directly with industry.

Our annual PhD Student Conference offers another excellent opportunity for developing contacts. Research students present their work to a panel which include alumni and members of the department’s industrial advisory panel; the after-event reception and poster session allows students to discuss their ideas for research development and gain valuable insight into career planning.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The oldest mechanical engineering department in the country, based in the centre of London and part of an institution listed amongst the world’s best, UCL Mechanical Engineering has a long, proud history of providing a vibrant and stimulating environment for PhD students from around the world.

Currently over 100 doctoral candidates are engaged in challenging and innovative engineering research, supervised by world-leading academics, in close collaboration with major industrial partners. Candidates receive an extensive range of skills development training programmes and develop unique scientific and engineering competencies that prepare them for careers in academia, industrial research and development, management and many others.

Student / staff ratios › 32 staff › 129 taught students › 95 research students

Department: Mechanical Engineering

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"Studying at UCL provided me with the opportunity to pursue world-class research. I made numerous contacts via UCL; its reputation helped me getting first interviews and the access I had to facilities allowed me to generate research to lead to employment."

Ketan Pancholi

Subject: Mechanical Engineering PhD
Staff review

"London is a very multicultural world city that everyone wants to come to, and UCL consistently features in the top five of the world university rankings. Both these factors are extremely beneficial in attracting high-quality research students, research assistants and postdoctoral staff."

Professor Mohan Edirisinghe

Subject: Research Degree: Mechanical Engineering Masters Degree: Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering

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.

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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