Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology brings together scientists undertaking world-leading interdisciplinary research into the nervous system, from molecules and synapses to circuits and behaviour.The Department has an outstanding academic reputation and its links with other universities and industry provide strong support for our postgraduate research students’ networking and employment prospects.
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 minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline 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: Good
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:
- Cellular, molecular and structural neuroscience: synaptic transmission and ligand-gated ion channels; transporters; G-protein coupled receptors and signalling pathways; voltage- and calcium-gated ion channels
- Systems and translational neuroscience: neuronal network behaviour; pain; in vivo patch electrophysiology; optogenetics
- Intercellular signalling: inflammation; cardiovascular system.
You can find out more about the Doctoral Training Programme on the UCL -Birkbeck MRCDTP.
Across the division there are three Wellcome Trust four-year programmes and one MRC four-year programme; MRC and MRC CASE, 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 and Charity studentships as well as through other programmes such as those offered by CoMPLEX, UCL Excellence studentships, UCL Grand Challenges and UCL IMPACT studentships.
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 taken up research positions in academia, including at UCL; Imperial College London; Oxford University; Queen Mary, University of London; University of California, Los Angeles; Kuwait University; Rockefeller University, New York; or within organisations such as the Max Planck Society, Cancer Research UK and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory. Others are employed as senior scientists or medical writers within industry, as teachers or as editors with publishers.
Recent career destinations for this degree
- Post Doctoral Research Fellow, Italian Institute of Technology
- Post-Doctoral Research Assistant, The Applied Science University
- Regulatory Affairs Associate, GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)
- Post-Doctoral Neuroscientist, National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
- Science liaison executive, Havas life medicom
Postgraduate education at UCL-NPP provides an excellent scientific background accompanied by an impressive set of transferable skills, including analytical, presentation and communication skills. This, together with the outstanding reputation of UCL research in neuroscience and collaborative links with other major academic institutions and companies, provide numerous opportunities for our PhD students to find top science jobs in academia and industry. Additionally, several NPP postgraduates have transferred the excellent skills acquired at UCL-NPP to the fields of consultancy, scientific publishing and teaching.
PhD students at UCL-NPP take an active role in the department, participating in the seminar series that includes outstanding guests from the UK and abroad. PhD students are encouraged to propose speakers and host events. Additionally, UCL-NPP PhD students organise their own regular meetings and receive departmental support to invite speakers from different fields (academia, industry, consultancy companies, charities, publishers, etc) to give them insight and advice on various career options. They also take part and give presentations at national and international meetings, which in most cases include networking events.
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?
NPP includes the majority of UCL's neuroscience community alongside excellent work in physiology and pharmacology. The department has a world-leading reputation for research, being ranked the highest in its sector in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. The grant income is around £11 million each year, with many collaborations established within UCL, in the UK and worldwide, as well as with industry.
Department: Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology
Student / staff numbers
› 37 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: Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology
82% 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
"I wanted to do a PhD in neuroscience, and UCL is the best place in the UK for neuroscience research, along with having the best PhD programme for neuroscience."
Julia HarrisNeuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology 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.
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 below) 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
- Miss Joanna Fryer