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Pharmacy MPhil/PhD

The UCL School of Pharmacy is a leading international centre for pharmacy education and research, and is ranked fourth in the world for pharmacy in the latest QS worldwide rankings.

The new molecular pharmacy wing allows scientists from all research clusters to collaborate and research. The school is active in two prestigious doctoral training programmes, including the BBSRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Biosciences PhD Programme.

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 UK taught Master’s degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology pharmacy, pharmacology, or other relevant subject, 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.

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:


Students work in several core research areas:
  • understanding the underlying basis of challenging human diseases
  • identification of new drugs and drug targets
  • medicine development, leading to effective medicines with optimised delivery, and minimising effects
  • pharmacy practice and medicines management, specialising in the influence of human behaviour on medicine use

Research areas

Research Clusters:
  • Behavioural Medicine and Treatment Optimisation: understanding and addressing the psychosocial and behavioural factors explaining variation in response to treatment
  • Biodiversity and Medicines: examining natural products and their biological effects
  • Disease Models and Clinical Pharmacology: the use of molecular, cellular and whole organism models to examine fundamental processes in health and disease
  • Drug Discovery: early-phase drug discovery using chemical biology, target identification and validation approaches to identify new drug candidates for treating human diseases
  • Global Workforce and Education: providing international expertise in workforce development in active partnership with the FIP, WHO and UNESCO
  • Medication Use, System and Practice: improving safety and optimising outcomes in the use of medicines
  • Molecular Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine: developing dosage forms to optimise drug action and lower systemic exposure
  • Neurosciences in Health and Disease: uncovering the fundamental causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases, and identifying novel therapeutic targets for treatment
  • Pharmaceutical Materials and Dosage Form Design: focussing on the formulation of novel drug delivery systems to archive optimised bioavailability, drug targeting and therapeutic outcomes
More information can be found on the department website: Pharmacy MPhil/PhD


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 PhD students have gone into research roles in the pharmaceutical industry and in universities in the UK and around the world. Others have found careers in regulatory affairs, the NHS or scientific publishing.


Understanding the approach of industry to the complex process of discovering, developing, formulating and licensing a medicine provides students with an outlook and expertise valued by employers. Past graduates have pursued careers in drug licensing, clinical trial research, and research in the field of pharma industry.


Professionals from GSK, Novartis, Roche, Astrazeneca, Merck Sharp Dome, CRUK, Kew Gardens, Quintiles, a large number of smaller biotech companies, and the major London NHS Trusts teach, give seminars, and supervise research projects in the various graduate programmes.

Why study this degree at UCL?

In addition to an advanced hypothesis driven research project yielding top flight publications which change thinking in their chosen fields, students also acquire generic and transferable skills while undertaking their PhD. For example, students graduate with the skills enabling excellent scientific presentation, both written and verbal, time management - an essential skill in today's busy world and networking skills.

Students have ample opportunities to practice the art of networking with their peer group, both within the school and outside the school as students often talk about their work within the school and many students travel the world speaking to scientists about their research work.

Department: School of Pharmacy

Student / staff numbers › 99 staff including 42 postdocs › 148 taught students › 133 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: School of Pharmacy

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

"London is probably the most culturally diverse city in Europe. The opportunities to meet new people are nearly endless. I think this cosmopolitan environment is ideal for researchers and scientists as it allows us to think outside the box, get new experiences, adapt knowledge from several sources to solving our, sometimes very specific, scientific questions."

Francisco Pereira

Oral Drug Delivery 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

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

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