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Primary Care and Population Health MPhil/PhD

We offer a range of exciting opportunities in a multidisciplinary department with experts from medicine, psychology, epidemiology, public health, sociology, statistics and clinical trials. Our students are supported to gain a wealth of skills, experience and networking opportunities that are relevant for a wide range of future careers, both within academia and more widely in healthcare, industry and governmental sectors.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£5,085 (FT) £2,620 (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 Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A relevant Master’s degree from an appropriately accredited institution is desirable.

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 Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care brings together five research departments whose interests span the life course from childhood to old age, and research from the origins of disease to the development of innovative interventions. The diversity of expertise in the institute ensures that it provides a vibrant environment in which to develop skills, supporting careers in a wide range of national and international settings. The broad objectives are: understanding the determinants of health and disease in populations and in patients in clinical settings; evaluating strategies for preventing and treating illness; carrying out innovative work on behaviour change and on the practice of primary care; developing and implementing new technologies in population health; and applied health and health policy research.

Research areas

  • Epidemiology and public health
  • Primary care and population health
  • Clinical trials, meta-analyses and epidemiological studies
  • Evaluation of health care/population health interventions, services and systems
  • Health informatics and use of new technologies in health and health care
  • Health inequalities
  • Behavioural science
  • Life course influences and healthy ageing
  • Quantitative and qualitative research
More information can be found on the department website: Primary Care and Population Health MPhil/PhD


The following studentships have been secured in previous years: ESRC, MRC, MRC/ESRC, NIHR, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Wellcome Trust, NIHR School of Primary Care, NIHR School of Public Health and British Heart Foundation.

Prospective research students should contact academic departments and research groups to enquire about further funded opportunities.

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


Students graduating in the last three years have secured employment in local and central government, NHS trusts and hospitals, clinical trial units and Public Health England (previously known as Health Protection Agency), as well as research posts at UCL and other higher education institutes.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Researcher, School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley
  • Public Health Consultant, Surrey County Council
  • Researcher, MRC Clinical Trials Unit


The institute produces graduates with the skills and knowledge sought after by government departments and public sector organisations worldwide, as well as leading academic institutions.


The institute’s research departments collaborate with third sector and governmental organisations, as well as members of the media, both nationally and internationally to ensure the highest possible impact of their work beyond the academic community. Students are encouraged to do internships with relevant organisations where funding permits. Members of staff also collaborate closely with academics from leading institutions globally.

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?

The Research Department of Primary Care and Population Health is one of the leading departments in primary care worldwide and offers a wide range of opportunities and an excellent support structure for our research students. We emphasise multidisciplinary working, and students work closely with experts from across a wide range of backgrounds to gain new skills and expertise. We have a large portfolio of ongoing research in health and related disciplines, which students can join. We have a very strong peer support network of current PhD students and provide early careers development to help all of our students progress onwards to successful careers in their chosen field.

The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care offers world-class education and training. It manages many of the UK’s largest, most comprehensive longitudinal datasets, and evaluates strategies for the prevention and treatment of physical and mental ill health. It carries out innovative work on behaviour change, on the practice of primary care as well as leading applied health and health policy research.

Department: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

Student / staff numbers › 142 staff including 128 postdocs › 77 taught students › 142 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: Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

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

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"My work concentrates on the natural history of infection using data from HIV seroconverters (HIV-positive people whose date of HIV seroconversion can be reasonably well estimated, usually because they had a previous HIV test which was negative). The data is useful for clinicians and their patients on what to expect in the absence of therapy, and are needed for health-care planning."

Professor Kholoud Porter

Epidemiology and Health Care MPhil/PhD, Epidemiology and Public Health MD(Res), Infection and Population Health MPhil/PhD, Primary Care and Population Health PhD
UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology

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

We accept research degree applications throughout the year. Please note: essential information about the application process can be found on the departmental website.

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
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