UCL Interaction Centre MPhil/PhD

This is a cross-faculty programme in which students undertake postgraduate research under the supervision of academic staff who are leaders in their specialisation within HCI. Students often work collaboratively with researchers in other departments and organisations beyond UCL. Graduates pursue careers in top unversities and major technology industries world-wide.

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

All applicants:
30 June 2015
Scholarship applicants:
16 January 2015

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree or a taught Master’s degree, or the overseas equivalent, in a subject relevant to human-computer interaction. Such subjects include Psychology, Computer Science, Information Technology, Engineering Design, or other cognitive or applied sciences. Applicants with other qualifications and sufficient relevant experience and background knowledge may be considered.

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:


Research specialties in UCLIC include the scientific investigation of people and technology, situated studies of interaction in the wild, interaction design, physical prototyping and affective computing. Various research techniques are used to explore how technology can be designed to improve the user's experience or efficiency, or to support creativity, behavioural change or making sense of information.

Research areas

A number of themes link the research projects we work on in UCLIC and some projects occupy more than one theme. These themes employ both quantitative and qualitative methods and draw on the best scientific traditions in Human Sciences and Computer Science to improve human-computer interactions. Theoretical understanding from empirical studies is applied and tested through novel interactive systems that are designed to improve the user experience, e.g. reducing errors, improving effectiveness and creating a positive overall user experience.

Research areas are:
  • Behaviour Change – Designing ubiquitous technologies for behavioural change
  • Interacting with Information – How people engage with information resources within the context of their broader activities.
  • Interactions in the Wild – In the wild prototyping and user studies of innovative technologies
  • Affective Computing – Posture recognition for assessing affective state; Developing hardware that can recognise different laughter types
  • Health and Well-Being – Reducing stress at work by reducing errors in work contexts (especially in healthcare); Improving technology to support a positive Work-Life balance; Enhancing engagement and immersion in digital hobbies such as games and citizen science projects
  • Creativity – Evaluating and developing tools to support learning and creativity; Technology to engage the Aging population


We occasionally advertise funded studentships throughout the year – please check on the Opportunities tab of our PhD pages.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. 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 either pursued academic careers as researchers and/or lecturers and some additionally work as usability consultants alongside their postdoctoral roles. Some have continued as postdoctoral researchers within the department or other departments in UCL, while others secured research internships abroad (eg, Microsoft Research in California), or other postdoctoral positions in Europe, North and South America, Asia and New Zealand.

Top career destinations for this degree

  • Business/Research Co-ordinator, New Media Manitoba, Canada (2010)
  • Research Scientist, IBM Research, Africa (2010)
  • Senior Lecturer, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia (2012)
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, UCL (2009)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, California (2012)


The interdisciplinary nature of research in UCLIC means that our research graduates are adaptable and able to work across many fields with people from different professional backgrounds both in academia and industry. Consequently, they are creative, motivated individuals with a keen understanding of the needs of government and commercial organisations as well as having academic knowledge and skills.


UCLIC are currently collaborating with the BBC Research and Development department on a usability project (launched July 2013). We also have strong links with hospitals and manufacturers of medical devices, as well as other commercial organisations. We continue to work with Intel and Imperial College London within the Intel Collaborative Research Institute on Sustainable Connected Cities, which was set up last year. Most of our research projects similarly involve collaborations with Universities across the UK, Europe, North and South America, South Africa, Asia and Australia.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme is unique because it is a cross-faculty programme within UCL, enabling students to pursue interdisciplinary projects and work with researchers from different fields across UCL and other organisations. We also have strong links with industry, so graduates often extend their careers beyond academia, pursuing careers in industry or combining roles as leading academics and consultants. Students are strongly supported in developing a range of presenting and teaching skills, using creativity and innovation to present in new and interesting ways. There are many opportunities across UCL to practice such skills and give students confidence for their next steps.

Student / staff ratios › 11 staff › 58 taught students › 14 research students

Department: UCL Interaction Centre

Degree reviews

Alumni review

"My experience at UCL has helped me obtain two internships at research labs: Palo Alto Research Center in 2011, and Microsoft Research in 2012. "

Dr Christian P Janssen

Subject: Human-Computer Interaction PhD
Alumni review

"I was interested in studying human-computer interaction in the context of medical devices. UCL's rich background and strength in both human-computer interaction and medicine greatly facilitated my studies. For instance, I could easily get access to UCLH to conduct studies with nurses there."

Atish Rajkomar

Subject: Human-Computer Interaction PhD
Student review

"I would say that many elements of my programme at UCL have been valuable, including access to relevant expertise, opportunities to influence real communities making my work feel valuable, and opportunities to collaborate with frontline researchers and industries. One element that has particularly surprised, impressed, and been valuable to me is the team structure of my research group. It has helped in the development of the researcher in me."

Temitayo Olugbade

Subject: Interaction Centre 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.

Who can apply?

Application deadlines

All applicants
Scholarship applicants
Applications for competitive funding awarded by UCL must arrive by 16 January in the year you wish to start. If other sources of funding are being considered, it is still in your interest to apply by the 16 January deadline, but later applications can sometimes be considered. Applications should be made as soon as possible, and not later than 30 June for entry in September/October.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now


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