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Vision Research MRes

This programme is based at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, which is world renowned for the translation of biomedical research into new therapeutic advances in eye disease. Students will be embedded in the research environment, have the opportunity to conduct an independent research project, and to work alongside world-leading experts.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£10,430 (FT) N/A (PT)
£25,490 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 3 October 2016
Close: 28 July 2017

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 UK Bachelor’s degree in either medical, biomedical, biological or life sciences, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applicants with other science degrees or appropriate professional qualifications and/or work experience will also be considered on an individual basis. Overseas students will have to provide evidence of their proficiency in the English language.

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:

Degree information

Students will develop key transferable personal and professional skills to independently conduct an extended empirical research project supervised by world-leading experts in the field of vision research. Students will also learn about the fundamental biology of the eye in health and disease, providing key knowledge to support their research project.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation (105 credits).

Core modules

  • Bioscience Research Skills
  • Research in Practice

Optional modules

  • Students choose three of the following:
  • Genetics and Epidemiology of Ocular Disease
  • Ocular Cell Biology
  • Ocular Development in Health and Disease
  • Ocular Immunology

Dissertation/research project

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 18,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, journal clubs and workshops. Assessment is through essays, oral presentations, problem-based tasks and a research dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Vision Research MRes


The Institute of Ophthalmology currently offers the following bursaries for successful applicants on our postgraduate taught master’s degrees: One £5,000 Duke Elder bursaries for non-clinical courses (available for successful applicants on the Biology of Vision, Applied Immunobiology, Applied and Regenerative Neuroscience, and Vision Research degrees). These bursaries are open to home and overseas students and will be received in the form of a fee reduction only. 

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


The Vision Research MRes will develop the necessary competitive skills to pursue a research degree at PhD level in the field of biomedical sciences. Graduates will offer prospective employers skills in research development and practice, suitable for further research careers in academia, industry or business.


A unique feature of the Vision Research MRes is the delivery of key elements that are essential for the development of an internationally-competitive career in biomedical research. The research expertise at the institute will be fully harnessed to prepare students for a new era in research in the global employment market. Students will develop critical understanding of a range of research-related knowledge and skills, including quantitative and qualitative tools for the implementation, management and dissemination of research. The programme will give students  both the fundamental knowledge and skills base to address complex issues of global significance in health and wellbeing.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is recognised globally for its outstanding record in basic biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in novel and innovative therapies.

The Vision Research MRes is a unique programme that will combine existing high-quality research-informed teaching at the institute with a substantial empirical research project.

The opportunity to participate fully in academic life as part of a research team will provide networking opportunities across the spectrum of biomedical research taking place at the institute, UCL and elsewhere, thereby increasing exposure to further opportunities in research.

Department: Institute of Ophthalmology

Student / staff numbers › 255 staff including 92 postdocs › 73 taught students › 100 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 Ophthalmology
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.

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?

This programme is best suited for those aiming to undertake a research degree at PhD level with the ambition of developing a competitive research career in academia, industry or business.

Application deadlines

All applicants
28 July 2017

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Vision Research at graduate level
  • why you want to study Vision Research at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 October 2016 at 12:07 by UCL Publications & Marketing Services. Please contact us for content updates.


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