Postgraduate

Medical Science Building at Night

Studying for an MPhil/PhD in Structural and Molecular Biology

The department offers both three and four year MPhil/PhD courses covering a variety of research projects. All graduate research students at UCL initially register for the MPhil degree. MPhil/PhD study can be undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis, and it is not necessary to have a Masters Degree prior to joining (see entrance requirements below).

Each student will work closely with their principal supervisor, but also take part in many other research-focused and skills training events and opportunities during the course of the PhD. The precise form of your research program will depend in part upon the nature of your funding. 

Since September 2008 the department has been participating in a number of multi-disciplinary PhD programmes in collaboration with allied research departments and organisations, which have specific course requirements (e.g. laboratory rotations in the first year of study). These programmes are funded by the Wellcome Trust and the UK Research Councils (MRC, BBSRC). Please see the Studentships page for further details.

A common aspect to all of our PhD programmes is that each student is monitored by a student-centred Thesis Committee comprising the student, the principal supervisor and two other academic staff members. The role of the Thesis Committee is to give oversight to the student’s progress though the research project, to review interim written reports and draft thesis chapters, and to support the student throughout his/her time in the department.

During the PhD course all students make presentations to the department and present a poster at the bi-annual Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) Retreat. Students also play an active role in the Departmental Seminar programme and are encouraged to organise and participate in both academic and social activities. 

Applicants for admission should normally have, or expect to obtain, at least an upper second-class Honours degree or an equivalent qualification in biochemistry, molecular biology or a related subject (e.g. chemistry, biology, microbiology, genetics, immunology, biotechnology). Those applying from overseas should possess comparable qualifications.

Students whose first language is not English must provide recent evidence that their spoken and written command of the English language is adequate for the programme for which they are applying.


Test scores are grouped into 'Standard', 'Good' and 'Advanced' for UCL admissions purposes. The Department of Structural and Molecular Biology currently specifies a minimum of 'Standard' for MPhil/PhD applicants. 

Students not participating in the studentships programmes should complete a full UCL application form.


You will need to write about your research interests and state which Academic(s) Staff you would like to work with.


For further information about studentships please refer to The Institute of Molecular Biology studentship opportunities.

We welcome applications from students worldwide and there are several UCL scholarships available to both UK and overseas students. Please visit our Overseas Students page for more information.

Page last modified on 22 feb 13 16:56