UCL Institute for Global Prosperity


Global Prosperity MPhil/PhD

When you join the IGP you become a member of an exceptional group of ‘doers and thinkers’ across a range of fields, from business, technology and entrepreneurship, to policy, law and environment.

We are a community committed to advancing sustainable prosperity with a passion for entrepreneurial solutions and collective problem-solving. You’ll be part of a community of peers who stay connected, offer each other advice and share successes throughout their careers. 

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The IGP approach to PhD training

  • We have a strong focus on innovative interdisciplinary research that can advance global prosperity.

  • We will encourage you to collaborate with peers, colleagues from other disciplines and various citizen participants and stakeholder organisations.

  • We will invite you to leverage our extensive network of internal and external contacts, including our foremost partners within the UCL and the social impact sector, as well as overseas partners.
  • You will also be able to enjoy practical skills training via the Bartlett and the UCL’s Doctoral School.

When to apply

We accept applications at any point in the academic year. However, it is generally a good idea to apply as far in advance of your desired starting date as possible.

If you wish to commence the PhD programme at the beginning of the academic year in October, many scholarship competitions close in January and February. In order to be competitive in these competitions, you need to be formally admitted to our PhD programme AND spend time developing a competitive proposal. This means applying 10-12 months beforehand. If you have your own source of funding, you are less constrained about when you can apply.

How to apply 

1. Check whether you meet our admissions criteria

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and a Master’s degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject, is essential. Relevant work experience is highly desirable. We expect a successful application to include a sufficiently strong and convincing proposal. 

In exceptional circumstances where you have other suitable research or professional experience, you may be admitted without a Master’s degree. We may consider a lower second-class UK Honours Bachelor's degree (2:2) (or equivalent) if you possess a relevant Master’s degree.

2. Consider how your research topic relates to IGP’s three core themes and academic staff.

We encourage you to contact the member of staff that best suits your research interests at this stage. If you are unsure, please contact the PhD Programme Administrator. Our staff can advise you on how to develop your research proposal (see step 3 below). Please note that such contact does not necessarily mean that you will eventually be accepted. However, it does increase the likelihood of developing a strong research proposal that both you and your prospective supervisor are happy with.

3. Write your proposal

Your PhD research proposal is the central component of your application. We encourage you to invest significant time in making it as strong as possible.

  • The target length of a proposal is 2,000 to 2,500 words.

  • It should include your aims, core research questions, a discussion of the relevant theoretical literature you will contribute to and develop, the methodological approaches you intend to use, details of how the research will be accomplished practically and a concise bibliography.
  • The proposal should make clear the foremost scholarly discipline(s) you wish to contribute to, and the nature of your intended contribution.
  • You should explain in detail how your research topic relates to IGP’s three core themes.
  • You may also wish to relate your proposal to one of our specific ongoing research projects.
  • You should include one or two sentences about how you intend to fund your degree (see section 5 below).

4. Submit your application

When your proposal is finalised, you need to submit it along with the email addresses of referees, transcripts and your CV. Full details of what is required, including the link for submitting your documents, can be found here.

The university will conduct a number of checks to ensure you are eligible to study at UCL. The Department will then formally assess the application. We aim to provide a decision within six working weeks of receiving a complete application and references. However this may be longer due to other external factors. The Graduate Admissions Office will contact you with an official, binding offer.

5. Secure funding

Once your application has been formally accepted, you will now be able to apply for funding to support your programme of study. The university maintains a current list of scholarship and funding opportunities here. We encourage you to look widely and discuss options with your prospective supervisor.  

See details of the Prosperity, Innovation, Technology and Policy Doctoral Training Pathway and the UCL Graduate Research Scholarships on our funding page.

Please be aware that many funding opportunities have deadlines many months in advance of course start dates. Allow enough time to develop a competitive proposal, and for the subsequent assessment, when you apply.


If you have any questions about the PhD in Global Prosperity, please contact Francesca Harrison (Programme Administrator) at: igp@ucl.ac.uk