UCL Division of Biosciences


PhD Study

Our active MPhil/PhD programme currently has more than fifty research students from all over the world including the UK, Europe, Jordan, Singapore, China, Chile, Saudi Arabia, India and Australia. Students are regularly monitored by a small committee appointed among experts in the field, which stimulates interactions between laboratories, and excellent training courses are offered on research and other skills (speaking, writing, imaging, etc).


Cell and Developmental Biology PhD Programme

This programme is available for three years in a single laboratory (or five years part-time) - see the 'Scholarships' and 'Applicants with independent funding' sections below. 

Requirements for all PhD Programmes

To register for a PhD you will require one of the following:

  • a first or upper second class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution
  • a recognised Master's degree
  • If you are an overseas applicant you will also require evidence of proficiency in English. The standard of English expected is Level 2 (previously referred to as 'good level')

4 Year Funded Programmes

 The department also participates in the following programmes. These feature rotations in several different laboratories during the first year before deciding on your PhD lab and project:


There are a number of scholarships awarded through the College - please follow the instructions for the UCL Research Excellence Scholarships, and others as appropriate. 

Students can only apply for a scholarship with the support of a supervisor - please therefore contact a prospective supervisor well in advance of the deadline. 

Scholarship applicants should e-mail their documents to the Postgraduate Research Admin Team.

Application deadline for October 2024 entry: Friday 12 January 2024

Applicants with independent funding (including self-funding)

You are welcome to apply and commence studies throughout the year.  From October 2024, the entry dates will be 1 October, 1 February and 1 May.

To apply:

  1. View the list of academic staff and study their research interests by visiting their web page and looking at some of their publications to decide whether you are interested in the research topics in that laboratory.
  2. Email your chosen supervisor(s) to discuss possible projects. This will also ensure they have space for you in their laboratory and will guide you in your application.
  3. Complete a UCL Graduate Student application form (this link also has further information on the programme including fees). 

    Developmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD Programme

    Applications from self-funded candidates are welcome.  Please note that there is no funding attached to this programme, but you may apply for a UCL Scholarship. Application deadline for October 2024 entry: Friday 12 January 2024 (candidates applying for a UCL Scholarship).  Applications from self-funded candidates will be accepted until 31 May 2024. 

    This four year programme includes a first year with journal clubs and three laboratory rotations providing the basis for an informed choice and an excellent platform for progression in the research project in years 2-4. It also includes active, small group training in key skills including good writing, experimental design, reviewing papers and many modern techniques as appropriate to the project.

    For the latest information on supervisors and research areas please e-mail the Postgraduate Research Admin Team.  It isn't necessary to contact prospective supervisors before making your application.  

    How to apply

    Please complete a UCL Graduate Student application form (this link also has further information on the programme including fees).

    If you are applying for a UCL Scholarship, please see the 'Scholarships' section above as there are additional steps to complete.  As the programme begins with lab rotations, the lay summary can be a brief outline of your research interests and there is no need to obtain a supervisor's reference as this will be added by the programme director if you are shortlisted. 

    Additional Information