UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science


BHF Cardiovascular Biomedicine 4-year PhD studentships

Applications for 2023 now open - closing date 20/1/2023


New developments in cardiovascular basic science, data science and engineering have the potential to significantly reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease. However, true progress will only be made through interdisciplinary collaborations. At UCL we are offering a four-year PhD programme with interdisciplinary cardiovascular research at its core.

This four-year PhD programme provides an exciting opportunity for outstanding graduates with an interest in any aspect of cardiovascular disease. We are keen to encourage applications from graduates with previous experience in wide range of disciplines, including fundamental and laboratory sciences, engineering, mathematics or physics, and data science or epidemiology.

A four-year programme offers a broader and deeper research training opportunity than a traditional three-year PhD scheme and facilitates interdisciplinary research.

At UCL, we have an outstanding track record across fundamental, clinical, and population data science, as well as cardiovascular engineering and mathematics. We have also strong partnerships with some of the largest providers of specialized cardiac care in the UK (St Bartholomew’s, University College London, Moorfields, Royal Free and Great Ormond Street hospitals). Thus, we are ideally placed to offer a truly interdisciplinary 4-year PhD programme, with multiple opportunities for rapid translation into the clinical environment.

Structure of the 4-year programme

The first year of the programme provides postgraduate-level tuition in selected relevant topics, training in transferable research skills, and the opportunity to undertake three 12-week research projects, working with different cardiovascular scientists across UCL. These projects provide a basis for students to select a doctoral project and supervisors. During your PhD thesis research, students will be encouraged to present their work at international meetings, and funds will be made available for this. A generous consumables allowance is provided across the studentship.

PhD projects will cover the entire range of activity across the UCL campus, and as a postgraduate research student within the UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science, you will have the opportunity to connect with cardiovascular scientists, and to form links with researchers in a wide range of disciplines. You will gain skills suitable for a career in research, the pharmaceutical and medical devices industry and other related fields

Research areas

The programme is themed around 3 key cardiovascular research strengths at UCL:

  • Fundamental and laboratory science
  • Population and clinical data science
  • Bioengineering, imaging and physical sciences

The programme is led by the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, but students can and do undertake PhDs in other Faculties and Institutes.

Eligibility & Funding

Applicant entry requirement 

minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject (or overseas equivalent), or a recognised taught Master’s degree. Good spoken and written English is expected.


This programme is funded by the British Heart Foundation.  Studentships cover tuition fees (UK rate set by UCL), a stipend (estimated £22,278 in year 1), a consumables allowance and a travel fund. 

Tuition fees (2023/24)


£5,860 (FT)

£2,930 (PT)


£29,000 (FT)

£14,500 (PT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Non UK applicants must show evidence of their ability to cover the difference between home fees and overseas fees for the duration of study, and will also need to satisfy UKBA visa requirementsFor a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Outstanding research opportunities

University College London (UCL) offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of Cardiovascular Biomedicine. The Institute of Cardiovascular Science was set up in 2011 and is a centre of excellence in preventative and therapeutic cardiovascular medicine. Our academic staff have international reputations and ICS provides a stimulating academic setting. Research labs are well-funded and equipped, so that PhD students have the best chance of getting off to a productive start straightaway. 

Pastoral care

Throughout the 4 years, all student's progress will be monitored and assessed by a committee responsible for the training provided. Students will be integrated into the community of cardiovascular researchers at UCL by participation in journal clubs, seminars and social events. Career advice will be given in the last year.

Cultural and social opportunities provided by London

UCL is located in Bloomsbury, close to the entertainment areas of the West End and South Bank which offer an enormous range of music, art, theatre and film, and a vast number of restaurants and bars. London is extremely socially diverse: most PhD students rapidly establish a thriving social life.


As well as post-doctoral fellowships (UK and abroad), UCL British Heart Foundation PhD students have gone on to form start-up companies, work for research organisations, teach, and work for Research Councils.


The breadth of our programme allows engagement with colleagues with professional experience in fundamental science, imaging, regenerative medicine, genetics, epidemiology and translational cardiovascular genomics, prevention and outcomes, and cardiology. A PhD at ICS provides the student with an opportunity to consider cardiovascular disease from the bench to the bedside.


Our academics have numerous national and international collaborations with academic and commercial organisations, which provides students with broad opportunities for networking and career development.


Programme Contacts