Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care



This page has been created in order to provide supporting information for teaching staff and research degree students within the Institute. If you would like to suggest an item to be included on this page, please contact Andreas Opitz

Short Courses & CPD Information

Postgraduate Taught Information

UCL Academic Manual

The UCL Academic Manual brings together in one location the academic regulations, policies and procedures applicable to all UCL taught and research students.

The main purposes of the Academic Manual are to:

  • Set and maintain the academic standards of UCL
  • Promote transparency and consistency across faculties and departments, ensuring that all students are treated fairly and equally
  • Provide students with a clear set of expectations in relation to their conduct and achievement.
Essential Policies and Procedures
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

View guidance to help prepare Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care staff and students for GDPR, which came into force across the EU on 25 May 2018.

View IEHC GDPR Guidance for staff and students

PhD Supervisor Support and Guidance

Becoming a supervisor

Supervisor Approval Process

All academic members of staff wishing to act as Principal or Subsidiary Supervisor for an MPhil/PhD research degree in the Faculty of Population Health, must be approved by the Institute Graduate Tutor (Research), Prof Annie Britton (a.britton@ucl.ac.uk). Once approved, an application will be made on your behalf to the Faculty Graduate Tutor (Research) for final approval.

In order to make an approval request, please download the

, complete it as fully as possible and send it to Andreas Opitz (a.opitz@ucl.ac.uk) alongside an up to date copy of your CV.

All supervisors not having previously supervised a UCL MPhil/PhD student must attend the mandatory course for all members of academic staff wishing to be appointed as research supervisors at UCL, including new members of academic staff with experience of research supervision at other institutions. 

On completion of the course, supervisors will be able to download a certificate of completion, and be eligible to join the face-to-face session, 'Developing as a UCL Supervisor', which those with no prior supervisory experience must also attend.

Joining instructions:

1. Online Introduction to Research Supervision:

2. Developing as a UCL Supervisor:

  • Having completed the online training, those with no prior PhD supervisory experience must attend the follow-up workshop: 'Developing as a UCL research supervisor'.
  • Search for this in the UCL Arena events calendar for the latest bookable dates (tick the 'research supervision' option in the Subject filter). The first session will be on 9 October, 2-4pm.

Full details of the research supervision programme are available here.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact a.standen@ucl.ac.uk


  • Fixed-term academic staff can be approved as supervisors, however their appointment must cover the full duration of a  students proposed study period. 
  • Supervisors not employed by UCL must have an honorary appointment with a UCL department - this is normally arranged by the relevant Head of Research Department.

Guidance for supervisors

UCL Doctoral School Guidance for Supervisors

UCL's Doctoral School webpages provides essential information for Supervisors that covers:

  • Regulations and Codes of practice 
  • General Information
  • Professional Development
  • Essential Procedures and Policies
  • Useful Contact Lists

See the UCL's Doctoral School essential information webpages (note you will need to click the Supervisor, DGTs and DAs tab

Video Briefing Sessions for Probationary and New Research Student Supervisors

The video briefing sessions found on the UCL Doctoral School website include the following topics:

  • General Welcome from Graduate School
  • Graduate School Support
  • Supervisors Roles and Responsibilities
  • Skills Development Programme
  • Research Student Log and Factors for Successful Supervision (Good Practice, Recruitment, Management, Planning, Student-Related Issues)
Initial conversations between a PhD student and supervisor

A number of key issues should be discussed between a supervisor and a new research degree student at the start of their programme (please see 'Proforma additional information' for guidance). 

Guidance on Supporting Students

The purpose of this document is to outline support available through UCL Student Support and Wellbeing and through external services, and what to do in certain situations to ensure students receive the support they require. The aim is to provide consistency in how students are supported across UCL, to ensure they are referred appropriately and aware of how UCL can help.View the UCL Guide on Supporting Students 

Guidance on Addressing Poor Performing Research Students

The Guidance of Addressing Poor Performing Research Students,seeks both to assist in preventing research student poor performance and to set down the procedures that must be followed in dealing with cases of poor performance, up to and including the termination of studies due to Academic Insufficiency.

Milestones and procedures

Study Leave (Fieldwork)

Any research student who is required to conduct fieldwork or research outside of the UK must apply for approved study leave (see 'Changes to your Registration Status' - Study Leave). 

The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care has implemented a further local policy to ensure that all students are appropriately covered by travel insurance and we are aware when students are out of the country in relation to monitoring progress.

The following policy has been implemented at IEHC:

1. All periods of absence where a student is required to carry out fieldwork outside of the UK should be recorded as study leave. Supervisors are required to complete and sign a Study Leave Request form on behalf their student, which can be found here: 'Changes to your Registration Status'. Once the form is signed, please send it to the Institute Graduate Tutor, Annie Britton (a.britton@ucl.ac.uk) for approval, cc'd to Andreas Opitz a.opitz@ucl.ac.uk). 

2. Students on approved study leave may return to the UK for a period of less than 4 weeks during that study leave, and leave again, with no need to apply for an additional period of study leave.

3. All students going on study leave should check whether they have the appropriate insurance in relation to their destination, by contacting June Campbell in UCL's Finance Division.

If you have any queries regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact Andreas Opitz in the first instance.

Interruption form for research students

If you require a temporary break from your studies and plan to resume your registration at a future date you will need to apply for an interruption of study using an interruption of studies form in advance of your porposed interruption. To complete the form you will need Institute Graduate Tutor approval (Prof Annie Britton) before it being sent to Registry Services and noted on your record. 

Full Guidance for anyone considering an interruption can be found within the interruption of studies form. It includes guidance for Tier 4 students.

Upgrade Information and Documents

Detailed information on the transfer (a.k.a upgrade) from MPhil degree to PhD degree process can be found via UCL's Research Students: Upgrade from MPhil to PhD webpage (also see Read the upgrade guidelines). You can also find further information via UCL's Academic Manual: see Chapter 5 - Upgrade from MPhil to PhD

Useful links:

Letter Template for when writing to external examiners

Turn-It-In Guidance for Supervisors (link to Moodle)

Upgrade Library

This library consists of previously submitted Upgrade reports, and serves to provide a guide on formatting and structure for future PhD students preparing for their Upgrade examination at IEHC. 

Please note the reports have been shared through the generosity of previous students and are for personal reference only. 

Some of the presented work may be yet to be published as part of doctoral theses and/or peer-review publications. 

  1. AD_2014
  2. AK_2016
  3. AR_2014
  4. AS_2015
  5. BC_2017
  6. CH_2015
  7. CM_2015
  8. CS_2017
  9. EP_2015
  10. FH_2017
  11. MH_2017
  12. MK_2017
  13. RP_2017
  14. TH_2017
  15. TP_2016
  16. WM_2011 
Thesis Committee Guidelines


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    Viva Examination Procedures

    Procedures that you can provide to students, can be found on the 'Procedure for viva Examination MPhil/Phd Candidates' page. You will also find the exam entry form and examiner nomination form on the same page.

    Further guidance that can be provided to students is located on the Research Degree Examination Entry webpage.

    Supporting Information

    UCL Academic Manual

    The UCL Academic Manual brings together in one location the academic regulations, policies and procedures applicable to all UCL taught and research students.

    Chapter 5 of the academic Manual is UCL's regulatory framework for the assessment and examination of Postgraduate Research students at UCL.

    View Chapter 5 of the UCL Academic Manual

    Quick links:

    Mentor Scheme for Research Degree Students (peer level)

    IEHC takes part in a Peer-Level Research Student Mentoring Scheme and we aim to provide all new research degree students with a peer-mentor upon arrival. The mentor you are allocated will generally be a 2nd or 3rd year PhD student. 

    If you are interested in becoming a Mentor for 1st year PhD students, please contact Annie Britton (a.britton@ucl.ac.uk

    Statistical support for PhD Students

    For any student who would like to discuss or seek statistical support, Dr Paola Zaninitto (based in Epidemiology and Public Health) has kindly agreed to be the first point of contact. Please feel free to email her in the first instance.

    PhD Student space in Senate House

    UCL Senate House Hub is a recently opened dedicated space for UCL Postgraduate Research (PGR) students across all disciplines. It is located on the 3rd floor of the South Block of Senate House in Bloomsbury (there is lift access from the ground floor, opposite the reception desk). See map:  https://www.ucl.ac.uk/maps/senate-house-hub.

    This space is designed to enhance the experience of Postgraduate Research Students at UCL, in response to demand for high-quality space for individual study and meeting space. UCL Library Services is committed to increasing and improving the dedicated provision of space for PGR students, as a strategic priority (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/about-us/ucl-library-services-strategy-2019-22/kpa-5-sustainable-estate ).


    The Hub includes 160 quiet and social spaces, PCs, Print@UCL and four student bookable meeting/training rooms. These include spaces for individual study and group working / project working with integrated audio visual equipment. The high quality, architect-designed study facilities are comfortable for longer periods of study.


    Opening hours are Monday - Thursday: 09:00 - 21:00, Friday: 09:00 - 18:30 & Saturday: 09:45 - 17:30.   Students can view how many spaces are available in the Hub via the UCL Go! app or on the Library webpages: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/libraries-and-study-spaces/ucl-senate-house-hub

    Guidance on teaching-related activities for PhD students

    The Institute is committed to providing teaching opportunities for PhD students so they can gain valuable experience during their studies at UCL. In order to support this further, and in line with UCL policy, all PhD students are paid for their contribution to teaching-related activities.

    Support to develop teaching skills

    In order to support PhD students in the development of their teaching skills, PhD students:

    • are required to complete a mandatory introductory three hour Gateway workshop run by UCL's centre for the Advancement of Learning and Teaching (CALT) before taking on any teaching or assessment activities 
    • are encouraged to participate in the introductory Arena One scheme run by CALT
    • will receive support and guidance prior to participating in teaching-related activities
    • will receive feedback on their performance from the appropriate session, short course or module lead, and via student evaluation surveys
    • should record their teaching-related activities as part of the skills audit in the Research Student Log

    Teaching-related activities

    The following postgraduate teaching-related activities can be undertaken by PhD students in IEHC. The availability of each activity will depend on the sessions currently being run and an individual's relevant knowledge:

    • Teaching (lectures or classroom sessions)
    • Supporting practical sessions
    • Running seminars
    • Invigilating
    • Marking assessments or exam scripts
    • Formal personal tutoring
    • Secondary and/or tertiary supervision of MSc summer projects (NB PhD students will not be asked to be the primary supervisor)

    Time requirements for teaching relating activities

    Programme and module leads will clearly state the time requirements for each particular activity prior to asking PhD students to participate. Students will be paid for all face-to-face time engaged in teaching-related activities and also for preparation time where a student is participating for the first time (this is for reviewing existing material). Students will not be paid for lesson planning meetings, debriefing after sessions, travel time, informal mentoring or informal tutoring.

    The following recommendations are made:

    • For supporting classroom activity, practical sessions or seminars, the time will be the length of the session (as agreed beforehand)
    • For exam invigilation, it will be the length of exam plus 30 min for pre/post exam activities.
    • For second marking of short writing assignments and essays, a pro rata rate of 3,000 words per hour is recommended (this includes assigning a grade and adding comments to the first marker's written feedback).
    • For other marking tasks it is impractical to stipulate the recommended time requirements due to the uniqueness of each assessment. In such cases, the module lead (in consultation with the programme lead) will decide an appropriate amount of time per exam question, assignment or script within a range of 5-50 min depending on the length and complexity of the task.
    • For personal tutoring, the number of meetings should adhere to Programme specific recommendations and be in line with Faculty of Population Health Sciences policy. Time per personal tutorial meeting is expected to be up to 1 hour.
    • For secondary and tertiary supervision of an MSc summer project, up to 8 hours per academic year per full-time MSc student or pro-rata for a part-time MSc student will be allocated. This includes preparation  and reading time for MSc supervisory meetings.
    • For each teaching-related activity that the student has not participated in previously, 30 min is allocated for reviewing existing materials.

    Teaching load

    It is recognised that teaching-related activities are a valuable addition to the skills set and experience for a PhD student. However students must not be overburdened with teaching responsibilities to the detriment of their doctoral research. As such the maximum load per year for a full-time student is 180 hours per year in accordance with UCL guidance. Within IEHC, the teaching load is generally much less than this. It is recommended that no PhD student undertake more than 6 hours of teaching-related activities per week including time as secondary and/or tertiary MSc dissertation supervisor for up to a maximum of two dissertations per year. Actual teaching-related activity loads within these limits must also be agreed with PhD supervisors and adhere to any visa or funding body restrictions.


    PhD students are expected to:

    • adhere to UCL policies as set out in the CALT Gateway workshop
    • be responsible for delivery of teaching and learning activities as detailed by the module tutor
    • be provided with clear guidance of the tasks before the session begins
    • honour their commitments once organised and give as much notice as possible if they are unable to carry out any duties, so that a replacement can be found
    • undertake any necessary training as required
    • inform the module tutor of any issues observed in class, for example students struggling with the materials, poor attendance, or unacceptable behaviour of students towards their peers.
    • not have responsibility for curriculum content, preparation of teaching materials, selection of teaching styles or methods, designing assessments or drafting marking schemes, though they may wish to contribute to these areas
    • In addition, PhD students with responsibility as secondary and/or tertiary supervisor for Master's projects:
    • are expected to maintain regular communication with the first supervisor
    • are expected to support guidance provided by the first supervisor, and
    • may provide technical support to MSc students

    PhD students should not have responsibility for providing academic direction (e.g. scope of project, nature of research question) and will not be expected to comment on the final version of the MSc dissertation.

    IEHC PhD Road Map

    The PhD RoadMap is a comprehensive guide to PhD life at IEHC. It has been developed over a year and has been designed specifically for PhD students and supervisors in the IEHC. 

    We hope the guide will help PhD students make the most of their time at UCL by equipping them with the knowledge that they need to succeed, and by providing them with opportunities for personal and professional development at their fingertips.

    Funding information

    IEHC Conference and Travel Funding

    The IEHC Conference and Training fund scheme provides funding support towards associated costs for IEHC research students who are presenting a paper or poster at a conference, or applying for funds to attend an external training course. The scheme compliments the SLMS Conference and Training fund. For full guidance and eligibility requirements see the

    Funding Opportunities for Research Degree Students

    The IEHC Studenthsip and Funding webpage advertises various sources of funding opportunities. Ranging from:

    External sources:

    To view a further comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to a students nationality, please visit UCL's Scholarships and Funding webpages.

    Student funding advice

    UCL Student Funding Advisers can offer students support, advice and guidance to those who are struggling with money management or experiencing complex funding issues.

    Some of the issues they can provide support with are:

    Support is available on the telephone, by email or in a confidential one-to-one appointment on MS Teams.

    In the first intstance, students should open an enquiry via askUCL

    Education Contacts

    Please refer to IEHC's People page for a list of programme leads and administrators.