Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Research Degree: Epidemiology and Health Care

Our PhD programme aims to equip the next generation of experts with the necessary tools to address major 21st century health challenges and deliver real-world impact

The Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care (IEHC) has an extremely active PhD programme which currently supports over 100 research students from all over the world including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, Australia and Asia.

The diversity of expertise across the Institute ensures that it provides a vibrant environment in which students can develop skills and forge careers within a wide range of national and international settings.

There are four Research Departments within the Institute (listed below) whose interests span the life course from childhood to old age, and research from the origins of disease to the development of innovative interventions.

View Studentships currently on offer

The Programme

PhD programmes within IEHC typically lasts three years full-time (or five years part-time). All students are initially registered for an MPhil, upgrading to a PhD, subject to satisfactory academic progress. For a successful upgrade to PhD, the student must prepare a written report, give an oral presentation and pass an oral examination. 

Students receive direct supervision from world-leading academics and they are allocated their own computer and desk space within our offices based on UCL's campus in the heart of London.

All MPhil/PhD students are expected to undertake 10 days of generic skills training each year. This will include, for example, courses on research design and statistics, ethical and legal issues, presentation skills, thesis production and career planning.

Why study a PhD at IEHC?

  • UCL is the top-rated university in the UK for research strength in the Research Excellence Framework 2014. Students are embedded alongside the academics that enabled UCL to gain this great achievement. 
  • UCL is among the world's top ten universities (QS World University Rankings 2018) with a reputation for high-quality research.
  • Located in the heart of London, it is a stimulating and exciting environment in which to study.
  • IEHC offers an international community of health research. It has strong national and international interdisciplinary research collaborations and its students come from all over the world.
  • Students become part of an Institute dedicated to equality and wellbeing. We hold an Athena SWAN Charter Bronze Award in recognition of our commitment to advancing women's careers in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine. 
  • All PhD students are supported by supervisory panels of multidisciplinary staff, as well as student mentors, and departmental graduate tutors.
  • Core IEHC staff regularly feature on international media outlets: watch a recent interview with Professor Andrew Steptoe on BBC newslisten to Dr Lion Shahab talking about e-cigarettes in an interview with ITV; watch Professor Sir Michael Marmot
  • 5th in the world for public health (Shanghai Ranking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2021)
  • 8th in the world for life and medical sciences (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019)
  • 8th in the world: among the top universities in the world (QS World University Rankings 2022)

UCL can bring the full power of a multi-faculty university to bear on discussions of population health, involving academics from the wide range of disciplines necessary to tackle some of the most difficult issues in public health.

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