Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Student Support

There is a wide range of supporting opportunities that are available to PhD students whilst studying within Epidemiology and Public Health. These include:

Skills Development programme

UCL's Doctoral Skills Development Programme is open to all postgraduate researchers at UCL and it offers an extensive list of development opportunities. The purpose of the programme is to give you the opportunity to expand your research and transferable skills in order to support your research, professional development and employability. Browse the Skills Development list of courses

Mentoring programme

We offer Peer-Level Research Student Mentoring Scheme and 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. 


We take careers support very seriously at UCL and you can find out more within our Careers and Employability section.

Early Career Researchers Forum

The Early Career Researcher Forum (ECF) is an ongoing and expanding programme of regular seminars for postdoctoral researchers and PhD students across the Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care. ECF events provide educational and networking opportunities to a wide audience of Institute staff and students and encourage interdisciplinary interaction.

Seminars and workshops have focused on academic job search, authorship and publishing, patient and public involvement in research, using social media in research (including film), how PhD students can best prepare for their viva, and oral and poster presentations. Forthcoming events will address academic career planning and development, mixed methods research, literature and systematic reviews, and other topics which are highly relevant for students and individuals early in their career.

Journal Club

A monthly PhD and junior researcher journal club group which meets in an informal setting. With the aim of improving student's critical analysis and methodology skills, the Journal Club discusses papers from a broad range of topics on health promotion and disease prevention.The club is run by students and facilitated by a senior member of academic staff within the Institute. 

Lunchtime Seminars Series

The 1pm seminars are given by the department's research groups and PhD students. The seminars typically take place on the first Tuesday of every month. 

Annual Retreat to Cumberland Lodge

The Institute runs an an annual student conference at Cumberland Lodge in the heart of the Great Park in Windsor. The conference, organised for students by our students, aims to provide an opportunity to get to know one another, share ideas and listen to experts in the field, discuss important issues and think about the value of our academic work in relation to society.

The conference is heavily subsidised by the Institute and students pay a small amount towards transport, accommodation and meals.

Previous years themes were:

  • 'Purpose and Practice of Public Health: Past, Present and Future'
  • 'We can no longer afford the fixing and mending of people'
  • 'Prevention: "We can no longer afford the fixing and mending of people'.  
  • 'Global Environmental Health: Exploring the link between health and climate change'.

PhD Poster Competition

Every year we run a PhD student poster competition which is an opportunity to share students work with members of staff, outsiders who will be visiting for our Open Day and fellow students. There is a prize for first year posters and a prize for second/third year posters, judged by two senior members of staff from Research Department.

3 minute thesis Competition (3MT)

The Institute runs an annual 3 minute thesis competition which is an academic competition that challenges PhD students to describe their research within three minutes to a general audience. 3MT celebrates the discoveries made by research students and encourages them to communicate the importance of their research to the broader community. It's a great opportunity for students to practice their presentation skills, meet other candidates and have a chance to win prize money!

The winners of the competition will be entered into the Faculty competition and the winners of that heat will be entered to the University-wide semi-final which takes place in May/June. The overall winner from UCL will be nominated for the Vitae 3MT National Final in September.

Teaching Opportunities for PhD Students

The Institute is committed and recognises the importance of providing postgraduate teaching assistant opportunities for PhD students so they can gain valuable experience during their studies at UCL. We feel strongly that  postgraduate teaching assistants can make a unique contribution to UCL's mission to develop excellence in research-based education.

To gain paid teaching experience, students must first complete the UCL Arena One Gateway workshop (research log points will be awarded). Attendance at this session is required for all postgraduates students with any responsibility for assisting teaching and/or assessment at UCL, who are new to teaching or who have not completed prior training/development sessions. Once a student has completed completed a Gateway session, they then have the opportunity to join the second stage of Arena One: the Teaching Associate Programme

Student Support and Wellbeing

UCL is committed to the wellbeing and safety of its students and tries to give assistance wherever possible to ensure that studying at UCL is a fulfilling, healthy and enjoyable experience. There is a wide range of support services for students - the Current Students Support website provides more information. Also, students are always welcome to contact their Graduate Tutors or Supervisors with any concerns they may have.

Useful links: