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Institute for Global Health

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Research Degrees

The MPhil/PhD and MD(Res) programmes we offer at the Institute for Global Health are relevant to a variety of disciplines relevant to global health.

The postgraduate research degrees programmes we offer at the Institute for Global Health are relevant to a variety of disciplines relevant to global health. Our programmes aim to provide interesting, challenging and excellent training for exceptional students so that they may successfully pursue careers in research, medicine, health services, laboratory science, policy, or public health. MPhil/PhD and MD(Res) research in IGH is varied and may have an international dimension, including field work carried out abroad, setting up a study within the UK, or using data from existing studies working with the respective IGH-based Principal Investigator.
 
The MPhil/PhD programme lasts three years, if taken full-time, or five years if part-time. With the support of their supervisory team, students finalise their research proposal during the first year, informed by the current literature and practice. It may also require collection of preliminary data or pilot questionnaires. 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.

The MD(Res) programme lasts for 2 years if taken part-time*. Arrangements similar to those for MPhil/PhD apply to those registering for MD(Res) degrees. Students register for an MD(Res) degree but, unlike the MPhil/PhD programme, there is no upgrade process.

Postgraduate research degrees students investigate a relatively narrow topic but may be examined on a broad field of study. Where students need to spend periods of time collecting data from overseas, that will contribute directly to their thesis, they may do so provided their study leave plans are approved in advance.

All postgraduate research students are expected to undertake 10 days of skills training each year over their 2-5 year programme, which is logged and audited electronically. This will include, for example, courses on research design and statistics, ethical and legal issues, presentation skills, thesis production and career planning.

For the MPhil/PhD degree, applicants must have a minimum of an upper second-class (2:1 or better) Bachelor’s degree and a Master's degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Applications from individuals who do not hold a Master's degree, but who have extensive relevant work experience, may also be considered.

For the MD(Res) degree, applicants must have obtained the MBBS degree, or some other registrable primary qualification in Medicine, and be eligible for full registration or hold limited registration with the General Medical Council (GMC); or have obtained the BDS degree or hold an equivalent dental qualification.

*Please note that international students with Tier 4 visa status are required to take the MD(Res) degree on a full-time basis (also for 2 years).

How to apply

If you would like to apply to undertake a postgraduate research degree at IGH, you first need to identify a suitable supervisor. Information on our research areas and supervisors can be found here. Contact academics whose subject areas align with your project and interests, and include a 3-4 page research proposal. You may also find it helpful to examine the Degree topics section, where you will find examples of the PhD and MD(Res) topics of current and past students. Before making an enquiry or applying, please read this document carefully. Once an academic has agreed to supervise you, please submit a formal online application to UCL for consideration. This must include your research proposal. The Departmental Graduate Tutor will arrange for the proposal to be reviewed by 2-3 independent academics, and an offer of a place will be made subject to these reviews, as well as the suitability of your academic background and writing skills. 

In your application (and any enquiry) please provide clear details about your funding status. If funding is not in place, be clear about your plans for funding applications and any timelines involved in knowing the outcome of these. Please also state if your proposed study plan includes periods of time spent overseas collecting study data (you should consult UCL's study leave regulations prior to setting out your study plan).

For your information, please see the UCL website for information on tuition fees and living expenses whilst in London.

You should also check the general entry requirements for Graduate Research Programmes, Information by Country, where applicable.  

For English language requirements, please also see the English Language Requirements page. Please note that the IELTS requirement for enrolling on a postgraduate research degree programme at IGH is “Good”, i.e. an overall grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the subtests.

Once we have received your application and your project proposal has been reviewed, we will be in contact as soon as possible to let you know the outcome. In the meantime, if you have any queries not addressed here please contact Matt Taylor, our Teaching Administrator.

Degree topics

Below are the research degree topics from current students:

Several of our PhD students are based within the Health Protection Research Unit in Blood Borne and Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Useful links and downloads

Guidance on writing a project proposal
Guidance on how to contact potential supervisors
Find a supervisor
IGH staff
Why study at UCL?
Global Health MPhil/PhD
Information on PhD fees, costs and funding
Information about scholarships and bursaries
Details on qualification and English language requirements
UCL Graduate Prospectus
IGH PhD student blog