UCL Institute of Health Informatics


Postgraduate research programmes

The vision of UCL Institute of Health Informatics is to conduct high-quality research that leverages health informatics approaches at local, national and international levels.

Summary of content

  1. Key Information
  2. Overview and Research Areas
  3. Funding
  4. Careers
  5. Why study this degree at UCL?
  6. Application and next steps

Key information

UCL has prepared a guide for the process of applying for a PhD in any department.

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 3 years
  • Part-time: 5 years

Programme start date

September 2019

Tuition Fees (2018/19)

  • UK/EU: £5,240 (FT) £2,700 (PT)
  • Overseas: £24,250 (FT) £12,110 (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.

Application dates

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. A relevant Master’s degree from an appropriately accredited institution is desirable.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on the UCL English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list available here.

Overview and Research Areas

We offer a range of research areas related to health data, information and technology. Research activities are diverse and reflect the challenges within heath informatics. Our research programmes are underpinned by excellent secure data infrastructure; adding value to key linked data resources to make data research-ready; development of multidisciplinary methodological expertise; engagement with patients, the public and health services; and strong local, national and international academic partnerships and excellent multidisciplinary training programmes.

Research areas

  • Discovery science
  • Precision medicine
  • Learning health systems
  • Citizen-driven health 
  • Electronic health records and clinical knowledge management
  • Clinical decision support
  • e-health and m-health
  • Public health informatics
  • Informatics for the epidemiology of coronary disease


ESRC, MRC, NIHR, Cancer Research UK, Diabetes UK, Wellcome Trust, National School of Primary Care, British Heart Foundation and industry studentships have been secured in prior years. Prospective research students should contact the institute tutor (research) to enquire about further funded opportunities. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Students graduating in the last three years have secured employment in local and central government, NHS Trusts and hospitals, clinical trial units and health roles in the public and private sector, as well as research posts at UCL and other higher education institutions.


The institute offers world-class education and training. It manages many of the UK’s largest, most comprehensive longitudinal data sets, and evaluates strategies for the prevention and treatment of physical and mental ill-health. It carries out innovative work on behaviour change, on the practice of primary care as well as leading applied health and health policy research. The institute produces graduates with the skills and knowledge sought after by government departments and public sector organisations worldwide, as well as leading academic institutions.


The institute’s research departments collaborate with third-sector and governmental organisations, as well as members of the media, both nationally and internationally to ensure the highest possible impact of their work beyond the academic community. Students are encouraged to do internships with relevant organisations where funding permits. Members of staff also collaborate closely with academics from leading institutions globally.

Why study this degree at UCL?

As a PhD student at the institute, you will be supported to learn new skills and broaden your professional networks in this fastgrowing area of health. You will benefit from our world-class research environment and be supported by multidisciplinary supervisory teams. You will also have access to a sophisticated digital infrastructure and exposure to several key large, longitudinal cohort and panel studies, which are lead by the institute.

You will attend specialised courses as appropriate and participate in research seminars. There is an active PhD group who organise a variety of events, including presentations, writing workshops and social events.

What our students and staff say

Student review: "I have an opportunity to do a professional internship, as there was a possibility to apply for the BBSRC LIDo programme. Networking opportunities are a key part of my programme.The structure of the programme makes it easy to build a network of people that I could potentially collaborate with in the future. I like the size of UCL and the fact regardless of its size students are treated as individuals. Doing a PhD at UCL is both easy and pleasant."

SUVI HARMALA, Health Informatics PhD 

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application.