Postgraduate research degrees
Our research spans the whole spectrum of basic and clinical research into neurological disorders, and we have extensive collaborations with both the UCL Neuroscience Domain and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.
We offer full time and part time MPhil/PhD study (usually three years/five years) and MD (Res) study (minimum registration period of two years). Find details of one-off funded MPhil/PhD projects on our Vacancies page.
- Academic Neurorehabilitation PhD programme
- UCL Wellcome 4 year PHD Mental Health Science
- UCL Wellcome Optical Biology PhD programme
- UCL-Birkbeck Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Medical Research Council
- London Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
- Doctoral Programme of the Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research
- Leverhulme Doctoral Training Programme for the Ecological Study of the Brain
- Doctoral degrees within the neuroscience domain
Further info and how to apply
- Entry requirements
For MPhil/PhD we require a UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, awarded with first or upper second-class honours, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a university or educational institution of university rank, or a recognised taught Master’s degree.
To be admitted onto this course you must provide recent evidence that your spoken and written command of the English language is at the required level. You must achieve at least a standard level of proficiency on the IELTS English language test or an acceptable equivalent. For more information please visit the UCL English language requirement pages.
- Application deadlines
PhD applications are currently accepted throughout the academic year.
From academic year 2021/2022, there will be three entry points for research students:
- Application deadline for start of Academic Year (27 September 2021): 30 July 2021
- Application deadline for start date of 1 February 2022: 1 December 2021
- Application deadline for start date of 25 April 2022: 25 February 2022
*For students who require a tier 4 visa, we recommend applying at least three months in advance of your preferred start date to allow adequate time for application processing.
- How to apply
If you are a current student you can find information relating to studying for an MPhil/PhD on our Moodle page.
For the majority of PhD programmes, you will need to have a research topic, supervisor and funding confirmed before submitting an application. Take a look at our list of principal investigators to find out about their research fields and contact them directly regarding PhD postions that they offer. For more information see UCL's guide for applying for a research programme.
We advise that you apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
- Monitoring and assessment
You will have five formal thesis committee meetings spread out over the duration of your research degree. You will also have access to a wide range of training courses offered by UCL's graduate school and your department, as well as being encouraged to attend conferences and external meetings.
Transfer from MPhil to PhD: this takes between months 12-18 for full time students, and between months 18 and 42 for part time students.
- Graduate tutors
Each of our research departments has its own research departmental tutor (who is available for pastoral as well as scientific support) who reports to the departmental graduate tutor (who is there for pastoral as well as scientific support) at formal committee meetings four times a year.
- Institute of Neurology departmental graduate tutor: Prof Steve Kennerley
- Brain Repair and Rehabilitation: Dr Dave Thomas
- Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy: Prof Louis Lemieux
- Clinical and Movement Neurosciences: Prof Sven Bestmann (QS Campus) and Dr Jan-Willem Taanman (Royal Free Campus)
- Neuromuscular Diseases: Dr Magda Bictash, Dr Rob Pitceathly and Professor Paul Whiting
- Neurodegenerative Disease - HD: Dr Rachael Scahill
- Neurodegenerative Disease - DRC: Dr Jo Barnes
- Neurodegenerative Disease - Brain Bank: Dr Tammaryn Lashley
- Neuroinflammation: Prof Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott
- Imaging Neuroscience: Prof John Ashburner
- UK DRI at UCL: Dr Frances Wiseman
Why do a PhD?
Meet the researcher
"UCL Brain Sciences consists of internationally renowned scientists who contribute to ground-breaking discoveries and offers world-class facilities not found under one hood elsewhere in the world."
"I deeply appreciate the meritocracy and transparency that characterise learning and research at UCL and, more generally, in the UK."