UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Postgraduate research degrees

  • Full time MPhil/PhD: usually 3 years
  • Part time MPhil/PhD: usually 5 years
  • MD (Res): minimum registration period of 2 years

Details of one-off funded MPhil/PhD projects available at the Institute are published on the Vacancies Page. Please refer to the Research Departments page for an outline of the research groups at the Institute.

Closing date for applications: PhD applications are currently accepted throughout the academic year, but there are three starting dates for new students. For the academic year 2021/2022, the three start dates for research students are:

Start Date

Application Deadline*

Start of Academic Year - 27 September 2021

30 July 2021

1 February 2022

1 December 2021

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.

Over 98% Graduate Employment Rate

Nearly all of our postgraduate graduates found graduate level employment within six months of completing their studies.
Postgraduate research students: 98.5% in graduate level work six months after completion – median salary £42,000*

(*Figures from Destination of Leavers from Higher Education study published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency for 2016/7)

Programme Structure

Key Information

Tuition Fees (2019/20)
£5365 (FT) £2685 (PT)
£25900 (FT) £12960 (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 Current Students website.
Location: London, Bloomsbury
Entry Requirements

A first or an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised taught Master’s degree, is required. In some areas of clinical research, General Medical Council (GMC) registration may also be required.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in English in a majority English speaking country within the last two years, 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 our 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 below.

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Monitoring & Assessment

Each research department 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. Students starting from September 2019 are required to have thesis committees meetings which consists of five formal meetings spread out over the duration of the research degree. Students are able to attend a wide range of training courses offered by the Graduate School and local department, as well as being encouraged to attend conferences and external meetings.

Transfer from MPhil to PhD: between months 12-18 for full time students, and between months 18 and 42 for part time students.

For additional information please visit our FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page

Contact: ion.educationunit@ucl.ac.uk

Entry Requirements

For MPhil/PhD: 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, is required.

See Applications tab for more information, including how to apply.

English Language requirement

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 and next steps


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. For the majority of PhD programmes, you will need to have a research topic, supervisor and funding confirmed before submitting an application. You can search UCL academics via UCL IRIS to find out their research fields and contact them directly regarding PhD postions that they offer.

Application deadlines

The four-year PhD starts in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit (contact listed in Next steps, right) 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. To gain entry on to Clinical Neurosciences PhD applications are invited in October/November each year with interviews in January.


For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now
Your Career


Students at the institute go on to further study at doctoral level, begin medical studies, start careers in basic science, combine study with paid research or clinical fellowships, and continue their medical careers through core and speciality training.

Recent career destinations for this degree
  • Biological Scientist, Eli Lilly
  • Scientist, Headspace
  • Clinical Lecturer in Neurology, King's College London

Students at the UCL Institute of Neurology are ideally placed to exploit the opportunities for career progression which arise from studying in a well-funded national and international centre of excellence. Doctoral students go on to become early career researchers. Clinicians combine research fellowships with PhD studies and enter core or specialty training in the London, or other Deaneries on completion. It is the possibility of transition from postgraduate student to early career researcher or specialist neurologist which makes studying at Queen Square so attractive.


Students are given the opportunity to present their research, alongside their peers studying for PhDs, at the well-regarded annual Queen Square Symposium.  Doctoral students are all encouraged to attend national and international conferences during their studies, with their travel funded by grants, awards or bursaries. Students at all levels are supervised by, and work alongside internationally renowned scientists and clinical academics, who are often leaders in their field.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.



Enrolled students

For all information relating to studying for an MPhil/PhD at the UCL Institute of Neurology please visit the UCL Institute of Neurology Research students Moodle page

Graduate tutors

Each of the Institute's research departments has its own Research Department Graduate Tutor (see below). The overall Departmental Graduate Tutor (DGT) for the Institute of Neurology is Prof Steve Kennerley.

Research Department

Research Departmental Tutor

Institute of Neurology DGT

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) & Dr Jan-Willem Taanman (Royal Free Campus)


Neuromuscular Diseases

Dr Magda BictashDr Rob Pitceathly & Professor Paul Whiting


Neurodegenerative Disease - HD

Dr Rachael Scahill


Neurodegenerative Disease - DRC

Dr Jo Barnes

Neurodegenerative Disease - Brain Bank

Dr Tammaryn Lashley



Prof Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott


Imaging Neuroscience

Prof John Ashburner

UK DRI at UCLDr Frances Wiseman