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). 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.
- 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 positions 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 Tammaryn Lashley
- 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: Prof Pietro Fratta, Dr Rob Pitceathly and Prof Pedro Machado
- Neurodegenerative Disease - HD: Dr Rachael Scahill
- Neurodegenerative Disease - DRC: Dr Dave Cash
- Neurodegenerative Disease - Brain Bank: Prof Gill Bates
- Neuroinflammation: Dr Declan Chard
- Imaging Neuroscience: Prof John Ashburner
- UK DRI at UCL: Dr Frances Wiseman
- Application deadlines
The Queen Square Institute of Neurolgy accepts new PhD students at three points throughout the academic year.
For the 2022/23 academic year, the entry points are as follows:
26 September 2022
Application deadline: 30 June 2022
1 February 2023
Application deadline: 30 October 2022
1 May 2023
Application deadline: 30 January 2023
For the 2023/24 academic year, the entry points are as follows:
25 September 2023
Application deadline: 30 June 2023
1 February 2024
Application deadline: 30 October 2023
1 May 2024
Application deadline: 30 January 2024
- How does the IoN support their students?
From the student's first day, the IoN has several support systems in place for students. Each PhD student cohort is invited to the PhD induction programme which consists of several events including:
- PhD Student Induction
- Ten Steps to Success in your PhD
- Time and Supervisor Management
- Scientific Writing Skills
- Academic Presentation Skills
- Active Bystander Training
There is also an IoN PhD buddy scheme for new PhD students. This is particularly useful for students who are new to UCL or the IoN and would like to have a point of contact who knows the IoN well and has already completed the first year of their PhD. The new student will be paired with a year 2 PhD student and the aim of the scheme is to provide guidance during the first year of the PhD and provide some tips on the best way to settle in and make the most of the IoN.
For each student cohort, there is the opportunity to engage in some social activities such as pub quizzes, away days etc. This is led by an experienced PhD student or a postdoctoral researcher and will contribute to enriching the first year of each student's PhD even further.
In addition to all of the above activities, the Student Union, Doctoral School and Faculty of Brain Sciences also host their own induction events for research students so there are plenty of opportunities to meet a wide range of students across UCL.
For academic support and pastoral care, each student is allocated a Research Department Graduate Tutor (RDGT) who is independent from the Supervisory team and will be able to provide confidential space to listen to any concerns or answer any questions.
Why do a PhD?
Meet the researcher
Fahm Deen, PhD, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
"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."
Claudia Cannavo, PhD student, UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
"I deeply appreciate the meritocracy and transparency that characterise learning and research at UCL and, more generally, in the UK."