UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



The SenSyT (Sensory Systems, Technologies & Therapies) PhD and MRes programmes are part of a multi-disciplinary research network dedicated to the study of auditory and visual systems and their disorders.

SenSyT at UCL
We harness the broad range of research disciplines and experimental approaches available at UCL to advance basic and translational research into sensory function and tackle the scientific, and biomedical, challenges of human sensory health. Graduates from these programmes will possess not only a strong record of original research but also an interdisciplinary outlook and increased awareness of clinical need, the commercial sector, ethics and clinical trials.

The rising prevalence of neurosensory diseases, which impair our ability to sense the world around us, is one of the major threats to human well-being. Of all the senses it is arguably those of vision and hearing that bear the major global burden. Our eyes and ears are not only vital components of virtually all forms of human communication but they also, crucially, provide us with a distinct sense of space, thereby directly enabling human mobility and independence.

The dual approach of the SenSyT programmes, covering both the auditory and the visual system is explicitly designed to exploit the vast molecular and functional, similarities between the two modalities ranging from broadly overlapping developmental networks to multi-sensory perception. The degree of evolutionary conservation between auditory and visual systems also particularly benefits the use of various scientific models from the human to the fruit fly.

Important features of these programmes are training elements that extend beyond the traditional single-laboratory based model of a research degree to assure a broad knowledge of sensory systems and their diseases, as well as an understanding of the specific scientific, technological and experimental challenges in these domains. Training will also incorporate areas such as enterprise, public engagement and clinical-research pipelines.            

It is its unique design that extends SenSyT’s scope- and impact- from the most fundamental research all the way through to the most advanced sensory therapies and technologies, including e.g. behavioural, neuroprosthetic, gene-therapeutical and stem cell-based approaches.

Programme Directors


For further information about SenSyT and to find out how to apply, please email sensyt@ucl.ac.uk.