MBPhD Programme


Prospective students

Course Summary

The MBPhD Programme at UCL covers the period of UCL MBBS Years 4, 5 and 6 and a UCL 3-year PhD.  The PhD is specifically integrated between the first and latter two years of clinical training as an introduction to clinical medicine is essential, as it focusses thoughts on potential translational benefits.

  • Students enter the clinical component of the programme (MBBS Year 4: Integrated Clinical Care) with their contemporaries, having already completed MBBS Years 1 and 2 (or equivalent) and an iBSc (or appropriate BSc, with a first or upper second class honours) at UCL, or another UK Medical School.
  • After completion of MBBS Year 4, MBPhD students divert to full-time research studies (PhD) for a period of three years*.
  • During the research component, a regular clinical teaching programme keeps students’ clinical skills and knowledge up-to-date.  
  • Re-entry into the MBBS Years 5 & 6 is contingent on satisfactory progress and submission of the PhD thesis. 
  • The PhD is undertaken within UCL and is normally within one of the Departments of the School of Life & Medical Sciences, which includes many world class institutes including the Institute of Child Health, the Institute of Neurology at Queen Square and the Institute of Ophthalmology at Moorfields.  Students can also choose projects at the Francis Crick Institute.
  • Students graduate with a UCL M.B B.S. and UCL PhD.

* Only in exceptional circumstances will a CRS year be granted.




The programme is only available to students who are currently undertaking a full 5 years' Primary Medical Qualification (MBBS, MBChB or equivalent) at a UK Medical School.


At the point of entry, all successful applicants:

  • will have completed the first two years of their primary medical qualification and;
  • will have achieved an upper second or first class honours degree (BSc/iBSc) and;
  • must be eligible to continue at their own Medical School

All external applicants must first apply successfully to transfer to UCL MBBS Year 4.

Please note that this list of criteria is not exhaustive – please contact the Programme Administrator for further information (carolyn.cohen@ucl.ac.uk)

Important Dates for Admission

September 2019 Entry

External Transfers into MBBS Year 4:4 January 2019
START DATE:September 2019

Please note that applications have now closed for September 2019 entry. The key dates for September 2020 entry will be advertised here in due course. 

The Francis Crick Institute PhD programme.

UCL MBBS students wishing to consider a PhD at the Francis Crick Institute (as part of the MBPhD programme) should ensure they apply to transfer to the MBPhD programme during their iBSc year as the Crick interviews take place annually in January.



Students should apply in the year prior to starting MBBS (or equivalent) Year 4; for most, this will be during their Intercalated BSc.

How To Apply

  1. The application pack can be downloaded (see application pack) or obtained in hard copy from the Programme Administrator.
  2. Applications must be signed and include:
  3. i) a copy of the application form,
    ii)  a copy of curriculum vitae,
    iii) references from iBSc/BSc project supervisor and pre-clinical/personal tutor or supervisor. You may supply an additional reference from another tutor who is able to comment on your abilities and suitablility for the programme.
  4. Applications submitted without the enclosures will be returned to the candidate; references sent under separate cover will be permitted.
  5. Submit three copies (1 x electronic [via email to carolyn.cohen@ucl.ac.uk] and 2 x hard copy) of the complete application including references and enclosures - the next application deadline will be Spring 2020 and the date will be advertised here:

MBPhD Programme Administration
UCL Dept. of Renal Medicine, Royal Free
1st Floor/ Room 1/670
Rowland Hill Street
London NW3 2PF


  • Applications must include two references: one from your iBSc/BSc project supervisor and one from pre-clinical tutor. 
  • One additional reference of your choice may be included with your application if this will appropriately support your application. The additional referee maybe a person who can comment on your laboratory skills/practical research ability if this was not the nature of your BSc. Alternatively, the referee maybe a person who can comment on any additional research that you may have undertaken that may be relevant or more recent for the interview panel to consider.

  • Referees may submit references directly to carolyn.cohen@ucl.ac.uk, but they must be submitted by the closing date. If references are being submitted directly, applicants must indicate this on the application form, otherwise it will be deemed that the applicant has failed to include them and the application is incomplete.


  • Current UCL students have the option of applying during MBBS Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care) to commence their PhD in the immediate following September.  These students will not be eligible to apply for a PhD at the Francis Crick Institute.


Application Pack

The application form and guidance notes for 2020 entry are currently being updated and will be uploaded here

CLOSING DATE FOR 2020 Entry Applications:  will be advertised here

Submit two hard copies of complete application and all enclosures (inc references) to:

MBPhD Programme Administration
UCL Dept. of Renal Medicine, Royal Free
1st Floor/Room 1670
Rowland Hill Street
London, NW3 2PF

plus via email to: carolyn.cohen@ucl.ac.uk

(Applications will be acknowledged via email within 2 days of receipt.)



Funding for Year 4 of the MBBS programme is through the Student Loans Company (SLC).  Funding for Years 5 and 6 of the MBBS programme is via the Government funding mechanisms (currently NHS Student Bursary) in place at the point at which students return to the MBBS. Applications to the SLC and NHS Bursary Office are the responsibility of each student and neither UCL nor the Medical School can intervene.  The MBPhD programme administration can provide documentation confirming that the MBPhD is offered as a single integrated degree programme and setting out the details of the periods of MBBS and PhD registration, but will be required to confirm the award date of the PhD as prior to, or within, the MBBS programme of study.

Project supervisors and MBPhD Programme Tutors will be able to help students identify potential sources of funding, external or internal, to apply for, once a project has been identified and agreed.  In the past, PhDs have been funded from a range of sources including University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, The Middlesex Hospital and Medical School General Charitable Trust, The Astor Foundation, CRUK, The Rosetrees Trust, The London Centre for Nanotechnology, and The International Journal of Experimental Medicine, AstraZeneca, UCL Division of Medicine, the St Peter's Trust for Kidney, Bladder and Prostate Research, the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Free Charitable Trust. Successful applicants can also apply for studentships at the Francis Crick Institute and other PhDs have been supported by grants directly made to the supervisors.

Studentship Budgets

Successful applications for funding will normally result in a studentship consisting of the following (these figures are used for all UCL hosted studentships. The maximum stipend to be paid to research students at UCL is the Wellcome Trust stipend rates:

  • Studentships are for 3 years
  • Include a stipend of approximately £17,000;
  • Include UCL home level fees
  • Include a contribution to laboratory costs (£1,200)

Students can also apply for a wide range of additional funding via the UCL Scholarships & Funding office

Student Finance England Doctoral Loan

A Postgraduate Doctoral Loan can help with course fees and living costs while you study a PhD. You can borrow up to £25,700 for your whole course for students starting after August 2019 (this amount is correct at the time of publication - September 2019).  You need to apply within 9 months of the first day of the last academic year of the course.  Full information on the loan can be found on the UK Government’s Doctoral Loan webpage and on UCL’s funding webpage

Francis Crick Institute


Applicants who are successful in gaining entry on to the UCL MB-PhD programme are invited to consider carrying out their PhD research at the Francis Crick Institute.
Interested applicants can find out more about these PhD programmes 

The Francis Crick Institute invites applications from 1st October to mid-November, with interviews in late January.

Applicants who would like to be considered for a Crick studentship must ensure they apply to the MBPhD programme prior to commencing MBBS Year 4