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) at UCL, or other 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 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.


*CRS: Students that have completed their approved period of PhD registration (3 years) may register as CRS students while they write up their theses. CRS students have continued access to UCL facilities and are not required to pay fees for this period. 




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


At the point of entry, successful applicants will have:

  • completed the first two years of a full 5 years’ primary medical qualification and;
  • achieved an upper second or first class honours degree (or iBSc).


Non-UCL applicants must have completed, in the UK, 2 years of an equivalent undergraduate medical degree programme and an intercalated BSc, or have entered and completed 2 years of an equivalent undergraduate medical degree programme as a graduate entrant with a BSc which meets UCL regulations for iBSc exemption, and must be eligible to continue at their own Medical School.


The candidate must satisfy the UCL MBBS academic and non-academic entry requirements.


Students who are following an accelerated graduate medical programme are not eligible to transfer to UCL's  MBPhD programme. 
(The first two years of accelerated graduate courses are not equivalent to the first two years of UCL's 6 year MBBS programme, which is a regulatory requirement for transfer to the MBBS at UCL.)


At present, College regulations preclude transfers from medical schools outside the United Kingdom.
Important Dates for Admission

September 2019 Entry

OPEN DAYNovember/December 2018 TBC
External Transfers into MBBS Year 4:4th January 2019
START DATE:September 2019

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 BSc project supervisor and pre-clinical/personal tutor or supervisor.
  4. Applications submitted without the enclosures will be returned to the candidate.
  5. Submit three copies (1 x electronic [via email to s.beesley@ucl.ac.uk] and 2 x hard copy) of the complete application including references and enclosures by the deadline of Monday 5th March 2018 at 12noon to:

Ms Susan Beesley
MBPhD Programme Administration
(Room 238, The Medical School Building)
University College London
Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT


  • Applications must include two references: one from your iBSc 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 s.beesley@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.


Must apply for, and receive an offer of a place in UCL MBBS Year 4 and submit a separate application for entry for the MBPhD programme.
Closing date for applications to transfer to UCL MBBS: 4th January each year.

Transfer eligibility:

  • must have completed, in the UK, 2 years of an equivalent undergraduate medical degree programme and an intercalated BSc, 
  • or have entered and completed 2 years of an equivalent undergraduate medical degree programme as a graduate entrant with a BSc which meets UCL regulations for iBSc exemption, 
  • and must be eligible to continue at their own Medical School.

Applicants should submit:

  •  an application form
  • a statement setting out their reasons for seeking to transfer
  • a letter from their Medical School confirming that they have permission to apply
  • a full academic transcript
  • a summary of the curriculum followed in their first 2 years of study
Applicants will be required to attend an interview and, if offered a place, will be asked to provide evidence of their DBS and OH records
Applications should be submitted to s.woods@ucl.ac.uk by 4th January each year and interviews will normally be held in late January/early February
Application Pack



CLOSING DATE FOR 2019 Entry Applications:  TBC
Submit two hard copies of complete application and all enclosures (inc references) to:

Ms Susan Beesley,
MBPhD Programme Administration
(Room 238, The Medical School Building)
University College London,
Gower Street,
London WC1E 6BT

plus via email to: s.beesley@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 Loan 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.

PhDs have been funded from a range of sources including an allocation from the Middlesex Hospital Medical School General Charitable Trust, a generous grant from the Biomedical Research Centre, The Astor Foundation, the Rosetrees Trust, the Sackler Trust and The International Journal of Experimental Pathology. Successful applicants can also apply for funded studentships at the Francis Crick Institute and other PhDs have been supported by grants directly made to the supervisors.  Project supervisors and MBPhD Programme Tutors will be able to help the student identify potential sources of funding, external or internal, to apply for, once a project has been identified and agreed.

Studentship Budgets

The following 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 £16,500;
  • 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

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.