UCL Graduate degrees


British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD

This four-year PhD programme provides an opportunity for outstanding graduates with an interest in cardiovascular disease. You will study across different disciplines in a way that is not possible on a three-year PhD scheme. Studentships are awarded annually by the British Heart Foundation.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 21 January 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£25,730 (FT)

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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Tuition fees are funded at the home (UK/EU) rate set by UCL. Non-UK/EU applicants will need to show evidence of their ability to cover the difference between overseas and home fees for the duration of study (£19,010 in 2018/19).

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in an appropriate subject or medical degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised taught Master’s degree. Students also need to satisfy UK VI visa requirements.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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.

Select your country:


UCL is a world-class centre of excellence in cardiovascular research and medicine. Over 400 cardiovascular scientists and cardiologists undertake basic, clinical and population-based research to improve our understanding of disease and provide new diagnostics, therapies and preventative strategies. 

Research areas

The programme is themed around 4 key cardiovascular research strengths at UCL:

  • Fundamental Biology and Discovery Science
  • Therapeutic and Diagnostic Innovation
  • Populations Science and Experimental Medicine
  • Data Science and Health Informatics

The programme is led by the Institute of Cardiovascular Science, but students can and do undertake PhDs in other Faculties and Institutes. More information can be found on the Institute  website: British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD

More information can be found on the department website: British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD

About this degree

Structure of the 4-year programme

The first year of the programme provides postgraduate-level tuition in selected relevant topics, training in transferable research skills, and the opportunity to undertake three 12-week projects, working with cardiovascular scientists across UCL. These projects provide a basis for you to select a doctoral project and supervisors.

During your PhD thesis research, you will be encouraged to present your work at international meetings. PhD projects will cover the entire range of activity across the UCL campus, and so applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with our research.

As a postgraduate research student within the institute, you will have the opportunity to connect with cardiovascular scientists, and to form links with researchers in engineering, nanotechnology, chemistry and genetics. You will gain skills suitable for a career in research, the pharmaceutical industry or related fields.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Additional costs

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


This programme is funded by the British Heart Foundation.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


As well as post-doctoral fellowships (UK and abroad), UCL British Heart Foundation PhD students have gone on to form start-up companies, work for research organisations, teach, and work for Research Councils.


Our breadth allows engagement with colleagues with professional experience in imaging, regenerative medicine, genetics, epidemiology and translational cardiovascular genomics, prevention and outcomes, and cardiology. A PhD at ICS provides the student with an opportunity to consider cardiovascular disease from the bench to the bedside.


Our academics have numerous national and international collaborations with academic and commercial organisations, which provides students with broad opportunities for networking and career development.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Outstanding research opportunities

University College London (UCL) offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of Cardiovascular Biomedicine. The Institute of Cardiovascular Science was set up in 2011 and is a centre of excellence in preventative and therapeutic cardiovascular medicine. Our academic staff have international reputations and ICS provides a stimulating academic setting. Research labs are well-funded and equipped, so that PhD students have the best chance of getting off to a productive start straightaway. 

Cultural and social opportunities provided by London

UCL is located in Bloomsbury, close to the entertainment areas of the West End and South Bank which are home to an enormous range of music, art, theatre and film venues, and a vast number of restaurants and bars. London is extremely socially diverse: most PhD students rapidly establish a thriving social life.

Pastoral care

Throughout the 4 years, all student's progress will be monitored and assessed by a committee responsible for the training provided. Students will be integrated into the community of cardiovascular researchers at UCL by participation in journal clubs, symposia, seminars and social events. Career advice will be given in the last year.

Department: Institute of Cardiovascular Science

What our students and staff say

Staff review

"UCL has a strong international reputation in both teaching and research; the breadth of research and subjects, as well as its strong links to several hospitals in London, is second to none. This combination makes UCL a unique environment in which to learn and/or carry out translational research in experimental medicine. The latter has been possible by forging active collaborations with hospital-based clinicians and scientists at the Royal Free Hospital, Great Ormond Street and UCLH."

Professor Lucie Clapp

Cardiovascular Science MSc, Clinical and Experimental Medicine: Translational Clinical Science MSc, British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD
UCL Institute of Cardiovascular Science
Student review

"I love London and have now been here seven years. Coming from a small town in Ireland I love the diversity here. I have thoroughly enjoyed work with international colleagues at UCL and I don't think I would have had the opportunity to work with such a diverse group in Ireland. "

Ruth Hackett

British Heart Foundation Cardiovascular Biomedicine PhD

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
21 January 2021

Requests for further information should be emailed to bhf4yr@ucl.ac.uk. For more information on the application process see our Applications page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021