UCL Graduate degrees


Child Health MPhil/PhD

Our PhD research programme provides excellent training, giving you comprehensive opportunities in fundamental and translational research of childhood health and disease. The UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UCL GOS ICH) aims to produce highly employable post-doctoral graduates with an ambitious and resilient outlook and experience in core research skills, collaboration and networking.

Key information

Programme starts

Research programmes may start at any time of the year, but typically begin in September.

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£25,730 (FT)
£12,840 (PT)

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

Science graduates must have an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree (or equivalent work experience) in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Clinical candidates must have a registerable qualification appropriate to the programme to be followed in Medicine, Dentistry or Veterinary Studies.

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:


The UCL GOS ICH mission is to improve the health and wellbeing of children and the adults they will become, through world-class research, education and public engagement. This includes pursuing an integrated, multidisciplinary approach to the understanding, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of childhood diseases. We cover the full spectrum of research that is relevant to child health, from genetic and molecular-based science through clinical research to population and applied health research. This facilitates interdisciplinary work and the flexibility for development of new areas of investigation. Our close partnership with Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children means that much of our research and teaching is carried out jointly and is translationally relevant. You will benefit from excellent facilities in both laboratory and non-laboratory subjects, including the Zayed Centre for Research into Rare Diseases in Children.

Research areas

The institute has academic Research & Teaching Departments that provide very broad opportunities to study with world-class experts in the research areas below:

  • Developmental biology, birth defects research, childhood cancer, stem cells and regenerative medicine
  • Developmental neurosciences (clinical, cognitive and molecular), neuropsychiatry, developmental imaging and biophysics
  • Genetics and Genomics Medicine, including inborn errors of metabolism, molecular basis of rare diseases, genome biology and precision medicine and cilia disorders
  • Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation, including immunobiology, immunology, rheumatology, respiratory medicine, critical care and physiotherapy
  • Population, Policy and Practice, including clinical and life-course epidemiology, nutrition, mental health, palliative care and biostatistics
More information can be found on the department website: Child Health MPhil/PhD

About this degree

Additional costs

A minority of PhD students may have to pay an Additional Fee Element (AFE), also known as a bench fee.  The AFE covers additional costs which are not included in the tuition fees, for example, consumables, field trips, specialist equipment and materials but not student visas.  Each PhD project is unique and therefore your academic supervisor will be able to confirm whether or not an AFE is to be charged and, if so, the level of AFE to be paid each year.  You can also contact the GOS ICH Research Degrees Office for guidance.  If an AFE is to be charged, the level of AFE will be confirmed in your offer letter.  Further information on the five bands for AFE charges can be found under Fees and costs - See, "What is the Additional Fee Element (AFE?)".

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.


A number of studentships are available for MPhil/PhD research including 4-6 studentships funded by the Child Health Research CIO annually - see 'PhD Studentships' on the UCL GOS ICH 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.


Non-clinical PhD graduates typically move on to grant-funded postdoctoral research positions or fellowships either at UCL or other national or international institutions. Clinical PhD graduates usually go on to complete their clinical and/or research training, and many progress on to successful academic clinical careers.


Our programmes produce highly employable graduates. You will be trained to the highest research standards and benefit from the UCL Doctoral Skills Development Programme.


A modern research career is based on research skills and collaboration. Effective networking skills also greatly benefit students in their future careers. To instil these, students are supervised by internationally recognised and well-connected research leaders.  As a PhD student at GOS ICH, you will be given the opportunity to attend and present at local, national and international scientific meetings, workshops and conferences where networking is developed with peers and research leaders in academia, medicine and the private sector.  You may also have the opportunity to visit overseas academic institutions, for example through collaborative student exchanges or travel fellowships.

Why study this degree at UCL?

As a promising student with a first-class or upper second-class bachelors degree, and normally a Masters degree, the Child Health Research PhD programme will provide you with excellent training to PhD level. We are committed to high quality postgraduate education with a diverse range of study opportunities, and have a strong track record of training and support for students and supervisors. A wide range of projects are available for prospective PhD students who are either self-funding or who can secure sponsorship for 3-4 years; examples of currently available projects at UCL GOS ICH can be found on ICH Unfunded Project Portfolio.

You will be undertaking a PhD at an institution that is internationally recognised for its fundamental, translational and clinical research and which, together with its partner Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, forms the largest concentration of children’s health research in Europe. You will also benefit from joining one of the largest research student cohorts at UCL, allowing you to participate in Institute-level skills training as well as the world-class training provided by the Doctoral School.   

Department: Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health

What our students and staff say

Student review

"I have taken part in several UCL/ICH open days and the annual UCL neuroscience symposium. I have also attended NIHR training days which I have access to as a part of my PhD funding. These have all given me valuable opportunities to meet other PhD students, researchers and clinicians both within my research area and across different ones."

Hanna Sakki

Child Health MPhil/PhD
Staff review

"I work at the Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health and I was primarily attracted to take up my position here due to the internationally recognised excellence in epidemiological research in infections in pregnancy and childhood at the Institute. Being in London and the geographic proximity to certain research partners and clinical networks, such as Public Health England. My research has focused on the epidemiology of viral infections with respect to maternal and child health, with a particular emphasis on HIV, viral hepatitis and, more recently, arboviruses. I recently started a new programme of work on zika virus and other arboviruses (dengue, chikungunya) in pregnancy and childhood within the EU-funded ZIKAction consortium."

Professor Claire Thorne

Departmental Graduate Tutor (Research)

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
30 July 2021

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the GOS ICH Research Degrees Office or Research & Teaching Department to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021