Clinical Trials and Methodology MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM) is a centre of excellence for clinical trials, methodology, meta-analysis and epidemiological research. This programme aims to train and mentor the next generation of trialists and methodologists, by placing students within a UCL clinical trials unit to work alongside researchers and trial teams.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£5,690
£2,845
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£26,500
£13,230
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September.
Applications accepted
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree and/or a Master’s degree (preferably with a merit or distinction) in a relevant discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

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: Standard

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

ICTM has a particular focus on developing and delivering innovations in methodology that improve clinical trials, meta-analysis and epidemiological studies. The institute collaborates with national and international partners, which ensures student projects have immediate relevance and application. Recent graduates have secured employment in clinical trials units, academic research departments and the pharmaceutical industry.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

ICTM has highly rated expertise in the field of clinical trials, with a combined team of over 400 clinicians, statisticians, clinical trials specialists and researchers working together with clinical staff to improve outcomes for patients.

As a PhD/MPhil student at ICTM, you will receive direct supervision by world-class scientists and clinicians and be based within a clinical trials unit, which allows daily interaction with researchers and trial teams. ICTM provides a unique opportunity to study in an environment where important trials are conducted alongside research into their methodology, and where each directly informs the other.

The foundation of your career

Employability

Graduates are likely to pursue careers as researchers or managers in a clinical trials unit, a pharmaceutical company, or another health research environment.

Networking

The programme provides an environment which enables you to interact and engage with other research fellows and students within UCL Faculty of Population Health Sciences and the wider UCL community.

The clinical trials units within the institute collaborate with other researchers both nationally and internationally and run weekly seminars, often inviting high-profile speakers. Academics also have close links with industry and government organisations which provide excellent opportunities for networking.

Teaching and learning

Students initially register on the MPhil pathway and are expected to upgrade to PhD within 9-18 months of registration. For Part time students this is between 15-30 months. Further details of the upgrade process can be found here.

Research areas and structure

  • Clinical Trials
  • Epidemiology
  • Meta-analysis
  • Methodology
  • Statistics

Research environment

The UCL Institute of Clinical Trials and Methodology (ICTM) is a centre of excellence for clinical trials, methodology, meta-analysis and epidemiological research. Comprised of four clinical trials units ICTM has the largest group of trialists – approximately 400 - in Europe.

ICTM is at the forefront of resolving internationally important questions in the treatment of some of the major illnesses and conditions affecting our lives. Our trials teams conduct studies across a range of disease areas, and have expertise in a range of trials types - from early to late phase trials, and from simple to complex interventions. In addition, we have a particular focus on developing and delivering innovations in trial methodology, to speed up the process for testing new therapies.

This PhD programme aims to train and mentor the next generation of trialists and methodologists, by placing you within a UCL clinical trials unit to work alongside researchers and trial teams. Your research will make an original contribution, typically addressing an important question of how clinical trials should be designed, conducted or analysed, grounded in one or more of our internationally relevant clinical trials. Students present their work to each other, and we have weekly institute seminars covering our wide range of research, including aspects of methodology relevant to you. The institute runs an MSc programme in Clinical Trials and as a PhD student you can attend selected modules to enhance your training, and may also have the opportunity to assist with teaching.

Full-time

The length of registration for the research degree programme is 3 years for full-time students. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration. Within three months of joining the programme, you are expected to agree with your supervisory team the basic structure of your research project, the appropriate methodology, and a realistic plan of work to include any training that you require.

In your second year you will be expected to upgrade from an MPhil to a PhD. You are required to submit a report, often based around one chapter from your thesis, and a plan for the remainder. You are also required to give a presentation advertised across ICTM, and then answer questions about your work to a panel consisting of your secondary supervisor and an expert in the field who acts as an independent assessor.

As your research progresses you will discuss with your supervisors whether to submit any of your work to an academic journal for publication, and whether to submit your work to be presented at a relevant academic conference.

The PhD programme is expected to be completed within three years for full-time students. If you are not ready to submit at the end of this time, you may be able to transfer to Completing Research Status.

Part-time

The length of registration for the research degree programme is 5 years for part-time students. You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 9-18 months after initial registration. Within three months of joining the programme, you are expected to agree with your supervisory team the basic structure of your research project, the appropriate methodology, and a realistic plan of work to include any training that you require.

In your second year you will be expected to upgrade from an MPhil to a PhD. You are required to submit a report, often based around one chapter from your thesis, and a plan for the remainder. You are also required to give a presentation advertised across ICTM, and then answer questions about your work to a panel consisting of your secondary supervisor and an expert in the field who acts as an independent assessor.

As your research progresses you will discuss with your supervisors whether to submit any of your work to an academic journal for publication, and whether to submit your work to be presented at a relevant academic conference.

The PhD programme is expected to be completed over five years for part-time students. If you are not ready to submit at the end of this time, you may be able to transfer to Completing Research Status.

Accessibility

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.


Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £26,500 £13,230

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Seasonly the Institute may offer studentships for particular projects which provide full cover for UK tuition fees and stipend in line with UKRI guidelines, please contact the administrator for details of these.

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

Funding your studies

MRC-funded PhD Studentships are offered from time to time, as well as other funding schemes. Please check the ICTM website for further details or contact the Institute Administrator.

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

Next steps

Research degrees may start at any time of the year, but typically start in September. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the Institute Administrator to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. You should identify and contact potential supervisors directly before making your application if you are able but otherwise please contact the Institute Administrator to let them know your research interests and they will assist you. Some applicants develop a brief research proposal before making enquiries but this is not necessary and some research projects are developed by supervisors or by applicant and supervisor jointly. For more information see our How to apply page.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

This page was last updated 28 Sep 2021