Developmental Neuroscience and Mental Health MPhil/PhD

London, King's Cross (Anna Freud Centre) and Yale University (USA)

The UCL-Yale Doctoral Training Programme in Developmental Neuroscience and Mental Health is a unique graduate program for exceptional students in the field of developmental psychology, neuroscience, and mental health. It brings together two of the world's leading research universities, with an outstanding track record of research across these domains in partnership with the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families and the Child Study Centre at Yale.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
See Fees Note
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
See Fees Note
4 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 15 Jan 2023

Applications closed

Entry requirements

Applicants must offer one of the following: i) an upper second-class Honours degree of a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard obtained after a programme of study extending over not less than three years in a university (or educational institution of university rank), in a subject appropriate to that of the programme to be followed; ii) a registrable qualification appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a UK university; or a qualification of an equivalent standard appropriate to the programme to be followed awarded by a university (or educational institution of university rank) outside the UK; iii) a Master's degree from a UK University in a subject appropriate to the programme to be followed; iv) a professional or other qualification obtained by written examinations and approved by UCL as an appropriate entrance qualification for the MPhil or PhD degree in question.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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

The programme provides students with a PhD track in which they can conduct collaborative research between two laboratories, one at UCL, the other at Yale. Students are registered with UCL and will work towards receiving a PhD in Developmental Neuroscience and Mental Health from UCL in four years or less.

The programme offers some flexibility, with the schedule for each student dictated by the demands of their research, and students will spend approximately the same amount of time in their UCL and Yale labs.

Who this course is for

This programme is for students interested in understanding mechanisms related to mental health problems and how this can be leveraged to improve diagnosis, prevention or intervention in developmental populations. Students typically aim for a career in research going on to postdoctoral positions. Some might go on to do Clinical Doctorates pursuing a clinical career.

What this course will give you

For the first two years the programme is based at UCL's Division for Psychology and Language Sciences and the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families in London, a world-renowned centre for research, training and clinical practice in the field of child mental health. Distinctive features include teaching by highly experienced clinicians and researchers working in the field of child mental health; the opportunity to develop clinical skills for working with children; practical training in conducting research in clinical settings. 

Students on this programme will spend Years Three and Four with a mentor and secondary supervisor at Yale's Child Study Centre, a world-leading centre for research on developmental psychopathology and partner institution of UCL and the Anna Freud Centre. Students will be able to benefit from a highly collaborative international research context.

At both UCL and Yale, students will work closely with one or more supervisors and in some cases, be part of a group (Lab or Centre) which will support them to develop each stage of their research; have access to specialist research seminars across all UCL and Yale departments; and join a vibrant and active community of doctoral students.

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this programme are expected to go on to areas including further academia, research, clinical work, or further professional training e.g. doctoral training / DClinPsy.


Psychology doctoral graduates progress to a range of career paths in: academia (both as university teachers and researchers); local and national government contexts supporting work related to education and psychology in the fields of policy and planning; school leadership; public sector research or clinical professions.


All three institutions involved in this programme offer regular seminar series on a wide range of topics and each of the centres have separate specialist seminars. Doctoral students participate in active student seminar groups and we also hold specific support working seminars for doctoral students to enhance presentation skills before upgrades and vivas. Opportunities for networking are ample and supported.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

The programme will conduct leading research into identifying developmental processes at a biological, neural and cognitive level that drive and maintain symptoms of mental health illness during childhood and adolescence into adulthood. The programme will draw on UCL’s and Yale’s world-leading neuroscience and mental health science, including research in: cellular and systems neuroscience, pharmacology, cognitive neuroscience and neuroimaging, cognitive psychology, and developmental psychology, psychopathology and neuroscience.


      Year 1 – Begin initial stages of research at UCL and develop research idea
      Year 2 – Begin collaborative lab project and complete MPhil upgrade
      Year 3 – Travel to Yale and continue collaborative lab project
      Year 4 – Complete and submit research project; PhD Viva at UCL


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble 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
Tuition fees (2023/24) See Fees Note
Tuition fees (2023/24) See Fees Note

Fees for this programme are available on request from the department.

Additional costs

With the studentship, covering both a student stipend as well as UCL fees comes a budget for travel to and from Yale, health insurance for the US as well as research expenses.

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

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

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.