This programme offers a unique environment with one of the largest and strongest concentrations of high-quality developmental and stem cell biologists anywhere in the world. For more details please see our departmental website: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/study/phd/cdb
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2019/20)
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.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised Master’s degree in an appropriate subject.
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
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
This programme provides training at the interface between developmental and stem cell biology and can be taken in either three or four years. The four year version includes a first year with rotations in three laboratories; both include working in the lab and active, small group training in key skills including good writing, experimental design, reviewing papers and many modern techniques.
- Biological clocks in development, differentiation, disease and regeneration
- Cell fate determination and pattern formation
- Cell migration
- Cell signalling and signal transduction mechanisms
- Early development (e.g. fertilisation, gastrulation, embryonic induction)
- Evolution and development
- Induction, tissue interactions
- Left-right asymmetry
- Live imaging
- Morphogenesis, tissue patterning
- Neural development and neural cell biology
- Regeneration and repair
- Stem cell biology
- Tissue engineering
Applications from self-funded candidates are welcome. Please note that there is no funding attached to this programme, but you may apply for a UCL scholarship.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please vist the Scholarships and Funding website: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Many of our recent graduates have taken up postdoctoral positions, e.g. in the UK at UCL, the Francis Crick Institute, the University of Cambridge and the University of Edinburgh, in Europe at l'Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, ETHZ in Switzerland, the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich and the Danish Stem Cell Center in Copenhagen, and across the world at Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. Some have taken up positions at Cancer Research UK, the Institute of Cancer Research, Merck Ventures BV in Amsterdam or in auditing, publishing and accountancy.
UCL is an internationally recognised and respected institution. A graduate degree from UCL opens up numerous national and international employment opportunities. Our students work with renowned mentors and are immersed in research at the cutting-edge of basic and biomedical science, emerging well-trained and well-rounded with outstanding skills, poised to take up posts in leading groups around the world. Most of our graduate students pursue very successful careers in science and medicine. Two of our recent students have been awarded the Beddington Medal.
UCL and its extended network of research institutes are located in the centre of London and are surrounded by numerous other research institutions, including the new Francis Crick Institute and the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour. Students are encouraged to meet and collaborate extensively with members of these institutions. Regular seminars and training courses encourage interaction across London, the UK and Europe. All students regularly attend international conferences, workshops and retreats, providing opportunities for networking with colleagues and potential future employers
Why study this degree at UCL?
The groups at UCL are world-leading, generating seminal contributions to their fields of study.
Students working in the laboratories are welcomed into vibrant groups of enthusiasts, exposed to a wealth of expertise in an extraordinarily open and collaborative scientific community.
The four year programme comprises three lab rotations and a taught component in the first year, providing the basis for an informed choice and an excellent platform for progression in the research project in years two to four. The three year version also contains small group workshops to learn important skills but there are no rotations.
Department: Cell & Developmental Biology
What our students and staff say
"UCL is a great university for research so it was always somewhere I wanted to consider for my PhD. I loved living in London during my degree and really enjoy residing in a city where there are so many great (and sometimes free!) things to do during my free time."
Sophie McLachlanDevelopmental and Stem Cell Biology PhD
"The state-of-the-art imaging facilities at UCL particularly impressed me. The three short rotation projects at the start of my PhD were really valuable to me, as this enabled me to try out different projects and work with three different supervisors in a range of laboratory environments. This allowed me to make an informed choice when settling on my final PhD project, which was useful as my final choice ended up being quite different from what I think I might have initially chosen on paper!"
Rachel BonningtonCell and Developmental Biology PhD, Developmental and Stem Cell Biology 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.