Doctoral School

The UCL Doctoral School is responsible for the overall strategy for doctoral education at UCL and oversees the standards of our research degrees.

We support your PhD training

We aim to ensure that your time at UCL fulfils your needs and expectations, equips you for leadership roles not only in academia, but also in a range of other careers which require originality, rigour and methodological reasoning. We want you to become “creative, critical, autonomous intellectual risk-takers”.

In addition, UCL believes that in order to have a successful and innovative research culture, we need to have researchers from all backgrounds and the widest possible talent pool. We therefore strongly encourage applicants from all backgrounds and experiences. 

We also provide support for UCL's research student community in a number of different ways. A number of the key initiatives are listed below.

UCL Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees

The Doctoral School issues a Code of Practice for Graduate Research Degrees, designed to help graduate research students during their time at UCL. It complements the formal UCL academic regulations for research degree students, in the UCL Academic Manual. In contrast to the regulations, which provide the minimum framework and requirements for completion of a degree, the Code contains guidance on good practice, outlining what you can expect from your supervisor and department, as well as your responsibilities as a research student.

Research Student Log

Use of UCL’s on-line Research Student Log is mandatory for all UCL research degree students and is intended to be used in a flexible manner, to allow for different research processes between disciplines. The student documents academic progression and skills development training in the Log and it is their responsibility to maintain this Log for their own long-term benefit. The Log reflects a dialogue between you and your Principal and Subsidiary Supervisors and records a series of review meetings on academic progress (including important milestones such as the upgrade from MPhil to PhD upgrade) as well as your generic and transferable skills development.

Doctoral Skills Development Programme

The Doctoral Skills Development Programme gives all research students the opportunity to assess and expand your personal and professional development training. These courses are intended to help your research skills, as well as your transferable skills, with the aim of enhancing your employability, both within and outside academia. The courses are open to all research students and are free-of-charge, and are in addition to specific training offered by academic departments and faculties.

The training programme is regularly reviewed and updated to meet changing needs and new developments. Full details can be found on the Doctoral School's website.


The Doctoral School runs various events and competitions throughout the year. These include the Research Images as Art Competition, a research poster competition and, in conjunction with the Postgraduate Association of the Students' Union, the UCL heats of the national Three Minute Thesis Competition. 

Facilities, academic societies and events

The Doctoral School plays an important role in providing intellectual and social contacts between research students, enabling you to meet fellow students from different disciplines, countries and backgrounds.

One element of this is the provision of central space dedicated to research students in addition to whatever facilities are provided to you by your department and/or Faculty. More information on these facilities can be found at the Libraries and study spaces webpage. 

You may also join one of the supported academic societies, which organise graduate seminars and social events.

Welcome events for new research students provide an excellent introduction to the services and facilities on offer, and to the activities of the Postgraduate Association of the Students' Union.

Further information