Eastman Dental Institute (Clinical Experience) MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

This four-year, full-time clinical experience MPhil/PhD is suitable for clinicians from all fields of dentistry. Hosted at the world-leading Eastman Dental Institute, this programme will enable you to develop and refine your clinical skills whilst deepening your scientific knowledge and participating in translational research.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
4 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 in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised MRes or Master’s degree. Applicants are also expected to satisfy UCLH NHS Foundation Trust requirements for engagement in clinical practice. Entry is extremely competitive and places will only be offered to exceptional candidates. In addition to choosing a research project, applicants must decide on the clinical discipline within which they wish to gain experience. All prospective applicants are encouraged to send an informal research enquiry. This should be sent directly to the Research Student Administrator (edi-phd@ucl.ac.uk). Making a research enquiry helps define your interests, contributes to making your application successful, and also serves to ensure the identification of the best possible supervisor for your needs. You can find information about the research departments within the Eastman on the Eastman website. All applicants must meet UCL's general entry requirements for MPhil/PhD.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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

This PhD programme provides you with the opportunity to carry out doctoral research in the field of oral health, microbial diseases, or biomaterials tissue engineering.

Your laboratory or clinically based research-intensive programme will be led by international specialists who will supervise your research. You will be linked with a clinical unit relevant to your dental or oral health specialisation, and offered the chance to sustain limited clinical activity, depending on the demands of your hosting unit.

The UCL Eastman Dental Institute is the largest postgraduate dental school in Europe and has a reputation as one of the world's leading academic centres for dentistry. The institute's strategy is to undertake high-quality research that advances knowledge of the causes, treatment, and prevention of orofacial and related disease, and to translate such findings into improved care and policy.

We enjoy many long-standing research collaborations with international universities, industrial sponsors, other UCL research groups and NHS hospitals in close vicinity to the university.

This programme equips you with the research skills and experience needed for a career as a leading clinical specialist, consultant, academic or post-doctoral researcher.

Who this course is for

The programme is well suited to clinicians from all fields of dentistry who enjoy the challenge of combining clinical work and scientific research. Opportunities are available in a range of topics, including oral health-related clinical research and bioinformatics. You can also focus on microbial diseases, biomaterials tissue engineering or translational research. We welcome applicants from the UK and around the world who are keen to complement a clinical/academic career with experience of, and a focus on, research.

What this course will give you

  • The opportunity to pursue novel scientific or clinical research under the guidance of experienced supervisors.
  • The chance to contribute to studies that improve, and make a positive impact upon, oral and systemic health through innovative, translational, and high-quality research.
  • The resources and support of a world-class research centre dedicated to basic, applied, and translational research allied to dentistry and oral health.
  • The opportunity to develop and refine your research skills and confidence by working directly with established academics in your chosen field of research.
  • The chance to work on projects clinically applicable to your future career and the future wellbeing of your patients.
  • A highly collaborative research department.
  • The chance to become involved in research groups in allied departments as well as with outside partners in other universities worldwide, and potentially with industrial SME and large multinational companies.
  • Advice on future career paths from academics with a broad range of experience.

The foundation of your career

This doctorate programme will prepare you for the challenges of modern clinical life, through the integration of clinical knowledge and research experience. A PhD from UCL Eastman Dental Institute will make you an attractive candidate for roles in research, academia or industry particularly  pharmaceutical companies. 

Due to the reputation of the institute, graduates are sought after in the field of dentistry worldwide.

Research at UCL Eastman is very motivating and exciting. The environment, the location and the laboratories are all very conducive for me to pursue my PhD research.

image of Nur Asyura Binti Nor Amdan

Nur Asyura Binti Nor Amdan

Eastman Dental Institute (Microbial Diseases), PhD


Following this programme, graduates return to clinical service with the added advantage of being able to pursue postdoctoral research or a combined academic and clinical career.

In in-depth knowledge of research will expand your academic horizons and place you at the forefront of evidence-based clinical practice and clinical academia. 

You will be equipped to secure specialist clinical posts or enter managerial or research positions in the health service, government, or industry, in the UK or overseas. Many graduates continue onto further research or take up academic positions at leading universities around the world.


Throughout your programme, you are encouraged to attend and contribute to conferences in the UK and internationally.

Each year, the institute allocates a sum of money for supporting those who want to travel to a conference or comparable event, either in the UK or overseas, to present a paper or poster based on their work. The institute also hosts a variety of speakers throughout the year, and you will be encouraged to attend these talks and network with your peers.

'At the institutes annual PhD Research Symposium, you will have the chance to highlight your research projects through oral and poster presentations.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

This is a full-time, four-year programme which offers the opportunity to work on a science or clinically relevant project under the guidance of a supervisor. However, students will be linked with a clinical unit depending on their trained specialisation. Students will be offered the chance to sustain limited clinical activity during the programme depending on the demands of the hosting division in order to maintain her/his clinical expertise. UCL Eastman Institute seeks to improve and make a positive impact upon oral and systemic health through innovative and high-quality research. The institute has a global reputation in the key area of Clinical Research.

Research environment

The UCL Eastman Dental Institute is the largest postgraduate dental school in Europe and has a reputation as one of the world’s leading academic centres for dentistry. You will join a community of 80-100 research students enrolled within the UCL Eastman Centre for Postgraduate Research (UCL ECPgR), a virtual body for research students within the UCL Eastman Dental Institute.

With a focus on biomaterials and tissue engineering, clinical research, oral health and society and microbial diseases, the institute seeks to improve and make a positive impact upon oral and systemic health through innovative, translational, and high-quality research.

The institute’s ambitious clinical research programme focuses on translational (experimental) medicine, including clinical trials of repurposed drugs, novel diagnostics, novel drugs and devices, and improvements in treatment selection and evaluation of response. Eastman achieved a good outcome in the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF) and has one of the strongest NIHR-funded translational portfolios in dentistry with world-leading publications.

Our researchers are experts in early first-in-human clinical studies and large multicentre phase III trials, including Clinical Trials of Investigational Medicinal Products (CTIMPs) and non-CTIMPs studies. Our researchers are leaders in their fields, with many having pivotal roles in other organisations such as the Longitude Prize, EPSRC, NIHR and IADR as well as being editors of prominent journals. Our grant success is derived from numerous sponsors, such as ERC, NIHR and EPSRC, which reflects the wide range of our research activities.

Several NHS hospitals are located nearby for collaborative research. University College Hospital London (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust, Royal National ENT, and Eastman Dental Hospital, Macmillan Cancer Centre, Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery and Royal London Hospital of Integrated Medicine are all within walking distance of the campus.

When you accept your place on the programme, you will initially register for an MPhil.

During your first term, you will receive an induction to the research environment, with the chance to attend optional research methods modules designed to develop your skills as an academic researcher.

Within three months of joining the programme, you will be expected to agree the basic structure of your research project with your supervisor, along with the appropriate research methods and a realistic plan of your work. The project can be defined either by you or your academic supervisor, depending on availability and funding.

You will then need to submit a detailed outline of your proposed research for comments and feedback before you are ready to undertake the project as part of your supervisor’s research team.

You will be eligible to upgrade to PhD student status between 9-18 months into the programme. Upgrade decisions are based on an evaluation of an upgrade report, which you will draft with the support of your primary and subsidiary supervisors, as well as a viva examination. You also present your research to an audience of UCL Eastman academic and clinical staff and fellow PhD students.

Once upgraded, you will continue to explore your research hypothesis, complete your data collection and analysis, and to prepare your thesis.

In your second year, you will be encouraged to produce a poster presentation of your research project, followed by a verbal presentation in your third year. You will also be encouraged to write and submit manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals and present your research findings at local, national, and international conferences.

Once you have completed your fourth year of registration, you may transfer to what is termed 'completing research status' (CRS) for one year to complete your thesis writing and final viva examination.


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.

Where you'll study

Welcome to UCL Eastman Dental Institute

We are a world-leading, academic centre for postgraduate dentistry and translational research. We offer high-quality postgraduate education, including Master's degrees, speciality training, certificates, diplomas, research degrees and CPD courses. Our clinically-intensive programmes are led by international specialists. As a world-class research centre, we are continually improving systemic and oral health by developing novel treatments, therapies, diagnostics and smart materials. Our new state-of-the-art facilities at Bloomsbury campus ensure that our students, researchers and academics have exceptional access to patients and opportunities for education and research. The UCLH Eastman Dental Hospital is part of the largest hospital in Europe specialising in complex oral health care and advanced ear, nose and throat treatments.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100

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

Research students will incur an additional fee element (AFE) per year of study, which ranges from £1,000 to £10,000 (exceptionally over £10,000). This fee is mandatory to complete the programme and covers consumables, laboratory costs and costs associated with running the project. The exact amount will depend on the needs of the individual research project and will be discussed with you at the time of application.

Other costs might include the following.

  • Students often find a personal computer / laptop helpful, although UCL computers are always available to use on campus.
  • Some students like to print copies of research papers. Payable printing facilities are available on campus.
  • Students may wish to attend external local, national, and international conferences separate to the doctoral programme. These events usually offer a student discount.

This programme requires a completed DBS check for some compulsory modules. You will receive more information from UCL on how to complete the check once you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer for the programme. The DBS application cost will be covered by UCL, but offer holders will also need to have their ID checked and verified at a Post Office, for which they will incur a charge of £15.00. The offer holder is also required to arrange and pay for any overseas police check that may be necessary; costs vary by country. For more information about the DBS application process, please contact the UCL Graduate Admissions team.

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

Some projects offered for PhD are already funded and studentships will be advertised on both the UCL Eastman Dental Institute's Research page and the UCL jobs website. Due to the competitive nature of this research programme, it is anticipated that the applicant will usually secure his or her own funding prior to the start of their 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

At the UCL Eastman Dental Institute Centre for Postgraduate Research, start dates will be normally at three points in the year: September (date as per the start of the academic year), January (date as per the first day of the summer term) and March/April (date as per the first day of the summer term). Exceptions may be made depending on the funding requirements.

Some of our applicants wish to submit their own research proposal. If you wish to do so, please make sure that first you identify a suitable supervisor with the correct expertise. If you are unsure, please contact our Research Student Administrator (edi-phd@ucl.ac.uk).

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.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

Got questions? Get in touch

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