Genetics, Evolution and Environment MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Undertaking a PhD in the Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE) provides training and expert knowledge in a specialised field of research. As well as facilitating your studies, we also recognise the importance of obtaining a broader skill set, and the programme provides key transferable skills for future employment.

Research areas

  • Biodiversity and environmental biology
  • Biology of ageing
  • Computational biology
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Evolution and development
  • Human genetics and human evolution
  • Systems biology

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£5,860
£2,930
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£32,100
£16,050
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 in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised Master’s degree in an appropriate subject.

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: 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.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

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 Research Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE) carries out world-class research and promotes an integrative approach to understanding biological systems at functional and genomic levels. We provide an enabling environment with excellent research facilities, analytical equipment and specialised laboratories. Staff are affiliated with subject-specific research units including the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research (CBER); the Centre for Life's Origins and Evolution (CLOE); Genetic Anthropology; Cystic Fibrosis Bicarbonate Centre (CFBC)

and the Institute of Healthy Ageing (IHA) GEE is also home to the UCL Genetics Institute (UGI), which applies biostatistical analysis and bioinformatics approaches to the genetics of clinical disease. These links provide an excellent environment for postgraduate training that equips students with skills and opportunities for a diverse range of careers.

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

Our students gain a valuable range of transferrable skills. The doctoral training centres specifically encourage an inter-disciplinary experience for PhD students, ensuring a broad skill set designed for academic life as well as non-academic related careers.

The foundation of your career

PhDs offered by our department cover a broad range of topics so that students gain a valuable range of transferable skills that are highly desirable in the workplace. The doctoral training centres specifically encourage an interdisciplinary experience for PhD students, ensuring a broad skill set designed for academic life as well as non-academic related careers.

Employability

Graduates of our research programmes have followed a diverse range of career paths including working as postdoctoral researchers in universities and research institutions, in industry in the UK and abroad, science communications officers for charities and in conservation organisations, and editorial positions with scientific journals.

Networking

Our research students receive appropriate training not only in technical skills, but also in personal skills and are actively encouraged to present their work at local meetings and on the international stage.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

  • Biodiversity and environmental biology
  • Biology of ageing
  • Computational biology
  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Evolution and development
  • Human genetics and human evolution
  • Systems biology

Research environment

We conduct cutting-edge biomedical research to improve our understanding of human health and disease. Our work is helping to understand why disease develops and to translate discoveries into new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

At the heart of the our philosophy is a commitment to carrying out the highest quality science, and providing the highest quality scientific training.

Our PhD programme, which is designed to attract the brightest scientific minds from around the world, presents a fabulous opportunity for highly motivated and exceptionally talented individuals to embark on their career in biomedical research. We offer a stimulating and supportive training environment for students to carry our their PhD research project. Students are guided by their primary supervisor (a research group leader) and their thesis committee, which comprises three academics

Although PhD students spend most of their time within their research group working on their PhD project, the three-four year PhD programme contains other important training and networking activities too:

Induction week
The PhD programme starts with an induction week, to give the new students a head start in getting to know each other, their university, and the PhD programme. Interactive sessions cover various topics, including organising and recording your research, keeping on top of the literature, designing experiments and research integrity. Students may also be introduced to the institute's Science Technology Platforms, through which they can access state-of-the-art equipment and expertise.

Student progression points
Throughout the PhD programme, there are a number of scheduled progression points to review academic progress. The progression points allow the student to discuss how their project is progressing and receive guidance on their research from their supervisory team – their primary supervisor and thesis committee.

Student talks
Students develop their skills in oral presentation by presenting their research to their research group and supervisory team in each year of their PhD. In addition, all students give a 10 minute talk to the student community about their research project 3 months into their PhD and in their second year, and give an internal seminar during their third year, and present a research seminar at the end of their PhD.

Student reports
In each year of their PhD, students submit written reports on their research, developing their writing skills before finally writing up their PhD thesis in their final year. Constructive feedback is provided on each report by their supervisory team. 

Skills training 
Throughout the PhD programme, students receive tailored training on presenting and writing about their research, including specialised IT software training and workshops on talking about science both to scientific and non-specialist audiences.

Seminars, workshops, lectures and conferences
We host an extensive range of both internal and external seminars, workshops and lectures that students benefit from. Students have the opportunity to meet with visiting speakers to discuss their work, and also to present their own work at conferences.

Career development
Students are encouraged to plan ahead and think about what they would like to do next. To help with this, they have access to various internal and external careers talks and workshops and the opportunity to carry out short work placements. External speakers, working within and beyond academia, chat openly and informally about their own careers and offer advice to those interested in pursuing a similar career. 

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 (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Route code RRDBISSGEE01

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

Additional Fee Element - (AFE)

Research programmes at UCL may be subject to an Additional Fee Element (AFE). The AFE is applied to cover additional costs related to consumables, equipment and materials and other items (excluding student visas) which are not included in the composite tuition fee listed in the fees schedule and is, therefore, applied to a minority of programmes.

As each PhD programme is unique in its nature, the AFE is calculated on a student by student basis and is determined by the supervisor. The AFE is banded into four fixed amounts: £1,000, £2,500, £5,000 and £10,000, with one further band for variable sums over £10,000. Please contact your supervisor directly for advice on whether or not your programme

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

Across the division there are three Research Council four-year PhD programmes funded by the MRC, BBSRC and NERC. There may also be funding opportunities through individual research grants.

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Fees, Costs and Funding page.

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

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

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

Year of entry: 2022-2023

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