Institute of Neurology MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

We are one of the world's largest, most productive and highest-impact neuroscience centres, with access to a patient population of over six million. Our research spans the whole spectrum of basic and clinical research into neurological disorders, and we have extensive collaborations with both the UCL Neuroscience Domain and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

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
September 2023
February 2024
May 2024
Applications accepted
September 2023 entry: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

For students who require a Student visa, we recommend applying at least three months in advance of your preferred start date to allow adequate time for application processing.

Entry requirements

A first or an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, or a recognised taught Master’s degree, is required. In some areas of clinical research, General Medical Council (GMC) registration may also be required.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 1

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 UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology, together with the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, form the renowned national and international research and clinical centre known simply as 'Queen Square'. The institute is also a key member of the UCL neuroscience community which is currently ranked second in the world, and first in Europe for neuroscience research (Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators). This means that you will be studying at a world-leading institution, with access to some of the best minds working in the field today, with established opportunities for progression from Master's to PhD study, and on to careers in neuroscience and neurology research and clinical practice.

Who this course is for

We offer full time and part time MPhil/PhD study (usually three years/five years).

For the majority of PhD programmes, you will need to have a research topic, supervisor and funding confirmed before submitting an application.

You can find out more on our research degrees FAQ page here.

What this course will give you

The Queen Square Institute of Neurology offers a traditional three-year full-time PhD or a flexible five-year part-time option. The students are supported via Thesis Committees throughout the PhD and report their progress on the Research Log. This method provides the student with wider intellectual contribution, access to copious expertise and an overview of the student's development at specific points during the degree.

The foundation of your career

Students at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology are ideally placed to exploit the opportunities for career progression which arise from studying in a well-funded national and international centre of excellence. Doctoral students go on to become early career researchers. Clinicians combine research fellowships with PhD studies and enter core or specialty training in the London, or other Deaneries on completion. It is the possibility of transition from postgraduate student to early career researcher or specialist neurologist which makes studying at Queen Square so attractive.

Employability

Students at the institute go on to further study at doctoral level, begin medical studies, start careers in basic science, combine study with paid research or clinical fellowships, and continue their medical careers through core and speciality training. In many research and clinical careers, a research degree is a considerable asset, if not a necessity.

Networking

Students are given the opportunity to present their research, alongside their peers studying for PhDs, at the well-regarded annual Queen Square Symposium. Doctoral students are all encouraged to attend national and international conferences during their studies, with their travel funded by grants, awards or bursaries. Students at all levels are supervised by, and work alongside internationally renowned scientists and clinical academics, who are often leaders in their field. Queen Square hosts a series of induction workshops for new research students as well as events for continuing students so there will always be an opportunity to share knowledge interact with others at the institute.

Teaching and learning

Each research student is required to submit progress documents for thesis committee meetings. For students who require upgrade from MPhil to PhD, they must submit a 10,000 word thesis and perform a departmental presentation as well as a private viva with the examiners. At the end of the degree, students will need to submit their final thesis and conduct a private viva which will be examined by two independent academics.

Contact hours and hours of self-study are agreed between the student and the supervisor at the beginning of their research degree and should be reviewed on a regular basis.

Research areas and structure

Research is focused within the following eight departments:

Research environment

The UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology has a world class reputation for neuroscience. The mission is to translate neuroscience discovery research into treatments for patients with neurological diseases.

UCL is best in the UK for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience according to research power, with more than 90% of our research rated as world-leading (4*) or internationally excellent (3*) (REF 2021).

A PhD at UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology will allow you to pursue original research and make a distinct and significant contribution to your field. We are committed to the quality and relevance of the research supervision we offer and as an MPhil/PhD candidate; you could work with academics at the cutting edge of neuroscience research. Furthermore as a research student, you will be an integral part of our collaborative and thriving research community.

Application

Before submitting a research degree application, the applicant should consider the following eligibility requirements, where applicable:

  • Confirmed supervisory team
  • Source of funding (UK or overseas fees, PhD consumables and living expenses for full programme duration)
  • References
  • Academic qualifications (original transcripts and certificates)
  • English Language qualifications
  • Visa requirements

Programme structure

The length of registration for full-time research degree programmes is three years.

The student will register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade examination within 9-18 months from initial registration.

All MPhil/PhD students must have thesis committees (TC) which are comprised of the subsidiary supervisor, at least two independent academic colleagues and the student. The thesis committee panel must be formed and approved within the first month of joining the programme. Within three months, the first TC meeting should occur where the TC will discuss and agree on the student’s personal development plan, the basic structure of the research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. The student will also perform a presentation. At nine months, the student will have their second TC meeting which will require a presentation, submission of a progress report and an updated personal development plan.

In the second year, the upgrade examination will take place. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a 10,000 word dissertation read & approved by both supervisors, perform a departmental presentation and conduct a private upgrade viva examined by the two independent TC members. If successful, the upgrade will be recommended by the examiners and will require final approval from the Department Graduate Tutor (DGT).

This will be followed by three further TC meetings comprised of presentations on PhD progress and reviews of the personal development plan. The final TC meeting will require submission of a thesis outline for review by the TC panel members.

The PhD programme is recommended to be completed within three years for full-time students. If not possible, the student may register for one year of completing research status (CRS) while thesis writing, if agreed by the PhD sponsor(s) and supervisory team. 

All students are expected to complete regular training in personal and research development alongside their research degree. The aim is to collect at least 20 points per year from attending Graduate School courses and other relevant externally run courses.

Application

Before submitting a research degree application, the applicant should consider the following eligibility requirements, where applicable:

  • Confirmed supervisory team
  • Source of funding (UK or overseas fees, PhD consumables and living expenses for full programme duration)
  • References
  • Academic qualifications (original transcripts and certificates)
  • English Language qualifications
  • Visa requirements

Programme structure

The length of registration for part-time research degree programmes is five years.

The student will register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade examination within15-30 months from initial registration.

All MPhil/PhD students must have thesis committees (TC) which are comprised of the subsidiary supervisor, at least two independent academic colleagues and the student. The thesis committee panel must be formed and approved within the first month of joining the programme. Within six months, the first TC meeting should occur where the TC will discuss and agree on the student’s personal development plan, the basic structure of the research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. The student will also perform a presentation. At 15 months, the student will have their second TC meeting which will require a presentation, submission of a progress report and an updated personal development plan.

In the 2nd-3rd year, the upgrade examination will take place. To successfully upgrade to a PhD you are required to submit a 10,000 word dissertation read & approved by both supervisors, perform a departmental presentation and conduct a private upgrade viva examined by the two independent TC members. If successful, the upgrade will be recommended by the examiners and will require final approval from the Department Graduate Tutor (DGT).

This will be followed by three further TC meetings comprised of presentations on PhD progress and reviews of the personal development plan. The final TC meeting will require submission of a thesis outline for review by the TC panel members.

The PhD programme is recommended to be completed within five years for part-time students. If not possible, the student may register for two years of completing research status (CRS) while thesis writing, if agreed by the PhD sponsor(s) and supervisory team. 

All students are expected to complete regular training in personal and research development alongside their research degree. The aim is to collect at least 20 points per year from attending Graduate School courses and other relevant externally run courses.

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

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

Students will be required to pay their tuition fees at either the UK or overseas rate for the entire duration of their PhD programme as well as their living expenses, consumables and travel expenses. Studentships are available to cover these expenses but are very competitive. Self funded and government funded students should be aware of the expenses involved when completing a PhD. Tuition fees increase by approximately 4% each year due to inflation and this increase should be considered in funding calculations.

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

There are three enrolment points per year where post-graduate research students can join UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. The start dates are as follows: Start of academic year (end of September) 1 February 1 May The application deadline is approximately three months prior to the start date. For students who require a Tier 4 visa, it is recommended to apply as early as possible to allow sufficient time for application processing. Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements but these should align with one of the institute's start dates. Please check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. In most cases, the applicant should identify and contact potential supervisors before making an application. For more information see https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ion/study/postgraduate-research-degrees.

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

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.