Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

Outstanding science, strong industrial engagement, and tangible impact are all hallmarks of our PhD programme and of our research culture. Our students work and learn both in UCL's world-class laboratories but also in partnership with a wide range of collaborating institutions and companies worldwide, enhancing knowledge, networking and employment opportunities.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
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

Normally a UK Master’s degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant professional qualifications and/or appropriate work experience may also be taken into consideration.

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.

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 department specialises in applying advanced principles of engineering science – experimental, computational and theoretical – to generate new knowledge and introduce innovative solutions to a diverse range of challenges. From biomedical systems to the marine environment, from clean and low carbon power systems to pioneering materials and manufacturing, and in many other fields, we propose ground-breaking technologies that change the world.

Who this course is for

This programme is most likely to appeal to students with a background in engineering or another related discipline who wish to produce a significant contribution to the development and understanding of a specific field within mechanical engineering.

What this course will give you

UCL Mechanical Engineering is the oldest such department in England, based in the centre of London and part of one of the world's best universities. We have a long, proud history of providing a vibrant and stimulating environment for PhD students from around the world.

Our doctoral candidates are engaged in challenging and innovative engineering research, supervised by world-leading academics, in close collaboration with major industrial partners. Candidates receive an extensive range of skills development training programmes and develop unique scientific and engineering competencies that prepare them for careers in academia, industrial research and development, management and many other fields.

Our research projects are often industry sponsored and have direct practical relevance. As we collaborate with other departments and universities and engage in a range of multi-disciplinary research activities, you will often be jointly trained by a range of experts, making you highly attractive to a range of employers.

Research graduates in engineering with good analytical ability are in high demand.

The foundation of your career


A research degree in Mechanical Engineering opens the door to many rewarding careers, not just in engineering. You are likely to find employment in a wide range of industries and organisations, both at home and abroad.

Recent graduates have entered professions in a wide variety of leading companies, government agencies and not-for-profit institutions of varying sizes. These include:

  • BASF
  • HSBC
  • Mathworks
  • McLaren Automotive
  • HCA Healthcare UK

Our PhD graduates also pursue postdoctoral research and lectureships at UCL and a variety of institutions in the UK and overseas (e.g. Royal Veterinary College, Beijing Institute of Technology, University of Kenya) 


There are ample networking opportunities both within and beyond the UCL research community. For example, the department frequently organises seminars, inviting prominent speakers from industry and other academic institutes, that provide opportunities for students to consult directly with industry.

Our annual PhD Student Conference offers another excellent opportunity for developing contacts. Research students present their work to an audience which includes alumni, members of the department and other invited guests.  In our post-conference reception and poster session, students are able to discuss their ideas for research development and gain valuable career insights.

Teaching and learning

Research areas and structure

  • Biomechanical engineering: biomaterials, encapsulation; tissue engineering; biofluidics and CFD; biophysics; cardiovascular engineering; medical devices and mechatronics; ultrasonics and non-destructive evaluation

  • Energy and environment: IC engines and fuel systems; fluid mechanics and microfluidics; refrigeration; turbomachinery, CFD, and environmental and pollution modelling

  • Marine: naval architecture; marine vehicle applications and design methods; renewable energy; electric propulsion and power systems; electric ship/submarine; computer-aided design; novel ship types and low carbon shipping.

  • Materials, Structures and Manufacturing: additive manufacturing, advanced processing and manufacturing, aerospace materials, biomaterials, imaging and characterisation of materials, lightweight structures, materials design, mechanical testing, metallurgy, nanotechnology, nondestructive evaluation, sensors & actuators, smart materials, structural analysis, sustainability

Research environment

Outstanding science, strong industrial engagement, and tangible impact are all hallmarks of our PhD programme and of our research culture. Our students work and learn both in UCL's world-class laboratories but also in partnership with a wide range of collaborating institutions & companies worldwide, enhancing knowledge, networking and employment opportunities.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble 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) £29,000 £14,500

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:

Additional costs

In some circumstances, bench fees may be requested from students' sponsors to cover consumables. The amount may vary greatly depending on the nature of the specific research project. This is negotiated before students join the PhD 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

Industrially funded studentships may be available for suitably qualified research applicants. There are also some departmental bursaries to cover tuition fees partially or in full. Please visit our department webpage for funded vacancies.

Recent research sponsors include:

  • Airbus
  • BAE Systems 
  • British Heart Foundation
  • European Space Agency
  • Kuwait Government
  • Ministry of Defence (UK)
  • Siemens Energy

Self-funded candidates are advised to our academics to discuss possible research topics.

Funding for PhDs is also available from UCL's Doctoral School.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Value: Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Criteria Based on academic merit
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

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

Got questions? Get in touch

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