UCL Graduate degrees


Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD

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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£25,200 (FT)
£12,890 (PT)

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

English language requirements

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: Standard

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

International students

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.

Select your country:


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.

Research areas

  • 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
More information can be found on the department website: Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD

About this degree

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.


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.


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.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Based on academic merit

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


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) 


Our research projects are often industry sponsored and have direct practical relevance, which means many students will secure employment before graduating. 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 an employer.

Research graduates in engineering with good analytical ability are in high demand. Our graduates generally have little difficulty in gaining employment across a variety of sectors.


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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Currently over 120 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.

Department: Mechanical Engineering

What our students and staff say

Staff review

"London is a very multicultural world city that everyone wants to come to, and UCL consistently features in the top five of the world university rankings. Both these factors are extremely beneficial in attracting high-quality research students, research assistants and postdoctoral staff."

Professor Mohan Edirisinghe

Research Degree: Mechanical Engineering Masters Degree: Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Bonfield Chair of Biomaterials

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 July 2021

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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021