Medical Physics and Bioengineering MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

This degree is focused on a multi-disciplinary subject at the interface of physics, engineering, life sciences and computer science. The PhD programme involves 3¿4 years (more for part time students) of original research supervised by a senior member of the department. The quality of research in the department has been rated by the Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) as 95% 4* ("world-leading") or 3* ("internationally excellent").

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
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 Physics, Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, or another closely related discipline, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Knowledge and expertise gained in the workplace may also be considered, where appropriate.

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

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

Who this course is for

What this course will give you

The foundation of your career

Postgraduate study within the department offers the chance to develop important skills and acquire new knowledge through involvement with a team of scientists or engineers working in a world-leading research group. Graduates complete their study having gained new scientific or engineering skills applied to solving problems at the leading edge of human endeavour. Skills associated with project management, effective communication and teamwork are also refined in this high-quality working environment.


As a multi-disciplinary subject at the interface of physics, engineering, life sciences and computer science, our postgraduate students have a diverse range of options upon graduation. Many choose to continue in academia through the subsequent award of a PhD studentship or a postdoctoral research post. Another common career route is employment in industry where newly-acquired skills are applied to science and engineering projects within multi-national medical device companies, or alternatively, within small-scale start-up enterprises. A substantial number of graduates also enter the NHS or private healthcare sector to work as a clinical scientist or engineer upon completion of further clinical training.


Supervision and mentorship are available from scientists and engineers who have collaborated nationally and internationally across clinical, industrial and academic sectors. This provides natural opportunities to work in collaboration with a variety of external partners and showcase output at international conferences, private industry events and clinical centres to audiences of potential employers. Moreover, the department holds close working relationships with a number of charitable, research council and international organisations, for example, in new projects involving radiotherapy and infant optical brain imaging in Africa.

Teaching and learning

A dissertation of up to 100,000 words for a PhD, or up to 60,000 words for an MPhil, is completed as a part of this programme.

Research areas and structure

  • Biomedical optics
  • Biomedical Ultrasound
  • Computing, digital image processing
  • Continence and skin technology
  • Functional electrical stimulation
  • Implanted devices
  • Laser and endoscopic surgery
  • Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy
  • Medical imaging including 3D graphics
  • Neurophysiology including electrical impedance tomography
  • Physiological sensing
  • Radiation physics

Research environment

UCL's Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering is one of the largest medical physics departments in the UK. We have exceptionally close links with major teaching hospitals, as well as excellent academic research. We offer BSc, MSc, and PhD degrees in Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering.

Our academic research rating is a top level 5, which means that we have an internationally leading reputation in medical physics and biomedical engineering research.

Ours is a joint department with Medical Physics in the UCLH NHS Trust, and so our staff work side-by-side with hospital physicists, clinical doctors and other health professionals. This close liaison with clinical colleagues in this exciting field enriches our research and teaching.

We develop new technologies and methods for diagnosing, treating and managing medical conditions and diseasesOur Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Medical Imaging provides research training in this diverse and multi-disciplinary field. The training will involve taught courses in the first year as part of an MRes programme followed by a research project for the remainder of the 4 year programme. Students on the programme will form part of an interactive network of researchers across many disciplines and will benefit from the strengths of UCL in the healthcare field.

A PhD at UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering 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. Furthermore, as a research student, you will be an integral part of our collaborative and thriving research community. Student-run ‘work in progress’ forums and an end-of-first-year PhD workshop will give you the opportunity to present and discuss your research and academic colleagues. Tailored skills seminars will provide you with a supportive research environment and the critical skills necessary to undertake your research. To foster your academic development, we also offer additional department funds, which can assist you with the costs of conferences and other research activities.

The length of registration for the research degree programmes is 3 to 4 years for full-time and 5 years for part-time. 

You are required to register initially for the MPhil degree with the expectation of transfer to PhD after successful completion of an upgrade viva 12 - 18 months after initial registration.

Upon successful completion of your approved period of registration you may register as a completing research student (CRS) while you write up your thesis.  

In your first year you will be required to take part in a mandatory Skills Seminar Programme. Within three months of joining the programme, you are expected to agree with your principal supervisor the basic structure of your research project, an appropriate research method and a realistic plan of work. You will produce and submit a detailed outline of your proposed research to both your supervisors for their comments and feedback. We hold a PhD workshop at the end of your first year, which provides you with an opportunity to present your research before an audience of UCL Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering Academic staff and fellow PhD students.

In your second year you will be expected to upgrade from an MPhil to a PhD. To successfully upgrade to a PhD, you are required to submit a piece of writing (this is usually based on one chapter from your thesis and a chapter plan for the remainder). You are also required to present and answer questions about this work to a panel consisting of your subsidiary supervisor and another member of the faculty who acts as an independent assessor.

The PhD programme is expected to be completed within three to four years for full-time students, and over five years for part-time students.


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 (2022/23) £5,690 £2,845
Tuition fees (2022/23) £25,960 £13,280

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

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

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 in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

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