The MB PhD programme combines clinical training in medicine and research training in biomedicine, and produces clinically qualified academics for the future. It lasts between six and seven years and includes a comprehensive education in clinical medicine and an MBBS, with a PhD intercalated into the clinical programme. Clinical tuition is combined during the PhD.
Modes and duration
The standard 3-year (plus 1-year optional CRS registration) PhD is integrated between MBBS Year 4 and MBBS Year 5.
Tuition fees (2019/20)
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.
The programme is only available to students who are currently undertaking a primary medical qualification (MBBS, MBChB or equivalent) at a UK medical school.
At the point of entry, successful applicants will have:
- completed at least the first two years of a full five years' primary medical qualification
- achieved an upper-second or first-class honours degree (or iBSc)
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: Advanced
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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 Division of Medicine is multidisciplinary and combines excellent facilities with world-leading scientific and clinical expertise directed towards a better understanding and treatment of human disease. A fundamental aim of the Division of Medicine is to train and inspire the next generation of leading scientists and clinicians. Students benefit from a training environment that fosters collaboration across the interface of basic science with clinical medicine and its practice within our associated hospitals, as well as the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Together these provide an excellent educational experience and unrivalled opportunities for networking, career development and eventual employment across the biomedical and healthcare sectors.
Students choose a field of research that interests them; the training is multidisciplinary with exposure to many types of research methods. Past students have undertaken PhDs in many fields, including cancer, immunology, public health, haematology, neuroscience, rheumatology, surgery, molecular biology and infection. Students can choose between basic and clinical investigation, including access to patient cohorts.
In the MB PhD programme the PhD stage is funded by a series of studentships from various sources, many of which are charitable and may specify an area of interest for a research project. Typically, studentships include an annual stipend of approximately £16,000, UCL home-level fees, plus a contribution to laboratory costs. Please see the Funding bodies page on the department website.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
It is expected that the MB PhD graduate will follow a career that involves research. A few become full-time researchers with no clinical role, but this is unusual. The majority enjoy clinical work and continue to work on the wards and in clinics. The intense research background makes MB PhD graduates highly eligible for careers in academic medicine, but also in industry, in health policy, and in the financial services industry. Graduates' combined clinical and research background makes some of them excellent teachers in a medical school.
After graduation from the medical school graduates almost always go into junior doctor training posts, often in the 'Academic Foundation' stream, then branch out into different medical specialties with varying involvement in research.
MB PhD graduates are typically slightly more mature than regular MBBS graduates, and they will have a strong background in basic human biology with excellent and highly honed presentation and problem-solving skills, making them excellent junior doctors who are welcomed throughout the UK. In later years they are particularly well qualified for clinical research fellow posts where their scientific background gives them a head start over most medical graduates who have had very little or no research training. Graduates can expect to find employment in the NHS, universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical industry and private sector employers.
Studying clinical medicine at UCL introduces the student to many first-rate consultants and junior doctors. The research element places the student in a research laboratory with access to research-active scientists. Very commonly there are opportunities for scientific collaboration across London and in other parts of the UK and Europe. Students are encouraged to attend international conferences at which further links can be established.
Why study this degree at UCL?
Students reading Medicine in the UK who want to get research training as early in their career as possible should consider this programme. The principal advantage of UCL is that we are associated with world-renowned hospitals where much of our translational and clinical research is carried out.
Department: Division of Medicine
What our students and staff say
"London is the hub of medical research in the UK and studying or working here makes meeting other researchers and collaborators easy. Being in London is also very valuable in the context of clinical research as one has access to a very large potential study population including some specific groups that might be difficult to find elsewhere."
Adam LevineMedicine MB PhD
"I had done a Wellcome Trust summer studentship during my undergraduate degree in a UCL lab at the Institute of Child Health. This was a fantastic opportunity to be part of some exciting research and made me realise I wanted to do a PhD as well as my medical studies. "
Sophie AdlerMedicine MB PhD
"UCL is one of the few universities in the UK that runs an MBPhD programme. I wanted to take advantage of the rare opportunity to pursue my research interests, working with leading scientists, while being provided with clinical training in parallel.We have external speakers and visitors in our lab regularly, providing an invaluable opportunity for networking in the academic world. London is an exciting place to live, and houses some of the best research institutes in the UK. "
Thomas ParrMedicine MB PhD
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.
Students should normally apply in the year prior to starting their clinical training, and for most this will be during their intercalated/integrated BSc year.
The research degree component commences in September.
Please note: Current UCL students have the option of applying during UCL MBBS Year 4 (Integrated Clinical Care) to commence their PhD the following September.
For instructions on how to apply please see the MBPhD website.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
- Prof Robert Unwin, Academic Lead