Medicine MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury and London, Hampstead (Royal Free Hospital)

A full or part-time research degree at the UCL Division of Medicine offers broad research training opportunities under the supervision of academics who are world experts in their fields. Collaborative interactions between scientists, clinicians and healthcare industries at national and international levels provide our students with excellent networking opportunities and career prospects.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
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 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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 3

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.

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 multidisciplinary Division of Medicine combines excellent facilities with world-leading scientific and clinical expertise directed towards better understanding and treatment of human disease. 

Research students benefit from a training environment that fosters collaboration across the interface between basic science, clinical practice within our associated hospitals, and the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

During your research degree, you will be able to select training courses to develop a wide variety of transferable research, teaching, and leadership skills. There will also be opportunities to put these skills into practice in laboratory and teaching environments. We aim to enhance not only your research project, but also your communication skills and career prospects. 

You will receive regular guidance and support from your project supervisors and from an independent thesis committee across your full registration period.

Who this course is for

We aim to recruit the best graduates in science and medicine from across the world with a genuine passion and talent for biomedical research.

What this course will give you

This programme offers you the following benefits and opportunities.

  • You join the multidisciplinary Division of Medicine, which trains and inspires the next generation of leading biomedical scientists and clinicians.
  • An excellent educational experience and unrivalled opportunities for interdisciplinary research, networking, career development and employment across the biomedical and healthcare sectors.
  • Networking and career opportunities from our academics' international collaborative links with academic and commercial organisations.
  • A unique springboard for ambitious clinicians and scientists.

The foundation of your career

Through close collaborations between scientists and clinicians in a wide range of clinical disciplines, a research degree in the Division of Medicine provides a unique springboard for ambitious clinicians and scientists. Our alumni have progressed to senior leadership positions in many areas of academia, the health services and industry.


A PhD from the UCL Division of Medicine is internationally recognised as a high achievement. Our graduates are expected to be independent thinkers that bring rigorous expertise to solving complex problems.

Recent graduates have taken up clinical, academic, postdoctoral, and scientific advisory positions in the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally.


The Division runs several seminar programmes that attract high-profile national and international external speakers, as well as a student-led 'Presenting Outstanding Papers' group/seminar series.

There is also an annual day retreat away from the university, where we discuss ideas and hear presentations from staff and students across the entire Division.

Students are encouraged to present their results at a major national or international conference at least once during their project period.

Our academics have numerous national and international collaborative links with academic and commercial organisations. These provide students with broad opportunities for networking and career development.

Teaching and learning

Most of your research will be carried out independently with guidance provided by your supervisory team and Thesis Committee. There will also be a series of training requirements that you will need to complete in the early stages of the programme. Your supervisory team will provide guidance on appropriate training requirements relevant to your proposed area of research.

Your first milestone will be to upgrade from MPhil to the PhD degree. For this, you will submit and present a report (upgrade viva). You will also need to give an oral presentation for which all members of the Division will be invited to attend. In your final year, you submit a thesis covering your research and discuss this at a formal interview known as a viva examination.

Most of your time will be spent conducting independent research, alongside regular meetings with your supervisory team and Thesis Committee, and completing your training requirements. We also encourage you to attend relevant research events at UCL and elsewhere.

Research areas and structure

The biomedical disciplines represented within the research departments and institutes of the UCL Division of Medicine include:

  • Amyloidosis and acute phase proteins
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular biology
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Clinical physiology
  • Connective tissue biology
  • Diabetes and endocrinology
  • Drug design
  • Gastroenterology and nutrition
  • Hepatology
  • Inflammation
  • Intensive care medicine
  • Medical imaging
  • Molecular cell biology
  • Molecular medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Neuroscience
  • Nuclear medicine
  • Obesity research
  • Radiochemistry
  • Respiratory research
  • Rheumatology.

Research environment

Our world-class undergraduate and postgraduate courses attract the best students from all over the world and train the next generation of basic and clinical scientists and practitioners. Over 200 postgraduate students are enrolled on our PhD programme at any given time.

The UCL Division of Medicine forms one of the most sizeable concentrations of biomedical scientists in Europe in one of the world's leading universities. Our aims are:

  • To educate, train, and inspire the next generation of scientists and clinicians.
  • To be at the international forefront of biomedical research from lab bench to bedside.
  • To attract, retain and develop the most gifted biomedical researchers and teachers at all levels.
  • To develop and deliver outstanding patient care together with UCL’s partner hospitals.

Our research aims to understand the basis of disease, and to develop better diagnostics and treatments for diseases with an emphasis on experimental medicine. In the REF 2021 Clinical Medicine unit of assessment, we are ranked first in the UK for our impact and research environment.

Our clinical mission is to provide the highest quality medical care, as practitioners of medicine and leaders of the NHS, and to work in partnership with patients to fulfil our research and teaching missions. The Division’s clinical academics are active as physicians in partner hospitals, with programmes of national and international standing in major medical specialities.

The full-time registration period for a PhD is three years. 

You initially register for an MPhil. In your first few months, you discuss and agree a deliverable plan and timeline for your research project with your supervisors. This plan can be revised as new results are obtained.

You will be eligible to upgrade to PhD registration in year two (at around 12-18 months). The assessment is a written report and oral exam following an upgrade presentation. You will also present your work to your group and to the Division when you upgrade from MPhil to PhD registration in year two.

After three years, you can apply for 'completing research status' if you have completed your research and you are focused on writing your thesis.

The part-time registration period for a PhD is five years.

You are initially registered for an MPhil. In your first few months, you discuss and agree a deliverable plan and timeline for your research project with your supervisors. This plan can be revised as new results are obtained.

You are eligible to upgrade to PhD registration in years two to three (at around 15-30 months). The assessment is a written report and oral exam following an upgrade presentation. You also present your work to your group and to the Division during the upgrade process.

After five years, you can apply for 'completing research status' if you have completed your research and you are focused on writing your thesis.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

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

Your research degree may be subject to an Additional Fee Element (AFE). The AFE (also known as bench fees) is an additional cost, incurred by yourself or your sponsor. It is levied to cover the costs related to consumables, equipment and materials etc. which are not included in the tuition fee. As each research project is unique, the AFE is calculated on an individual basis and is determined by your academic supervisor.

You should discuss finding support for these costs with your proposed primary supervisor.

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

Research council and charity studentships and fellowships are occasionally available for MPhil/PhD students. Opportunities may also exist for studentships funded via the UCL Division of Medicine, the Faculty of Medical Sciences, and UCL doctoral training programmes. These are usually advertised on major medical research funding sites and when they become available.

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

Students are advised to apply at least 2 months before their proposed start date. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

You should identify and contact potential supervisors and agree on a project before making your application. While there is often some flexibility, deadlines and start dates may be dictated by funding arrangements, so check with the department, academic unit or funder to see if you need to consider these when preparing your application. Applicants who are not restricted by external funding terms and conditions (e.g. self-funding) may start on any of the designated start dates available during the academic year.

Your references must be from individuals unconnected to your proposed supervisory team.

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: 2024-2025

Year of entry: 2023-2024

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