Molecular Cell Biology PhD
The Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology (LMCB) at UCL is a Medical Research Council funded institute dedicated to research aimed at understanding the molecular and cellular basis of cell behaviour relevant to human disease.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2018/19)
- £5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
- £23,540 (FT) £11,760 (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 Current Students website.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
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: Good
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:
- Cell Signalling/Transcription
- Membrane Trafficking
- Growth Control
- Developmental Biology
- Human Disease
- Clinical Session
Six MRC studentships are available to UK/EU students.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Recent graduates have secured positions as research fellows and postdoctoral researchers at leading UK universities including Cambridge and UCL and for overseas organisations such as Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center, USA and the Agency for Science Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore.
UCL has established a link between the LMCB graduate programme and the Cell Biology (Tetrad) graduate programme at the University of California San Fransisco (UCSF). The link will allow members of the LMCB graduate programme to undertake short rotation and collaborative projects in laboratories at UCSF, the selection will be based on scientific merit. The scheme aims to extend the academic experience and technical expertise of LMCB and UCSF Cell Biology graduate students, promoting the mobility of young scientists, removing cultural barriers and providing international experience for students in both programmes.
The first year group shares tutorials, practical courses and informal discussion meetings. In addition, there are about 30 other students in the LMCB, and students also participate in the wider graduate student social life at UCL. We also arrange for the first year students to attend the annual meeting of the British Society for Cell Biology/Developmental Biology, and expect attendance at international meetings in subsequent years.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The goals of our training are to produce scientists who have explored one area and one level of analysis in great depth, but who are familiar with the full scope of molecular and cell biology. They should be able to move from one level to another in a critical and creative manner. We also try to develop an appreciation for translational research that bears on human disease.
Graduate students spend four years in the Programme and are entirely supported by an MRC grant. During their first year, students have a free choice of three laboratories from the groups within the LMCB plus additional participating labs from other departments in UCL, and spend three months in each, working on research projects. They also participate in twice weekly tutorials that are designed to broaden their understanding of the various areas of molecular cell biology as well as developmental biology, neurobiology, immunology and the cell biology of disease.
Towards the end of their first year, students select a supervisor and lab in which they will carry out their three-year thesis project. We provide a course specifically designed to offer training in fundamental aspects of molecular and cell biology, as well as an opportunity to carry out cutting-edge research in a vibrant and internationally competitive environment.
Department: Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology
Student / staff numbers
› 80 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology
82% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
What our students and staff say
"I enjoy the continual interaction with people of a high intellectual calibre from many different disciplines. At UCL one is in the centre of things"
Dr Jonathan ChubbMRC LMCB, CoMPLEX, BBSRC DTP
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.