UCL Graduate degrees


Neuroscience PhD

NPP offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of neuroscience, generating 18% of England’s contribution to the world’s most highly cited publications. Projects are offered by researchers who are among the leaders of their fields, using the most modern techniques to address important problems of basic and clinical neuroscience.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years
Part time: 8 years

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 20 December 2018

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £5,275 (FT)
Overseas: £24,450 (FT)

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university 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.

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:


UCL offers unrivalled opportunities for PhD research in all aspects of neuroscience. Sbjects studied range from the molecular biology of neuronal proteins, through cellular neuroscience, to the behaviour of sensory and motor systems and brain imaging. Neuroscience research is carried out in all of UCL's biomedical departments, by researchers who are among the leaders of their fields, using the most modern techniques to address important problems of basic and clinical neuroscience. 

Research areas

  • Cellular, molecular and structural neuroscience: synaptic transmission and ligand-gated ion channels; transporters; G-protein coupled receptors and signalling pathways; voltage- and calcium-gated ion channels
  • Systems and translational neuroscience: neuronal network behaviour; pain; in vivo electrophysiology; optogenetics
  • Intercellular signalling: inflammation; systems physiology.

A list of potential projects can be found at https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biosciences/departments/npp/neuroscience-phd 

More information can be found on the department website: Neuroscience PhD


The Wellcome Trust offers 4 years’ funding to UK/EU students on this programme. Funding may also be available for Overseas students. For full details please see the programme 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.


Many graduates will take up positions in academia. Others are employed as senior scientists or medical writers, teachers or as editors with publishers.


The programme provides an excellent scientific background accompanied by an impressive set of transferable skills, including analytical, presentation and communication skills. Alongside the training offered by the programme students will be able to take part in the dedicated Research Training Seminar. This, together with the outstanding reputation of UCL research in neuroscience and collaborative links with other major academic institutions and companies, provides numerous opportunities for our PhD students to find leading science roles in academia and industry.


Neuroscience PhD students spend their first year completing three lab rotations before settling in the department of the supervisor for their PhD project. This gives them increased contact with students and researchers from all over UCL as well as exposure to various techniques. Students are encouraged to present their work in the UK and internationally and will have the opportunity to hone their presentation skills in the first year of the programme. They will also join journal clubs from their first year onwards.  Once students have chosen their PhD project they will participate in the various departmental seminars and events of their department as well as UCL’s Doctoral Skills programme. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

The success of our PhD programmes is based on the very high-calibre students we recruit and the exceptional training opportunities embedded in the truly multidisciplinary neuroscience subject area at UCL. Our research training is widely viewed as making an outstanding contribution to UCL's PhD opportunities.

The department has a uniquely broad portfolio of research laboratories, where students may acquire a diverse range of techniques to use in their PhD project. This breadth promotes interdisciplinary research in a manner not achievable by a PhD programme with a narrower range.  Students will have a number of compulsory course to attend, including courses in current neuroscience techniques, electronic, animal experiments and statistics.  There are also a number of optional courses available to take.

Students on this programme have the chance to gain wide selection of skills and use a variety of techniques whilst undertaking rotations and their final PhD.  The PhD Committee provides students with support and pastoral care throughout their PhD.  

Department: Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
20 December 2018

Applicants must submit using the instructions on the programme website (applications direct to the UCL Admissions Portal will not be considered).  There is a single deadline for applications each year; please see the programme website for more information.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information