UCL Graduate degrees


Ophthalmology MPhil/PhD

The UCL Institute of Ophthalmology is a vibrant learning environment in which to carry out postgraduate research. Postgraduate students are supervised by internationally renowned experts with access to state-of-the-art laboratories. Our close contact with clinicians in Moorfields Eye Hospital allows for rapid translation of basic research to address clinically relevant eye diseases and disorders.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£26,680 (FT)
£13,350 (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 Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Old Street

Entry requirements

MPhil/PhD: candidates normally require a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university (or its overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

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: Standard

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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.

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:


The institute is committed to a multidisciplinary research portfolio that furthers an understanding of the eye and visual system, linked with clinical investigations targeted to specific problems in the prevention and treatment of eye disease. Our research themes are grouped as follows: 'Development, Ageing and Diseas', 'Rescue, Repair and Regeneration'; and 'Visual Neuroscience and Function'.

Research areas

  • Cell science: angiogenesis; membrane trafficking; annexin biology; tight junction biology; cytoskeleton; cell signalling; leukocyte trafficking; chaperones; neurodegeneration; control of wound healing
  • Genetics and gene therapy: single gene and complex genetics of eye disease; genetic epidemiology; gene therapy for eye disease from experimental models to clinical trials
  • Multidisciplinary studies of disease: age-related macular degeneration; glaucoma; diabetes; retinitis pigmentosa; ocular scarring; neurodegeneration
  • Ocular immunology and allergy: applied ocular immunology; understanding basic mechanisms causing disease to identify novel therapeutic approaches; determining to what extent T-cells, eosinophils and mast cells damage the cornea and conjunctiva in allergic eye disease
  • Regenerative medicine: stem cell therapy for eye disease; transplantation strategies (corneal and retinal disease); optic nerve regeneration
  • Visual neuroscience: neurophysiology of central visual processing; imaging of retina and CNS; neuronal plasticity; evolutionary paradigms of vision; visual pigments.
More information can be found on the department website: Ophthalmology MPhil/PhD

About this degree

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.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Several studentships are normally available each year. These are usually advertised on jobs.ac.uk or on FindAPhD.

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Institute of Ophthalmology Moorfields Eye Charity PhD Studentship

Deadline: 19 April 2021
Fees and stipend (3yrs)
Based on academic merit

UCL Research Opportunity Scholarship

UK rate fees, a maintenance stipend, conference costs and professional development package (3 years)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


As a graduate from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology research programme, students will have developed advanced skills in research, analysis and writing.

UCL Institute of Ophthalmology offers an outstanding educational experience to doctoral students.


Postgraduate students are supervised by internationally renowned experts in their field with access to state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment. In addition, our close partnership with clinicians in Moorfields Eye Hospital, who also contribute to teaching, allows for rapid translation of basic research to address clinically relevant eye diseases and disorders.


Students are encouraged to attend diverse weekly seminars where they have the opportunity to meet with external speakers. PhD students also have the opportunity to attend overseas and national conferences where they are encouraged to present posters and network with key researchers in their field.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital are recognised globally and have an outstanding track record in basic biomedical research, much of which has been translated into important advances in innovative therapies.

Students will benefit from advanced facilities and high-level opthalmic practice.

The MPhil/PhD programme will provide unique opportunities to interact with leading clinicians from Moorfields Eye Hospital as well as from other prominent institutions.

Department: Institute of Ophthalmology

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 July 2021

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.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 28 August 2021