School of Pharmacy MPhil/PhD

London, Bloomsbury

The UCL School of Pharmacy is a world-leading centre for pharmacy education and research in pharmacy and biomedical sciences. The School has maintained this status over decades, being recently ranked 4th in the QS World Rankings by Subject (Pharmacy and Pharmacology 2023). Furthermore, London was ranked 1st in the QS Best Student Cities 2023 list, making it an ideal location in which to study.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£6,035
£3,015
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£34,400
£17,200
Duration
3 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
April 2024
October 2024
Applications accepted
April 2024 entry: 01 Aug – 31 Oct 2023

Applications closed

October 2024 entry: 01 Jan – 31 Mar 2024

Applications closed

Entry requirements

A UK taught Master’s degree, or a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, chemistry, microbiology pharmacy, pharmacology, or other relevant subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place. Please note that ATAS processing times can take up to six months, so we recommend you consider these timelines when submitting your application to UCL.

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

Students work in several core research areas:

  • understanding the underlying basis of challenging human diseases
  • identification of new drugs and drug targets
  • medicine development, leading to effective medicines with optimised delivery, and minimising effects
  • pharmacy practice and medicines management, specialising in the influence of human behaviour on medicine use

Who this course is for

Our PhD programme is intended for students who wish to obtain high quality scientific training that will enable them to conduct independent research.

What this course will give you

In addition to an advanced hypothesis driven research project yielding top flight publications which change thinking in their chosen fields, students also acquire generic and transferable skills while undertaking their PhD. For example, students graduate with skills enabling excellent scientific presentation, both written and verbal, time management - an essential skill in today's busy world - and networking.

Students have ample opportunities to practice the art of networking with their peer group, both within the school and outside, as students often talk about their work within the school and many students travel the world speaking to scientists about their research work.

The foundation of your career

Understanding the approach of industry to the complex process of discovering, developing, formulating and licensing a medicine provides students with an outlook and expertise valued by employers. Recent PhD students have gone into research roles in the pharmaceutical industry and in universities in the UK and around the world. Others have found careers in regulatory affairs, the NHS or scientific publishing, drug licensing and clinical trial research.

Employability

Recent PhD students have gone into research roles in the pharmaceutical industry and in universities in the UK and around the world. Others have found careers in regulatory affairs, the NHS or scientific publishing, drug licensing and clinical trial research.

Networking

The School attracts the leading figures in the field to our diverse programme of events, seminars, lectures, debates and conferences, focusing on critical issues in pharmacy, biomedical research and pharmaceutical industry.

Teaching and learning

PhD research involves a wide variety of learning methods, but your self-directed research activities will be crucial. You can expect to be supported by your supervisor to develop your research skills, as well as learning from other colleagues in our thriving research community. 

Assessment will involve an upgrade from MPhil to PhD, and then the final viva examination.

An agreement is made by students and supervisors as to how their hours are divided between contact and self-directed study. Full-time research equates to approximately 37 hours per week and part-time research hours would not normally be less than 50% of the full-time equivalent 37 hours per week).

Research areas and structure

Research Clusters:

  • Age-Related Medicines Development And Use: The cluster aims to cultivate the research in the development of medicines tailored to the needs of patients accross the whole of the life course
  • Drug Discovery And Therapeutic Target Identification: The cluster aims to participate in all the stages of early phase drug discovery from chemical biology approaches to new target identification and validation
  • Fabrication And Synthetic Technologies For Advanced Drug Delivery: The cluster seeks to develop new dosage forms to optimise drug action
  • Medicine Use and Optimisation
  • Pharmacoepidemiology And Medication Safety: Researchers are engaged in projects to improve safety and benefit outcomes in the use of medicines
  • Translational Neuroscience: Researchers use a wide range of molecular, cellular and whole organism models as well as theoretical approaches to study normal brain function and uncover the fundamental causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Research environment

Students participate in research projects in one of four research departments in the School of Pharmacy:

  • Research Department of Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry
  • Research Department of Pharmaceutics
  • Research Department of Pharmacology
  • Research Department of Practice and Policy

An agreement is made by students and supervisors as to how their hours are divided between contact and self-directed study. Full-time research equates to approximately 37 hours per week and students and supervisors decide how those hours are divided between contact and self-directed study.

An agreement is made by students and supervisors as to how their hours are divided between contact and self-directed study. Part-time research hours are agreed by the supervisor and student, but would not normally be less than 50% of the full-time equivalent (37 hours per week).

Accessibility

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 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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

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 in nature, the AFE is calculated on a student by student basis and is determined by your academic 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

We post studentship information throughout the year. Please visit https://www.ucl.ac.uk/pharmacy/study/mphil-phd/studentships-and-funding for new opportunities.

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

Our diverse academic environment will give you the opportunity to develop strong transferable research skills and will support a wide range of future research and employment opportunities.

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.

Got questions? Get in touch

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