UCL Graduate degrees


Biological Physics MSc

This new MSc in Biological Physics aims to prepare students to enter the field of Biological Physics and Quantitative Biology, and gain an understanding of the application of these disciplines in industrial or academic research settings.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2019

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 15 October 2018
Close: 26 July 2019

Tuition fees (2019/20)

UK/EU: £11,060 (FT)
Overseas: £27,040 (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 in a relevant discipline from a UK university 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: Standard

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:

About this degree

Students will gain broad background knowledge of cell and developmental biology, and physical theories and experimental physics techniques applied to biological systems. Students will gain theoretical and working knowledge of techniques from physics and engineering used in biological physics research, including optical microscopy, microfabrication, and data analysis. Students will be further prepared for the research environment with a series of transferable skills classes and seminars.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five compulsory taught modules (75 credits), optional modules one of which must be a biological module (45 credits) and a research project (60 credits). More detailed information can be found on the Departmental programme web page.

Compulsory modules

  • Biosciences Research Skills
  • Microfabrication and Microscopy for Biophysics
  • Molecular Biophysics
  • Physical Models of Life
  • The Scientific Literature

Optional modules

Students must select one of the biological modules and complete the 45 credits by selecting one or two options from the optional modules.

  • Students must select one of the following biological modules:
  • Advanced Molecular Cell Biology
  • Principles of Biology
  • Students must complete their 45 credits by selecting one or two options from the following modules:
  • Advanced Topics in Statistical Mechanics
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics and Biostructures
  • Introduction to Statistical Data Science
  • Programming Foundations for Medical Image Analysis
  • Statistical Models and Data Analysis

Research project/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a report of 10,000 words. The projects will be multidisciplinary, built around the cutting edge research across the faculties of MAPS, Life Sciences and Engineering. 

Teaching and learning

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops and by an element of problem- centred learning. Taught modules are assessed by problem sets and examinations; ‘hands-on’ modules (e.g. Microfabrication and Microscopy for Biophysics) and research projects are assessed by presentations, assessed reports and the dissertation.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Brown Family Bursary

Now closed for 2019/20
£15,000 (1 year)
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.


Physics based careers embrace a broad range of areas. Graduates of MSc programmes at UCL go on to a variety of careers as research associates, consultants, and engineers requiring technical and quantitative analysis skills.


This programme will prepare students for an increasingly interdisciplinary work and research environment in biological physics and quantitative biology and their applications in industrial research or academic settings.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The new Biological Physics MSc brings together expertise in biological and physical sciences at UCL. The UCL Institute for the Physics of Living Systems has recently been created to enhance the teaching and research opportunities in interdisciplinary physics and life sciences at UCL.

The necessity to cross traditional disciplinary boundaries is particularly true of biology where there is a growing realisation that understanding the physics underlying biological phenomena is critical in order to rationally develop next generation treatments for disease and solutions for food security in a globalised world.

Students are immersed in an active research environment from the outset, interacting with experienced researchers in the laboratory and familiarising themselves with state of the art biological and biophysical research techniques.

Department: Physics & Astronomy

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The multidisciplinary approach of this programme is likely to appeal to suitably qualified graduates who are interested in pursuing a research career across the life sciences and the mathematical and physical sciences.

Application deadlines

All applicants
26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Biological Physics at graduate level
  • why you want to study Biological Physics at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. 

Contact information

Page last modified on 20 May 2019 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing