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Psychiatry

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Postgraduate research degrees

Our research degrees cover areas like dementia, depression and anxiety, severe mental illnesses (including psychoses), intellectual disability and palliative care.

The Division is made up of four Research Departments: Mental Health of Older People, Mental Health and Neuroscience, Marie Curie Palliative Care Research, and Epidemiology and Applied Clinical Research.

Our students come from a range of academic backgrounds including nursing, medicine, psychology and social sciences.

How to apply

Expressions of interest

If you have a research idea and would like to discuss PhD options with a member of the Division, do feel free to contact any of us directly, having looked through the webpages describing individuals' research interests. You may want to ask them about future grant proposals on which there might be PhD opportunities.

If you're not sure who to approach, then the Division's PhD Administrators. You should include: details of your research interests, with an outline of your research questions and hypotheses; and a curriculum vitae, including a full account of your education and relevant practical work/experience.

A prospective supervisor or a Graduate Tutor may then invite you to visit the department, to telephone and have further informal discussion, or to complete the UCL application form. At this stage it is essential for both potential supervisor and student to ascertain that a suitable subject area can be identified and that you are sufficiently interested, motivated and able to produce a doctoral thesis in three years. The interaction between student and supervisor can often be a crucial ingredient for the success of any research. 

MPhil to PhD

Under UCL regulations, all PhD students at UCL are initially registered as MPhil students, and must go through the process of an upgrade from MPhil to PhD status.

For full-time research students, this happens between 9 and 18 months after initial registration, and for part-time students, this is between 15 and 30 months after starting. We adhere to the standard UCL expectations for upgrade in the DoP. This involves submitting an upgrade report, presenting your work and future plans to the department and taking part in an upgrade viva.

Funding

See UCL Fees and Costs section for further information on fees.

We have over 70 PhD students in the division. Some are self-funded (often through working part time on studies within the division alongside study), while others have been awarded funding to cover fees and a stipend for living costs. If you have a research idea and would like to discuss PhD options with a member of the Division, do feel free to contact any of us directly, having looked through the webpages describing individuals' research interests.

The main sources of funding for UK/EU applicants are studentships from:

Below are also some links to opportunities for funding by specialised charities:

Wellcome Trust
National Institute for Health Research

Cancer Research UK

Please check the information for prospective graduate students on the UCL web site for a full listing of funding possibilities. Another source of funding information can be found FindaPhD.com.

Overseas students are eligible to apply to a number of sources of funding, including The British Council, Commonwealth Scholarships and WHO Scholarships. In the majority of instances you must apply direct to the funding organisation and it is vital to make early enquiries (up to a year in advance).

Please also review eligibility for the funding streams listed by clicking on the links provided as conditions vary. If you have a query after checking all the information signposted below please contact us.

Supervisors

Please click a supervisors name to view further information regarding their background and contact details.

Primary supervisors

SupervisorResearch interests
Dr Afia Ali
  • Stigma and Discrimination in people with intellectual disability
  • Health inequalities in people with intellectual disability
  • Mental illness in people with intellectual disability
Dr Nick Bass
  • Genetics
  • Psychosis
  • Dementia
Dr Jo Billings
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Trauma and PTSD
  • Vicarious traumatisation
  • Wellbeing and resilience
  • Evaluating novel treatment interventions
  • Case series design research
  • Qualitative research
Dr Michael Bloomfield 
Professor Elvira Bramon
  • Schizophrenia
  • Biploar Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Genetics
  • Neurophysiology
  • Biomarkers
Dr Alexandra Burton 
Professor Claudia Cooper
  • Dementia
  • Older People
  • Prevention
  • Carers
Dr Sergi Costafreda Gonzalez
  • Dementia
  • Diagnosis
  • Trials
  • Hearing and mental health
Dr Nadia Crellin 
Professor Anthony David 
Dr Nathan Davies 
Dr Rebecca Gould
  • Psychological interventions
  • Older people
  • Dementia
  • Physical health conditions
  • Trials
Professor Angela Hassiotis
  • Health services research
  • Epidemiology
  • Qualitative research
  • Intellectual developmental disabilities
  • Challenging behaviour
  • Borderline intelligence
Dr Joe Hayes
  • Psychiatric epidemiology
  • Pharmacoepidemiology
  • Prediction and personalisation
  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Causal Inference methods
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Mood disorders
  • Physical health-mental health interface
Professor Paul Higgs
  • Sociology of ageing
  • Cultures of ageing
  • Personhood and later life
  • Medical Sociology
Professor Rob Howard 
Dr Quentin Huys
  • Computational psychiatry
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Depression
  • Addiction
Dr Artemis Igoumenou 
Dr Sushrut Jadhav
  • Clinically applied anthropology
  • Cross-cultural psychiatry
  • Psychiatric ethnography
  • Cultural formulations in mental health
  • Caste & mental health in India
  • Mental health of marginalised populations across cultures
Professor Sonia Johnson
  • Evaluations of complex mental health interventions, especially in crisis care and early psychosis
  • Social associations with mental health outcomes
Professor Helen Killaspy
  • Rehabilitation Psychiatry
  • Health Services Research
  • Complex psychosis
Professor James Kirkbride
  • Psychiatric epidemiology
  • Psychosis and schizophrenia
  • Social and economic determinants of mental health
  • Immigration and ethnicity in mental health
  • Causal Inference methods
Professor Karoline Kuchenbaecker
  • Genetics
  • Depression
  • Diverse populations
Dr Nuriye Kupeli
  • Dementia care
  • End of life care/palliative care
  • Carer wellbeing
  • Compassion/emotion regulation
  • Psychological interventions
Dr Gemma Lewis 
Professor Glyn Lewis
  • Epidemiology and aetiology of depression
  • Relationship between reward and punishment mechanisms and the treatment and outcome of affective disorders
Professor Gill Livingston
  • Dementia
  • Family Carers
  • Neuropsychiatric Symptoms
  • Quality of Life
  • Trials
  • Technology
Dr. Brynmor Lloyd-Evans
  • Health services research
  • Social care research
  • Process and implementation research
Dr Natalie Marchant
  • Dementia prevention
  • Psychological risk factors
  • Subjective cognitive decline
  • Behavioural interventions
Professor Andrew McQuillin
  • Molecular genetics of schizophrenia
  • Molecular genetics of bipolar Disorder
  • Molecular genetics of alcohol Dependence
  • Molecular genetics of Wernicke Korsakov's syndrome
Professor Joanna Moncrieff
  • Psychiatric drug treatment
  • Decision making in mental health
  • History of psychiatry
  • Critical psychiatry
Dr Nicola Morant
  • Qualitative research
  • Shared decision-making in mental health
  • Acute mental health care
  • Implementation research
Dr Naaheed Mukadam
  • Dementia – risk factors, prevention, management
  • Ethnic inequalities in health pathways and outcomes
  • Health related behaviours
Dr Vasiliki Orgeta
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Psychological interventions
  • Depression
  • Randomised controlled clinical trials
  • Systematic reviews
  • Well-being in late life
Professor David Osborn
  • Epidemiology and randomised trials
  • Cardiovascular health in psychosis
  • Evaluation of interventions in severe mental illness
  • Interface between Mental health and physical health
  • Psychosis including schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder
Dr Alexandra Pitman
  • Psychiatric epidemiology
  • Suicide and self-harm: risk and protective factors
  • Understanding the suicidal mind
  • Interventions to reduce the risk of suicide
  • Loneliness and social isolation: associations with mental ill-health and suicidality
Dr Michaela Poppe 
Dr Penny Rapaport 
Professor Suzanne Reeves 
Dr Sarah Rowe 
Professor Liz Sampson
  • Delirium
  • End of life care
  • Dementia research
  • Liaison psychiatry for older people
  • Pain
Professor Marc Serfaty
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Randomised clinical trials
  • End of life care
Dr Francesca Solmi 
Professor Paddy Stone
  • Palliative Care
  • Terminal Care
  • Prognosis
  • Symtom Control
  • Cancer-related fatigue
  • Palliative sedation
Dr Vaso Totsika
  • Intellectual Disability and Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Family adaptation and well-being
  • Quality of life and well-being in ID and ASD (adults and children)
  • Challenging behaviours
Dr Bella Vivat
  • Wellbeing
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology of scientific knowledge
  • Mixed methods
  • Patient-reported outcome measure development
Professor Zuzana Walker
  • Dementia research
  • Treatment trials
  • Lewy Body Dementia
  • Neuroimaging
  • Subjective cognitive decline
Dr Lisa Wood 
Supervision

Along with many areas of UCL, the DoP are introducing thesis committees from October 2019. These are basically expanded supervisory teams. All research students therefore must have:

  • A Principal Supervisor, whose area of expertise is closely aligned with the student’s chosen research topic and who is responsible for directing their research training.
  • A Subsidiary Supervisor, who is there to help assess progress, provide continuity of supervision and additional expertise.
  • At least two additional supervisors with relevant academic experience. Only one of the three non-primary supervisors can be from the same team as the Primary Supervisor. These members may be UCL staff or external to UCL, but at least one of your subsidiary or additional supervisors should be a member of UCL academic staff.
  • Your Principal and Subsidiary supervisors will discuss the composition of your thesis committee when you start and this will be approved by one of the Graduate Tutors.

Supervisors do not necessarily need to come from the same division and can even be drawn from different institutions.

The UCL Doctoral Skills Development programme runs training sessions on supervisory relationships, for example “Getting the Most Out of Your Supervisory Relationship”, and confidential one-to-one problem-solving sessions. You can find the full list and sign up on the training sessions webpage. They have also produced a video on ‘Good Supervision’. If you are having any difficulties with your supervisor, you can speak to the divisional graduate tutors (Claudia Cooper or Liz Sampson).

Training & development 

Personal development

The UCL Doctoral Skills Development programme offers personal and professional development training courses tackling topics such as ‘Building up Emotional Strength as a Researcher’, ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ and ‘Managing the Anxieties of a PhD’. You may find these helpful for your wellbeing as a PhD student. You can find the full list and sign up on the website.

Doctoral training school

There is a mandatory UCL Doctoral School training session that runs in Term 1 called Introduction to Doctoral Skills Development and the Research Student Log. This induction provides an outline of the policy on transferable skills training for doctoral students and the national Researcher Development Framework that informs UCL’s programme. The session will explain how the Research Student Log and the Skills function work together, and how students may record their academic progress and skills development during their degree. 

Support and wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing support

If you are struggling with your mental health or personal issues, there is a range of support available specifically for UCL students:

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing: a team of expert wellbeing, disability and mental health advisers, offering a range of support for students, including confidential meetings, daily drop-in sessions and advice on extenuating circumstances and interrupting studies. You can call 0207 679 0100, email student.wellbeing@ucl.ac.uk, or find more information on the student support and wellbeing page. UCL Student Psychological and Counselling Services: a free service providing short-term counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, psychiatric support and psycho-educational groups to help you deal with a range of personal, emotional and psychological concerns. Find more information on the webpage. UCL Student Funding Advisors: confidential financial support, advice and guidance for UCL students struggling with money management or complex funding issues. Current students can raise a query on the askUCL system. Prospective students can email studentfundingadvice@ucl.ac.uk

Quiet room

In Wing B there is a quiet room, which can be used for breastfeeding, expressing breastmilk, prayer, or simply as a quiet space. The room is on the left hand side of Wing B, behind meeting room 8.

  • Care First: counselling support available by telephone or online (instant messaging) out of hours (during UCL closure, weekends, bank holidays and overnight). Provide advice and guidance on a range of issues related to university and home life. Call 0800 197 4510 or visit the evening and weekend support page.

See what it's like to study a PhD at UCL 

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Planning a Research Career

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The Research Process

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UCL's Research Culture

Postgraduate research training and clinical academic careers

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