Our university has more than 2,000 students enrolled in PhD programmes in a wide variety of study and research fields. Our PhD examination boards award 250 PhDs in each academic year.
UCL takes great care to ensure that students can successfully pursue their doctoral studies in an appropriate environment, by providing high-quality training and supervision, implementing clear, transparent procedures and treating all PhD candidates fairly.
Browse the ‘Valo Doc Studies’ sub-menu to find all the information you need to study for a PhD at UCL.
How do I apply for admission to the PhD?
To be able to put together your application for admission to the PhD programme for submission to the subject-specific doctoral committee (CDD) responsible for your chosen field of study, you must have:
• the necessary entry qualifications
• a supervisor who has agreed to oversee your work
• an original and innovative research topic in which you have a keen interest
• a proposed supervisory panel willing to support you
• your proposed doctoral training programme (60 credits)
• a way of funding your research
You will need to provide various documents. Pay particular attention to this aspect to enable the doctoral committees and the Enrolment Office to give proper consideration to your application.
What are the possibilities of research collaboration between several institutions, i.e. is it possible to have co-advisers, with or without a dual degree?
- co-advisers without a dual degree: while pursuing your PhD at UCL, you can tap the specialised expertise of a second thesis adviser at another university or research centre. This often includes research residencies and/or training at the second adviser’s university or research centre.
- co-advisers with a dual degree (= thesis co-supervision): More intense research collaboration can take place via thesis co-supervision, by pursuing your entire PhD at UCL and another university simultaneously and based on the same research.
Co-supervision leads to the awarding of a PhD from both universities.
What are the steps involved in a PhD?
- Admission/enrolment: once the responsible subject-specific doctoral committee (CDD) has approved your application, you will need to enrol at the University by contacting the Office of the Registrar. You can enrol for the first time throughout the academic year.
- Doctoral training: your doctoral training programme must include at least 60 credits, although you may engage in additional training activities if they are useful for your research or your future career.
- Mid-term evaluation: the mid-term evaluation (to be presented maximum two years after your admission) is a key step towards obtaining a PhD, as it will determine whether or not you are able to continue your studies.
- Private defence: the private defence (a scientific exercise, both written and oral) is the first step towards finalizing your thesis. Based on this, the PhD examination board will decide on the admissibility of your thesis and whether to authorize you to defend it publicly.
- Public defence: during this public viva voce, you will present the results of your research. Upon successful completion of this final stage in the process, the PhD examination board will grant you a doctorate from UCL.