Full time PhD, Part time PhD and MPhil
All postgraduates intending to obtain a PhD initially register for an MPhil degree. Transfer to the PhD programme occurs after approximately one year following the successful presentation of a short thesis and an oral examination with two members of the academic staff. The final examination for a PhD is by the presentation of a thesis, which will be read by both an external examiner (i.e. someone from outside UCL), and an internal examiner (from within UCL). These two examiners will then arrange an oral examination. The usual period taken to complete a PhD is three to four years but the College regulations allow for completion after two years. An MPhil may also be obtained after two years’ research.
Many postgraduate research projects are run in collaboration with industry, giving the postgraduate researcher a valuable insight into industrial research. Several postgraduate research projects are run in collaboration with other departments, including Medical Physics, Biochemical Engineering, Computer Science, giving the postgraduate researcher a strong grounding across an interdisciplinary boundary. The department also actively supports the UCL off-campus postgraduate research scheme in which an individual working in a UK industrial or public research laboratory may, with the support of the employer, register for a part-time PhD course and carry out the research in that laboratory.
The EPSRC funded doctoral training centres (in Photonic Systems Development and Security Science) have a different programme, whereby the student enrols for a Masters of Research degree which is awarded at the end of the first year. The best candidates are then able to continue to the PhD programme.
Research projects available for postgraduate research
Research projects in the PhD and MPhil programmes are supervised by academic staff members and carried out in their research teams. A list of the academic staff in the department and their areas of research can be seen on the web page: academic staff. Postgraduate researchers working on an industrially linked project may also spend time in the research laboratory of the industrial collaborator. To get a picture of the research activities of the department, browse through the departmental research pages.