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Course options

  • Qualification

    PhD/DPhil - Doctor of Philosophy

  • Location

    UCL (University College London)

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date


  • Duration

    4 years

Course summary


The Optical Biology PhD programme will train future research leaders to answer fundamental questions in biology by exploiting and developing state-of-the-art optical techniques. The programme brings together life scientists, physicists, chemists and computational scientists at UCL, with world-leading industrial and academic partners, to deliver an integrated training programme in the most advanced optical methods and analysis tools. The programme will be based at UCL, a world-leading environment where many major advances in optical techniques for biology have been developed, including ultra-fast 3D 2-photon microscopy, targeted 2-photon optogenetics, low power super- resolution imaging and whole-brain optical mapping. It will also offer students outstanding opportunities to undertake internships and training with our industrial and academic partners, promoting their career development and providing them with attractive post-PhD prospects.


Our unique programme will enable PhD students to achieve their full potential, challenging them intellectually, while providing the technical and personal support required to ensure their success. Hand-picked PhD committees and our emphasis on building and maintaining a strong sense of cohort, in addition to integration with the wider student body, will all serve to create a highly supportive environment. At the end of their training, students’ career progression will be supported along multiple paths via 'career transition placements' ensuring the students’ success continues to their next destination in industry or academia.


The unique identity of this programme lies in its combination of world class biomedical researchers partnering with outstanding engineers, physicists, chemists and computer scientists from academia and industry to create the first, wide-ranging and cohesive optical biology training programme. It will equip students to tackle major biological problems across scales, by training them in the use and development of optical methods and applying them in a range of model systems. Career development is supported by 'career transition placements' provided to facilitate the transition from PhD to the next workplace destination.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 27,750per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

UCL (University College London)

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  • Campus address

    UCL (University College London), Gower Street, London, Camden, WC1E 6BT, England

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