Research course

Ear Institute

UCL - University College London · Ear Institute

Entry requirements

MD(Res) applicants must have obtained the MBBS degree (or equivalent) and be eligible for registration with the UK General Medical Council. A UK Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, or a minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

Months of entry


Course content

The extensive specialities of the research investigators at the Ear Institute provide an opportunity to study just about every aspect of hearing from cell and molecular biology to clinical research and cognitive neuroscience. Collaborations between researchers at the Ear Institute and clinicians at UCL partner hospitals facilitate novel, trans-disciplinary experimental approaches and translational research.

The Institute has multiple state-of-the-art laboratories specialising in cell and molecular biology, genetics, auditory function, imaging, auditory processing and cognitive neuroscience. Its close collaboration with the largest ENT Hospital in the UK and UCL partner hospitals provides a wonderful training environment for clinical research students. What makes it exceptional is the interaction between these laboratories, scientists and clinicians, to create research that is novel, distinct, of high clinical impact and with strong potential to translate into clinical practice.

Department specialisms

Molecular genetics of hearing and deafness: discovering the genetic causes of deafness and hearing loss; molecular mechanisms of hair cell loss; whole transcriptome and whole exome approaches. Cell biology of hearing and balance loss: understanding the mechanism of sensory hair cell death; repair of the sensory epithelia; hair cell regeneration; stem cell-based approaches for screening and therapy. Cellular physiology of hair cells: mechanisms of transduction; biophysics of afferent synapses; physiological characterisation of auditory neurons; electrophysiology Clinical audiology: evaluating current approaches for hearing impairment, tinnitus, cochlear implants, balance disorders and new diagnostic tools Cochlear homeostasis: epithelial barrier functions; roles of gap junctions; fluid and ion homeostasis Cognitive neuroscience: brain mechanisms of sound localisation; coding complex sounds in auditory cortex; molecular physiological basis of synaptic and neural activity Molecular genetics of hearing and deafness: identifying susceptibility genes for age-related hearing loss Psychophysics and speech perception: spectral and temporal processing, pitch perception, binaural hearing, development of speech perception and music perception Testing auditory function: otoacoustic emissions to identify susceptibility to hearing loss; development of sensitive audiological test procedures for diagnostic clinical use.

Information for international students

Please see:

Fees and funding

UK students
£4,635 (FT) £2,315 (PT)
International students
£21,530 (FT) £10,765 (PT)

Funding opportunities available for students is provided by the UCL Graduate School.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
24 months


full time
36 months
part time
60 months


part time
60 months
full time
36 months

Course contact details

Ms Cathy Thornewill
+44 (0)20 7679 8908