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Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences (Research Division) MPhil/PhD



  • REF2014: Overall, this submission is ranked 2nd of all 94 submissions in terms of Power (Unit of Assessment 3b - Subjects Allied to Medicine: Pharmacy, Nutritional Sciences and Women’s Health).

  • Research income: £2.9m for year 2012-13

  • Current number of academic staff: 35

  • Current number of research students: 35 PhD students

  • Recent publications and awards: See Research Portal

  • Current research projects: See Research Groups' pages.

Key information

Duration Expected to be MPhil two years FT, PhD three or four years FT, six years PT. Students are encouraged to begin their research close to the start of the academic year (October) so as to attend the introductory courses. There are four registration points throughout the year; October, January, April and July.

Study mode Full-time,Part-time

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine



Entry requirements

Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.

Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours (or overseas equivalent) in biomedical science or a veterinary, medical or dental qualification. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit or above

Application procedure

Studentships will be advertised in, the College’s Health Schools Studentships website or on

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics. Proposed research projects must be approved by the Head of Division and Research Degree Co-ordinator before an offer can be made.

Personal statement and supporting information

A personal statement which outlines the candidate's motivation to undertake a postgraduate research degree and their relevant qualifications, skills and experience is required for all applications. Unless applying for an advertised studentship, candidates should also list, in order of preference, up to three supervisors with which they would like to study. We strongly advise candidates to approach prospective supervisors before applying, as this speeds up the application process. Full transcripts for all degrees you have undertaken are required. The transcript for each degree should list all modules taken and the grades achieved. Applicants who are still enrolled on a course should supply partial transcripts of the modules taken and grades achieved so far, as well as a list of the modules that are currently being taken and the date when results are expected. Please also list A-level subjects and the grades achieved, and provide details of any voluntary work or relevant experience.

Course intake

Approximately 10 to 15.

Application closing date

Applicants must apply at least 3 months prior to the beginning of their proposed start date. Applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note funding applications may be subject to specific deadlines.


Course detail


The Division of Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences brings together basic scientists, clinicians and public health practitioners in the two disciplines to develop evidence based strategies for the prevention of diet related and metabolic diseases.

Diabetes Research has as its remit the improvement of outcomes in diabetes care from the bench through the bedside to the community. The science of nutrition is concerned with understanding the effects of food on the body in both health and disease. Both subjects require a multidisciplinary approach, and researchers within the Division interact with each other, and with researchers across the Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine, to develop a focus on understanding Type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, especially of the gastrointestinal tract. The aim is to apply this knowledge to new preventive and therapeutic interventions.

The Division's activity centres on four major groups:

  • Diabetes Research
  • Diet and Cardiovascular Health
  • Diet and Gastrointestinal Health
  • Metal Metabolism

The Diabetes Research group is present on both the Guy's and Denmark Hill campuses, with extensive laboratory space in the Hodgkin Building at Guy's housing research in islet physiology and development and in the application of nanotechnology to both cell therapy and to glucose sensing/insulin delivery. Administrative offices, a human cell isolation laboratory and a satellite islet research laboratory specialising in islet growth and culture, together with a laboratory for thyroid autoimmunity are present on the Denmark Hill site.

Nutritional Sciences Research is based in the Franklin-Wilkins Building at Waterloo and has access to first-class research facilities across the College, and at Guy's and St Thomas' and King's College Hospitals. Within the Franklin-Wilkins Building we have well-equipped laboratories with specialised facilities and analytical equipment, including 5-channel FACS, GCMS, GC, confocal microscope imaging, cell culture, HPLC, a ballistic bomb calorimeter, DIGE electrophoresis and spot picker and an ILAB 650 chemistry analyser. Members of the Division use the Mass Spectrometry and the Genomics Centres within the Franklin-Wilkins Building, and also have access to the College's NMR and Electron Microscopy core facilities. A clinical pathology accredited (CPA) laboratory is available at King's College Hospital.

Facilities for conducting research on human subjects are provided on three sites: we have a purpose-built Metabolic Research Unit in the Franklin-Wilkins building and Clinical Research Facilities at both St Thomas' and King's College Hospitals, that provide state-of-the-art facilities for performing studies of in vivo metabolism (including use of insulin clamp and stable isotope infusion technologies) and measuring vascular function, exercise, visual function, body composition and cognitive function.

There is extensive external collaboration both at national (MRC-HNR Cambridge, Cancer Research UK Oxford, University of Reading, University of Surrey, University of Southampton, UCL, ICL) and at international level (NIFES Bergen, EU projects, University of Maastricht Netherlands, University Wageningen Netherlands, Caribbean, Ghana, Malaysia, Japan and USA), with the food and pharmaceutical industries (e.g. Unilever, Nestle, Premier Foods, Vifor, Glaxo Smith Kline, Archer Daniel Mills) and with the public sector (in particular with the Department of Health and the Food Standards Agency).

Course study environment

Students work alongside staff researchers, supervised by two members of academic staff and overseen by the Divisional Postgraduate Research Co-ordinators. Students' progress is monitored closely and reported on every six months.

Postgraduate training

All staff undergo regular training in research supervision and each student is allocated a first and second supervisor. The College has a Graduate School that provides opportunities for students to broaden their horizons and acquire transferable skills. All PhD students are first enrolled on an MPhil and are expected to complete a transfer to PhD within the first year. Postgraduate tutors are in place to support and monitor PhD/ MD Res student progress and to ensure reports are signed off in a timely basis using a College based reporting system. Individual research groups organise journal clubs and peer review protocol development and data analysis plans. Clinical research fellows funded by the BRC/ NIHR are supported by a STEMC cluster training programme which includes advice on fellowship applications. There are weekly research seminar programmes organised by Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences Division as well as by the Biomedical Forum and a programme of lectures organised by the KCL/GSTTBRC with outstanding external lecturers. Students participate in an annual postgraduate research symposium and are encouraged to present their research at meetings of Diabetes UK, the Biochemical Society, the Physiological Society and the Nutrition Society. All students are regularly notified about skills development opportunities through a monthly Postgraduate Research Newsletter. There are also opportunities to participate in the European Nutrition Leadership Programme.

Head of group/division

Professors Stephanie Amiel and Tom Sanders

Contact for information

Postgraduate Admissions Centre at Guy's Campus, tel +44 (0)20 7848 7444; Dr Christopher Corpe, Postgraduate Research Degree Co-ordinator (Nutritional Sciences); Dr Afshan Malik, Postgraduate Research Degree Co-ordinator (Diabetes)

Contact email,,

Course website

Career prospects

Career destinations

Research institutes, international and governmental agencies, food and pharmaceutical industries, nutrition information services, public health, obesity management, higher education.


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Fees and funding

Full time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,600 p.a. (MD Res, 2016/17)*

£4,600 p.a. (MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

£4,600 p.a. (Clinical, MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

Full time tuition fees - Overseas

£20,000 p.a. (MD Res, 2016/17)*

£20,000 p.a. (MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

£38,200 p.a. (Clinical, MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees - Home/EU

£4,600 p.a. (MD Res, 2016/17)*

£4,600 p.a. (MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

£4,600 p.a. (Clinical, MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

Part time tuition fees – Overseas

£10,000 p.a. (MD Res, 2016/17)*

£10,000 p.a. (MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

£19,100 p.a. (Clinical, MPhil/PhD, 2016/17)*

*This tuition fee is subject to annual increases.

Please visit our web pages on fees and funding for more information.

Home students can be funded by research councils, charities, government bodies and industry. Potential supervisors may be able to assist applicants in raising funds. A King's Graduate School Studentship may be available each year. Overseas students are eligible to apply for funding schemes through the Graduate School.



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