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MD(Res) Programmes

The MD(Res) programme is a postgraduate research degree for medically qualified professionals. It is 2/3 the length of a PhD and can serve as a basis for a research career, for academic and clinical promotion and for personal development in clinical practice. The MD(Res) is usually taken part time and allows the candidate to conduct a substantial piece of research over 4-5 years part time (or 2-3 full time). 

The typical entrant is a psychiatrist, neurologist or GP at higher training level, who has identified research supervisors based in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN). The candidate must be able to devote time to research (at least a day a week for part time students).

The MD(Res) is available to doctors at other stages of their career, including consultants, so long as the candidate can demonstrate he or she will have sufficient time to complete their studies.

As with other postgraduate research degrees, candidates are not only expected to conduct a significant study, but also to gain a broader research training, and a number of courses in research methodology, academic writing etc, run through KCL, are available to MD(Res) candidates.

The usual topic of MD(Res) studies is an empirical scientific project of relevance to clinical practice. But the programme can also involve medical humanities (including philosophy, history, law, arts and social science). Candidates will have a first supervisor at the IoPPN.  Additional supervisors can be at other departments at KCL or elsewhere.

The usual topic of MD(Res) studies is an empirical scientific project of relevance to clinical practice. But the programme also has a medical humanities option (including philosophy, history, law, arts and social science) that is unique to the UK. For the MD(Res) medical humanities, candidates will have a first supervisor at the IoPPN and additional supervisors in humanities departments at KCL or elsewhere.

Is a MD(Res) for me?

Although all MD(Res) students are clinicians, they come from a range of backgrounds, with a variety of experience. Take a look at the information below and some recent student profiles, to find out whether a MD(Res) is right for you:

Am I eligible?

Students must have:

  • The MB BS degree or some other registered primary qualification in Medicine recognized in the UK.
  • Preferably registration with the General Medical Council (GMC)

Entry requirements vary for department, and the minimum requirements for entry are included within each programme listing on our online prospectus.

Full time and part time study

If you wish to study full time:

  • You will be expected to submit your thesis within 2 years.

If you wish to study part time

  • You will be expected to submit your thesis within 4 years. 
You are allowed to submit early, but this rare due to a student's clinical duties. If you wish to submit early, this must be agreed with your supervisors. Please contact the Postgraduate Research Manager for more information. 

For more information, please see the Fees webpage.

Start dates

Students can start in either October (when most students start), February or June.

Students who are being funded by an external source should check whether there are any limitations on start dates. 


If you are not able to self fund your studies, browse through these links. Please be aware that there is less funding available for MD(Res) programmes, than PhDs.

Individual academics and departments occasionally offer full time fully funded studentships, on an ad hoc basis, if they receive funding themselves, however these tend to be for PhDs. MD(Res) applicants are therefore encouraged to contact academics regarding funding on a case by case basis.

For more information on funding at Kings, please see the Funding webpage.

Student Profiles

Norman Poole, MD(Res) Medical Humanities | P/T Student

Norman-Poole-re-sizedNorman is the first student to enrol on the MD(Res) Medical Humanities programme

I had previously completed the MSc in Philosophy of Mental Disorder run by IoPPN/ KCL, which was a brilliantly taught and rigorous exploration of the theories and models that underlie psychiatry. I knew that I wanted to pursue further research in this area but it was not clear to me how or where, until I learned of the MD (Res) programme in Medical Humanities under the aegis of the Department of Psychological Medicine.

The supervision really is world class with students given clear direction and aims but with the flexibility and encouragement to investigate other avenues along the way. All research students must accumulate transferable skills over the course of their study and the range of courses available is very wide. Some are invaluable, such as speed reading, while many others are fascinating even if not directly related to one's research topic: a five day course on Gramsci springs to mind.

I have been surprised by the opportunities afforded to research students here, whether that be seminars and conferences, courses on applying for funding or presenting skills, co-writing book chapters and papers, and establishing links internationally with researchers. My inbox is inundated daily with opportunities and activities.

I am unsure what the future holds but I do feel sure I will benefit professionally and personally from my time studying here.

Marcella Fok, MD(Res) | P/T Student

Marcella-FokLike many of my fellow psychiatry trainees in SLAM, I benefited from a MRCPsych course that had a strong academic component from the start, and had an early interest in psychiatric research. As my clinical interest in personality disorder developed I wanted to pursue research in the same area. The IoPPN was for me the natural choice for undertaking an MD(Res).

My chosen project means that I am based at the Health Service and Population Research (HSPR) Department and I make extensive use of resources within the Biomedical Research Centre Nucleus, particularly the Clinical Record Interactive Search (CRIS) System.

At KCL/IoPPN there is a clear framework of supervision, educational support and oversight for graduate students, which is very important for keeping us on track! There is free access for students to a wide range of training and development opportunities. The IoPPN also organises events such as the Graduate Student Showcase, which facilitates exposure and interest in the work of research students here.

I think being a researcher has expanded my horizons intellectually and helped me as a psychiatrist to have a broader perspective in my day-to-day clinical work. I very much hope to continue working in research beyond my MD, possibly as a clinical academic.

Your Next Step

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