KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases MPhil/PhD, MD(Res)

Apply now


The Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases (WCARD) is part of the Division of Neuroscience within the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN). Research in the WCARD focuses on the maintenance of a healthy nervous system during aging, by understanding how its activity changes during damage to nerves and the surrounding tissues, and investigating new techniques to repair damaged neurons. Our long-term goal is to improve the quality of life of patients affected by lifelong and age-related diseases of the nervous system. Our research is geared towards i) understanding physiological and molecular mechanisms that drive disease conditions and ii) harness our scientific knowledge to develop new therapeutic strategies to restore normal sensory function and to better repair injury. 

Currently, our 4 major research themes are:

1). Chronic Pain: Delineating new pathways and mechanisms of chronic pain to allow us to identify innovative targets in neurons and non-neuronal cell.

2). Regeneration: Aiming to restore function after CNS injury by developing regenerative therapies that target the ongoing inflammation and glial scar to facilitate endogenous repair mechanisms.

3). Hearing: Studying the genetics of age-related hearing loss in humans and mice to understand the pathological mechanisms that drive this process.

4). Migraine: Delineating the underlying mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets for migraine and related primary headache disorders from bench to bedside and back.

Researchers in all 4 themes are actively seeking PhD students to join their projects.

We specialise in using electrophysiology and imaging techniques (e.g. patch-clamp; fMRI/microPET; genetic indicators of neuronal activity; in situ hybridization; in-vivo electrophysiology) with sequencing and bioinformatics (e.g. RNAseq, microarray, machine learning) on translational models of human disease (e.g. neuropathic pain, migraine, stroke, spinal cord injury, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia) to better understand disease processes. The results of these studies then inform a drug discovery process to develop innovative therapeutics.


Key benefits

  • Interaction with internationally renowned neuroscience researchers both within the WCARD and as presenters at our research seminars.
  • Friendly and collaborative research environment
  • Partnerships with hospitals, industrial collaborators and other research centres
  • PhD students have the opportunity to develop their research skills in the WCARD, and also have access to transferable skills training through the KCL Centre for Doctoral Studies
  • We encourage our PhD students to develop their education skills through involvement in tutorials and laboratory demonstrations for undergraduate and taught post-graduate students in the departments of Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Pharmacology and Physiology

Key information

Duration Expected to be three to four years FT, or four to six years PT. Registration usually October although students may commence in February or June as well. email: ioppn.pgr@kcl.ac.uk

Study mode Full-time, Part-time

Further details

Awarding institution King's College London

Faculty Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience



Explore campuses

Welcome to King's

In the heart of London

Discover the advantages of studying at one of the top 25 universities in the world and take a look at our central London campuses.

Watch more videos

Course detail


Over the last two decades, there have been tremendous advances in our understanding of the molecules and principles that govern the functioning of the nervous system. Great progress has been made to understand the molecular basis of disease states and pain, and the molecular mechanisms that limit regeneration. These advances enable innovative neuroscience and the opportunity to translate new knowledge into clinical benefits

Our mission is to:

  • Further understand the causes of chronic pain, including migraine, identify new drug targets, develop treatments and monitor outcomes.
  • Study neuronal receptors and neuronal signalling mechanisms to promote symptomatic relief from the pain and dysfunction associated with a damaged nervous system.
  • Develop and test strategies aimed at restoring function to the damaged nervous system by promoting cell survival and resolution of inflammation

Our PhD students are an essential part of our research work, but every project and every studentship is different. A list of publications, research grants and researchers from the Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases can be found here.

Course study environment

Students work alongside staff researchers, are supervised by two members of academic staff and overseen by a divisional research co-ordinator. Students' progress is monitored closely and reported on every six months.

Postgraduate training

All students are regularly notified about skills development opportunities through a monthly Postgraduate Research Newsletter.

Head of group/division

Professor Marzia Malcangio

Contact for information

For any additional queries regarding application and project approval procedures please contact


Education Support Team: ioppn.pgr@kcl.ac.uk


Admissions Tutor: Dr Nicola Hamilton-Whitaker - nicola.hamilton-whitaker@kcl.ac.uk


Administrator: Vivien Cheah – vivien.cheah@kcl.ac.uk


Contact email

Course website

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

ARD Research entry requirements
Minimum requirements  
  • Bachelor's degree with 2:1 honours in science, medicine or dentistry.

  • A 2:2 degree may be considered if the applicant also has a Master's degree with a merit or distinction.

  • Relevant experience may also be acceptable.

International requirements   Visit our admissions webpages to view our International entry requirements.
English Language requirements Band D Visit our admissions webpages to view our English language entry requirements.


Application procedure

Application procedure:

Step 1- Finding Supervisors: Firstly, you will need to find supervisors to work with you in this capacity. You can search through our research portal to find supervisors who work in your chosen research area. Applicants are expected to contact academics directly.

Step 2- Arranging funding: Unless you are applying for a studentship or can self-fund your studies, you will need to arrange for funding before you make the application. The following pages are useful:

For tips and advice from our students who have been awarded NIHR and MRC Research Training Fellowships, particularly regarding the interview stage click here.

Step 3- Make an online application: Next you need to make your online application here.  This application will be assessed by the Admissions team to assess your references, fee status as well as your eligibility in terms of education and experience.

Step 4- Submit a Project Approval Form: The project approval form (PAF) is used to assess your project in terms of planning, feasibility and appropriateness for a PhD. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the form is completed but it is recommended that applicants work closely with the supervisors.

Make sure you complete all sections, answering all questions fully, and signatures from all supervisors and student are included. There is no need to collect the signatures from the Head of Department/Business Manager and Sub-Committee Chair at this point.

 We strongly advise the submission of your application as early as possible to ensure that you can begin with your desired intake. If your application is not processed in time you run the risk of a deferral to the subsequent intake.

We advise Home students to submit their online application and PAF at least two months before their desired registration date, and EU and Overseas students to submit their online application and PAF at least three months ahead of their desired registration date, although the earlier the application submission the better. This is to take into account any English Language tests you may need to take and await the results of, and any visa applications that you may need to make.

It is typical that the process from the receipt of your online application and PAF through to offer letter stage (which includes the arrangement of the PhD interview) takes approximately six weeks.

Please note that the deadlines listed below are for both the online application and Project Approval Form (PAF) which is to be submitted in Microsoft Word format to ioppn.pgr@kcl.ac.uk.

Copies of the PAF can be downloaded here


Personal statement and supporting information

You will be asked to submit the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

Wolfson Centre research checklist
Personal Statement Yes A personal statement of up to 4,000 characters (maximum 2 pages) is required.
Research Proposal Yes

The proposal should explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it. For advice on how to write a winning application, please visit the following page.

A letter of support from your proposed King's supervisor is also required. More information is available on the IOPPN website.

Previous Academic Study Yes

A copy (or copies) of your official academic transcript(s), showing the subjects studied and marks obtained. If you have already completed your degree, copies of your official degree certificate will also be required. Applicants with academic documents issued in a language other than English, will need to submit both the original and official translation of their documents.

Please also list A-level subjects (or high school subjects for international students) and the grades achieved.

References Yes Two references are required with at least one academic. Professional references will be accepted if you have completed your qualifications over five years ago.
Other Optional Applicants may wish to include a CV (Resume) or evidence of professional registration as part of their application.


Course intake

Normally 10.

Application closing date

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible as we may need to request further information from you to assess your application. This is also important if your application is successful and you are required to meet any offer condition, and/or you need a Student Visa to study here at King's.

The final application deadlines are detailed below; on these dates, the programme will close at 23:59 (UK time) and we will open for the corresponding intake in 2023 soon after the same intake has passed in 2022.

  • February 2022 entry – 12 November 2021 for Overseas fee status and 6 December 2021 for Home fee status

  • June 2022 entry – 1 April 2022 for Overseas fee status and 11 April 2022 for Home fee status

  • October 2022 entry – 29 July 2022 for Overseas fee status and 26 August 2022 for Home fee status

  • February 2023 entry – 21 October 2022 for Overseas fee status and 22 November 2022 for Home fee status

  • June 2023 entry – 3 April 2023 for Overseas fee status and 17 April 2023 for Home fee status

Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier than the application deadlines listed above.

Help and support

If you don't have a suitable qualification for direct entry to a UK university, or if English isn't your first language, our academic preparation courses can help you get ready for study in the UK.

International Foundation

Fees and funding

UK Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £6,720 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,360 per year

International Tuition Fees 2021/22

Full time tuition fees: £25,350 per year

Part time tuition fees: £12,675 per year

UK Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £7,050 per year

Part time tuition fees: £3,525 per year

International Tuition Fees 2022/23

Full time tuition fees: £26,640 per year

Part time tuition fees: £13,320 per year

EU Students starting their programme in the academic year 2021/22 will pay international tuition fees.

These tuition fees may be subject to additional increases in subsequent years of study, in line with King's terms and conditions.

Financial help and support

Visit the fees and funding webpages to find out more about bursaries, scholarships, grants, tuition fees, living expenses, student loans and other financial help available at King's.

Career prospects

Of the last 20 PhD students who left the Wolfson CARD, all finished their PhDs within the allotted time and either carried on as an early career researcher (postdoctoral research associates and fellows: 57%), continued in scientific careers beyond academia (38%) or found a career outside science (5%). Of those that chose to continue as a postdoctoral academic researcher, 75% stayed at UK university, and 25% went to a non-UK university.

Career destinations

Contact Division for details.


King's College London logo

Next steps

View our postgraduate guide

Learn more about postgraduate degree programmes at King's.

View guide

Sound like the course for you?

Apply now

Explore King’s

Accommodation Take a look at our comfortable, safe residences to suit your budget, located close to King's teaching campuses. 
Student life Art, food, music, shopping – you'll never find yourself with nothing to do in the world's most vibrant city.
Extra-curricular Discover the huge variety of extra-curricular opportunities at King’s, from MOOCs to language courses.
London living With four campuses by the River Thames and one in south London, King's is right in the heart of the capital.