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Kings College London Course/Program Name
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International :29 Jul 
EU :02 Sep 

MPhil Asthma, Allergy & Lung Biology (AALB) (Research Division)

 Course Level
Masters / PG
Full Time

3 Years
 Start month

 Tuition fee

20000 GBP
4600 GBP
4600 GBP

Application fee

International 0 GBP
National 0 GBP
Faculty of Life Sciences & Medicine
Scores accepted
IELTS (min)6.5
TOEFL-IBT (min)92

World University Ranking

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About this course

REF2014: Ranked first in the United Kingdom for Clinical Medicine, in terms of the proportion of our overall submission that was ranked 4* or 3* (Unit of Assessment 1 – Clinical Medicine).

Research income: £23m over the last five years.

Current number of academic staff: 38 faculty members.

Current number of research students: MPhil/PhD 43; MD 13.

Recent publications

  • Enhanced production of IL-17A in patients with severe asthma is inhibited by 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 in a glucocorticoid-independent fashion.
  • Conformational changes in IgE contribute to its uniquely slow dissociation rate from receptor FcÉ›RI.
  • Human T(H)2 cells respond to cysteinyl leukotrienes through selective expression of cysteinyl leukotriene receptor 1.
  • Identifying infants at high risk of peanut allergy: the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) screening study.
  • Rhinovirus infection and healthcare utilisation in prematurely born infants.

Current research projects

  • Prevention of Allergy, Asthma & Chronic Respiratory Morbidity;
  • IgE Structure, Function & Regulation;
  • Immune Mechanisms of Asthma (Cellular/Molecular);
  • Therapy including Immunomodulation;
  • Respiratory Physiology and Airways Remodelling;
  • Adult Clinical Respiratory Physiology;
  • Paediatric Clinical Respiratory Physiology;
  • Lung Cancer;
  • Environmental Impact of Respiratory Health (Pollution, Vitamin D).
  • Epigenetic regulation of gene expression

Partner organisations

  • Department of Respiratory Medicine & Allergy;
  • Department of Paediatrics, Department of Paediatric Allergy;
  • Randall Division of Cell & Molecular Biophysics;
  • MRC & Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma.

Check further details on University website

Eligibility Criteria

Minimum 2:1 honours degree (or the overseas equivalent) is required in medicine, immunology, molecular biology, biochemistry, microbiology, genetics, physiology or pharmacology. 

A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Master's degree with merit or above.

For further information please contact the Admissions Office Postgraduate (Health) team.


Enhanced criminal conviction check Please note that research programmes within the School of Medicine may sometimes require a criminal conviction check depending on the particular topic/method of research.

English language requirement:

  • IELTS: 6.5
  • TOEFL-IBT: 92

Check further details on University website

Course Modules


The Division of Asthma, Allergy & Lung Biology has three main research aims:

  • To elucidate the basic mechanisms that underlie the causes and effects of airway inflammation
  • To understand mechanisms of anti-inflammatory drug action
  • To find ways to improve hospital care for very ill patients, including those with respiratory failure.

Our research programmes range from basic science to clinical research and include studies that will elucidate the molecular and physiological mechanisms of inflammation; research to identify and test new therapeutic approaches to treating allergies, inflammation and cancer; and clinical trials to test new allergy prevention strategies.

We have a critical research mass within the Division that creates unique synergies and offers opportunities for researchers to work closely and productively while preserving scientific independence. The close interface between our clinical and lab-based research is one of the keys to our success. We share knowledge, equipment, reagents and human materials (such as biopsy material, cell lines and clones) to maximise the potential of our resources and help translate advances in our understanding of allergic and respiratory diseases into healthcare benefits for patients as rapidly as possible.

Our research strategy is to understand the molecular, immunological and physiological mechanisms of asthma, allergy and related respiratory diseases, including COPD and lung cancer; to identify new therapeutic targets; to test new treatment strategies and to find ways to improve hospital care for adults and children with severe lung diseases including respiratory failure.

Course study environment

Students each work on individual projects, within established teams of researchers, supervised by the principal investigator of the group and with laboratory supervision on a day-to-day basis. Students are expected to submit their thesis within four years of the start of their studies and to achieve this will need to work at least 09.00-17.00 on a daily basis.

Graduate research students work alongside basic science and clinical researchers of all levels and training backgrounds. Projects span basic and clinical science topics allied to respiratory diseases including asthma, rhinitis and chronic obstructive airways disease and are offered at Guy's Hospital, St Thomas' Hospital and Denmark Hill campuses. The division is also part of the MRC and Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma (in conjunction with Imperial College), so students can benefit from the synergy created by the collaboration in this area of science between two outstanding Colleges in London. The Centre is the only MRC Centre in Asthma and Allergy in the UK.

All students have two supervisors and a Higher Degree Co-ordinator. Registration is for MPhil initially and upgrade to PhD occurs at nine months following completion of an 8,000-word report, oral presentation and viva-voce. We run an active programme of external seminar speakers and technology-orientated weekly journal clubs to supplement the core training provided by PhD projects and the generic/transferable skills from the Graduate School. Students also regularly present their goals and findings to a broad interdepartmental audience at research-inprogress meetings as well as externally at national and international meetings.

Postgraduate training

Aside from generic laboratory and transferable skills tuition, we offer a multidisciplinary training (both theoretical and practical) in basic and clinical scientific disciplines (biology, biochemistry, chemistry, structural biology, bioinformatics and translational research) as applied to the specific clinical research fields of asthma and immunology.

Head of group/division

Professor Jeremy Ward

Contact for information

Professor Catherine Hawrylowicz Tel: +44 (0)20 7188 1943 Fax: +44 (0)20 7403 8640

Contact email

catherine.hawrylowicz@kcl.ac.uk, pg-healthadmissions@kcl.ac.uk

Course website


Check further details on University website

How to Apply

Application procedure

Studentships will be advertised in New Scientist Study, Nature Jobs, findaphd.com, the university’sHealth Faculties Studentships website or on jobs.ac.uk

Short-listed applicants will be interviewed by at least two academics. Proposed research projects must be approved by the School Postgraduate Research Committee before an offer can be made.

Those applying for the joint PhD are encouraged to contact an academic at King's to develop research links with the partner institution.

Personal statement and supporting information

Please provide information on the research project you wish to undertake, information about your research experience and, for self-funded applicants, details of how you plan to fund yourself.

Course intake

No set number.

Application closing date

The deadline for applications is detailed below for 2016 and 2017 entry. Prior to these dates all applications will be given equal consideration and considered on their individual merits. After these dates applications will be considered subject to the availability of places, thus we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. Please note that funding deadlines may be earlier.

April 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 19th February 2016 for UK/EU and international students.

July 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 20th May 2016 for UK/EU and international students.

September 2016 entry - Application deadline will be on the 29th July 2016 for international students and 2nd September 2016 for UK/EU students.

January 2017 entry - Application deadline will be on the 31st October 2016 for international students and 2 December 2016 for UK/EU students. 

Check further details on University website

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