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Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes + EngD

This programme provides students with the opportunity to tackle a challenging research problem identified by industry as critical to our urban environment. The taught element of the programme focuses on engineering systems and developing technologies and methodologies that will both increase the resilience and support the sustainability of our urban systems and infrastructure.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2017

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years
Part time: 5/6 years

Tuition fees (2017/18)

£4,915 (FT) N/A (PT)
£23,050 (FT) N/A (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Close: 31 July 2016

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the chosen field, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


Our multidisciplinary department has a long tradition of excellence and innovation in teaching and research. We hold the largest EPSRC research portfolio in civil engineering and our diverse range of programmes covering all major areas of civil, environmental and geomatic engineering are accredited by professional engineering bodies (ICE, CIWEM, IHO, RICS). Students benefit from our extensive links to world-leading industry in London and directly engage with research to tackle global challenges. Our graduates go on to make the world a better place as researchers, industrial engineers, planners, and policymakers.

Research areas

The EngD programme has two key themes: sustainability and resilience. We focus on reducing the impact of our cities on ecological systems (air, water, food chains) whilst improving the quality of daily lives and coping with the problems of population growth and changing demographics, such as an ageing society. We are concerned with engineering systems and developing technologies that will increase the resilience of our urban systems (education, health, transport, water, financial, governance) and the infrastructure that supports them (roads, communications networks, buildings) to shocks arising from natural, economic and technological disasters.
More information can be found on the department website: Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes + EngD

Degree structure

Students undertake the MRes in Urban Sustainability and Resilience in year one. During this year, students undertake four taught modules: two 15-credit research skills modules (usually Advanced Research Practice and Interdisciplinary Thinking in Urban Sustainability and Resilience) and 30 credits of graduate-level technical modules from across UCL. In years two to four, students take an additional 60 credits of graduate-level taught modules, including at least one business management module (15 credits). Students also work on an MRes research project defined by industry (120 credits).

Students submit a report of up to 20,000 words based on the MRes research project and produce a presentation (120 credits); EngD progression at the end of year two: students produce a report of 5,000-10,000-words; EngD thesis: students produce a thesis of a maximum of 100,000 words.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


An attractive qualification to further your career, the EngD will prepare you with commercial awareness and a holistic understanding of the industrial landscape. With these skills and knowledge, you can expect to enter the job market at a senior level within a research and development group. As an EngD Research Engineer, you will bridge the gap between the academic and commercial world.


The collaborative nature of the engineering doctorate offered within the Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) means that students gain first-hand experience of working with industry, giving our alumni a distinct advantage as they enter their professional lives. The centre has well-established partnerships with global engineering companies such as Arup, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and Willis and strong links with NGOs and government agencies such as London Underground and Transport for London. Through its Industrial Advisory Committee, the centre ensures that the training its research engineers receive addresses what industry demands of its future employees.


USAR hosts an international conference series that gives our students the opportunity to interact and develop links with leading thinkers in the field of urban sustainability and resilience. Our students are actively encouraged to present papers at international conferences, publish journal articles and to participate in opportunities beyond the centre, for example by undertaking a secondment with the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and to exploit the experiences and connections that these activities present. USAR also hosts research showcases and workshops attended by industry and academics at which our research engineers present their work and are questioned by their peers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) provides an energetic and exciting environment that draws on expertise from across the university.

The centre is based within UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) – a revolutionary department within UCL, distinguished by its radical thinking and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching.The combination of innovative, transformative investigation and practical application is the department’s response to the challenge of making the world a better place.

Students work in a dedicated research centre - providing a critical mass of problem solvers and intellectual resources, and offering excellent networking opportunities.

Department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

Student / staff numbers › 107 staff including 48 postdocs › 154 taught students › 119 research students

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

What our students and staff say

Student view

"I find the fact that we may be able to retain infrastructure, rather than needing to knock it down and rebuild, inspiring and interesting. During the programme, access to industry and gaining an insight into how industry works without having to fully engage with it has been useful in helping to understand whether it is a future career choice I would like to make. "

Felicity Davies

Urban Sustinability and Resilience EngD
Student view

"I really enjoyed my experience at UCL as BSc and MSc student. I knew that UCL had the best resources available and would give me an opportunity to work with the best academics."

Pola Berent

Urban Sustainability and Resilience EngD
Student view

"The interdisciplinary nature of my field is incredibly interesting. I work alongside chemical engineers, computer scientists, ecological experts and physicists. That inspires me."

Kurtis Garbutt

Urban Sustainability and Resilience EngD

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Application deadlines

All applicants
31 July 2016

The start date for students undertaking the four-year EngD programme in Urban Sustainability and Resilience is September.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information


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