Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc

Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. The Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc aims to meet the growing need for experts trained to analyse and provide solutions to these complex issues.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year
  • Part-time: 2 years

Programme start date

September 2016

Tuition Fees (2016/17)

£9,020 (FT) £4,510 (PT)
£25,140 (FT) £12,310 (PT)

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 5 October 2015
Close: 29 July 2016
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline 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:

Degree Information

Students will learn about and explore the characterisation, quantification, management and reduction of risk and disasters, and their associated impacts, from a diverse range of scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives. They will benefit from a wide range of taught modules which form the focus of the programme.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (to the combined value of 30 credits) and an independent research project (60 credits).

A postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, 6 core modules and 2 optional modules), full-time nine months, part-time two years, is also offered.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, 5 core modules and 3 optional modules), full-time nine months, part-time two years, is also offered.

Core Modules

  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Risk and Disaster Reduction Research Tools
  • Research Proposal and Appraisal


  • Choose two options (to the combined value of 30 credits) from a list which may include the following:
  • Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability and Disaster Risk Management
  • Post Disaster Recovery
  • Adapting Cities to Climate Change
  • Disaster Risk Reduction in Cities
  • Earthquake Seismology and Earthquake Hazards
  • Decision and Risk (Statistics)
  • Risk and Contingency Planning (Security and Crime Science)
  • Risk Power and Uncertainty (Anthropology)
  • Conflict, Humanitarianism and Health


All students undertake an independent research project of 10,000-12,000 words which culminates in a research project and poster presentation.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is by independent and group oral presentations, written examination, coursework essays, and the independent project. Practical applications of critical and creative problem solving will be encouraged and assessed throughout.

Further information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Risk, Disaster and Resilience MSc


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

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial need

Dennis Curry Scholarship in Micropalaeontology

£4,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


This programme provides excellent training towards careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering, and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field. The IRDR runs a careers and opportunities forum for students; this has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Several students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.


Examples of previous graduate students' employment within the field of risk and disaster reduction include working for an international economic consultancy based in London in the area of micro-finance, working as a consultant in disaster risk for a key player in the London insurance market, continuing academic study through a PhD studentship, working for the World Food Programme, working in a London council, and working for Rescue Global (a NGO based in London). A number of MSc students have also participated in internship programmes with REscue Global.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), where teaching for this programme is based, leads and co-ordinates multi-disciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL.

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to at least 70 academics across 12 departments and seven faculties involved in world-class research, the IRDR has established links with non-governmental organisations, industry and government departments based in and around London.

Teaching and project supervision will be provided by active researchers, practitioners and policy-makers, all of whom are leaders in their respective fields.

Student / staff ratios › 56 staff including 24 postdocs › 53 taught students › 60 research students

Department: Earth Sciences

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.

Who can apply?

The programme aims to train the next generation of innovative, creative and objectively critical researchers, thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers in risk and disaster resilience.

Application deadlines

All applicants
29 July 2016

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Risk, Disaster and Resilience at graduate level
  • why you want to study Risk, Disaster and Resilience at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Contact Information


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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