The cross-disciplinary UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) conducts research, teaching and enterprise work in the area of sustainable use of natural resources, bringing together capabilities from across UCL. Our multidisciplinary programme and strong links to industry, policy and other academic institutions provide an excellent foundation for PhD study.
Modes and duration
Full-time students study for 37.5 hours per week. Part-time students normally attend half this amount. Research students are required to be in continuous attendance, apart from periods of leave.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 Students website.
A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, in a relevant subject, is essential. Exceptionally: where applicants have other suitable research or professional experience, they may be admitted without a Master's degree; or where applicants have a lower second-class UK Honours Bachelor's degree (2:2) (or equivalent) they must possess a relevant Master's degree to be admitted. We expect any successful application to include a sufficiently strong and convincing proposal, and those holding a Master's degree are typically well prepared to provide one. Relevant work experience is highly desirable.
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.
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:
Faced with a growing global population and increased demand and competition for natural resources our mission is to generate knowledge in their globally sustainable use. Our research portfolio includes major EU and EPSRC funded projects, as well as consultancy with industry and policy practitioners at the highest level.
Our research is built around five intersecting themes:
- Abiotic resources
- Biotic resources
- Definitions and indicators of sustainable resource use
- Green economy
- Resource efficiency
About this degree
The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) consists of a piece of supervised research, normally undertaken over a period of three years full-time. Assessment is by means of a thesis, which should demonstrate your capacity to pursue original research based upon a good understanding of the research techniques and concepts appropriate to the discipline.
Initially, you will be registered for the MPhil degree. If you wish to proceed to a PhD, you will be required to pass an 'Upgrade' assessment. The purpose of the upgrade is to assess your progress and ability to complete your PhD programme to a good standard and in a reasonable time frame. It is expected that a full-time student will attempt upgrade within 18 months of registration.
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
The MPhil/PhD programme is one of independent research but your Principle Supervisor will establish a timetable of regular meetings with you at which all matters relating to your work can be discussed; such meetings should take place at least once per month.
As a research student, your additional costs may include expenses such as books, conference attendance and field research, in the UK or overseas.
The Built Environment Faculty Office provides financial support to students through the Bartlett Student Conference Fund, Bartlett Doctoral Initiative Fund, Bartlett External Training Fund and Bartlett Extenuating Circumstances Fund. However, please note that these funds are limited and available through competition.
UCL offers a range of financial awards aimed at assisting both prospective and current students with their studies.
The ESCR UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Centre for Doctoral Training offers a number of scholarships each year. Please see details of the 'Social and Policy Studies of Energy and the Environment' grouping.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Many of our graduates have gone on to careers in teaching and research as well as in consultancy, industry, government and policy concerned with the economy-resource-environment interface.
The UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) aims to train highly employable graduates who are equipped with the required analytical capability, research skills, knowledge, management skills, and professional values to become leaders and entrepreneurs in their chosen field. Leadership, communication, teamwork, language and business skills are refined in the high-quality multidisciplinary research environment through our taught programmes, workshops, internal and external seminars.
Supervision and mentorship is available from world-leading researchers with national and international contacts and collaborations across policy, government, industry and academic sectors. These links provide real opportunities to network and collaborate with a wide variety of external partners. Students have the opportunity to showcase their research at national and international conferences. Our students also gain access to networking events, career workshops and exclusive seminars held by ISR and the other institutes within the school.
Why study this degree at UCL?
ISR is one of the four constituent institutes of the multidisciplinary Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources (BSEER). Our degree programme offers students a unique opportunity to work alongside world-leading researchers across disciplinary boundaries, collaborating with colleagues in BSEER, UCL and beyond.
Our students are core to our activities, contributing to current research and building future capacity here in the UK and around the world.
Studying with us is about excelling at your own discipline, being exposed to new perspectives and methodologies, and developing communication and networking skills.
Based in the heart of London, we aim to enhance your experience through our seminars, lectures and events designed to complement your academic study.
In REF 2014 46% of The Bartlett’s research was rated 4* i.e. “world-leading”, with a further 35% recognised as 3* i.e. “internationally excellent”.* The Bartlett submitted the largest quantity of 4* world-leading research outputs (156 items) of any university submitting to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel. On “Research Environment”, which grades the “vitality” and “sustainability” of the research environment, the Bartlett received the highest score for submission to the Architecture, Built Environment and Planning sub-panel.
What our students and staff say
"The Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) offers excellent interdisciplinary research opportunities within an international environment, and flexibility in terms of selecting modules during the first year. My research focuses on the drivers of natural resource use and how resource efficiency impacts on competitiveness in the European Union. Therefore, I find the policy relevance particularly interesting since the topic combines both economic and environmental perspectives."
Florian FlacheneckerSustainable Resources
"London is not only an international multicultural hub, but also a meeting point for leading firms, policy experts, development specialists and academics. Working and studying in London means benefiting from and engaging with these networks."
Jun RentschlerEnvironmental Design and Engineering
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.
Prospective MPhil/PhD applicants are encouraged to send an informal research enquiry before applying. This should be sent directly to the academic you would like to supervise you. Please refer to the staff list on the department website and see UCL’s Institutional Research Information Service (IRIS) for staff profiles. Please attach to your e-mail a referenced research proposal of around 1,000 to 2,000 words and your curriculum vitae (CV).
Further details on how to apply to an MPhil/PhD can be found on the UCL Graduate Admissions website.
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
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