UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources


Sustainable Resources MPhil/PhD

You will become an independent researcher and will contribute to our understanding of how we can more sustainably use the world’s resources, in a dynamic, interdisciplinary institute.

About the programme

Research degrees prove the capacity to organise, carry out and write up a substantial piece of research, presented in a thesis that demonstrates academic rigour and originality. Your degree outcome is determined by an oral examination of your thesis.

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UCL ISR has a large PhD cohort working on a wide range of projects on natural and human systems, including global, regional and local studies. We use a range of quantitative and qualitative methods. Our research themes are:

Our staff and students have a passion to make the world a better place, and a commitment to creating and communicating evidence to achieve this goal. Learn about the experience of some of our former students.

Further information and how to apply

The first step is to understand whether UCL ISR would be a suitable place for your studies. Read more about our students and current research projects. You can also learn about the practicalities of being an MPhil/PhD student in UCL ISR.

A key challenge for many students is finding funding to support their studies. Our scholarships page  has information about a range of scholarships that are available to students.

We strongly encourage you to submit an informal expression of interest to a potential supervisor before you apply formally. The reason is that a key factor in the success of a PhD student is having a good project and an appropriate supervisor. Information about how to apply informally is available at the projects and supervisors page.

A PhD is the highest degree available and you must meet the course entry requirements. These are listed at our prospectus overview page. Your application is unlikely to be successful if you have not agreed your project with a supervisor beforehand. The prospectus overview page has a link for you to make a formal application once you have agreed a project with a supervisor.

Note that the formal application process can require up to 10 weeks from providing all requested information to being made a formal offer to study at UCL.

Next: Practicalities of being a PhD student in UCL ISR 

The Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) offers excellent interdisciplinary research opportunities within an international environment. My research focuses on the drivers of natural resource use and how resource efficiency impacts on competitiveness in the European Union. I find the policy relevance particularly interesting since the topic combines both economic and environmental perspectives." 
Florian Flachenecker, former PhD student at UCL