UCL Graduate degrees


Risk and Disaster Reduction MPhil/PhD

Reducing the impact of disasters globally presents a huge challenge that requires co-ordinated and collaborative action. This programme is designed for PhD students who wish to improve humanity’s understanding of risk and to overcome the scientific, engineering, technical, social, health and political barriers to increasing resilience to disasters.


Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£5,365 (FT)
£2,685 (PT)
£24,250 (FT)
£12,120 (PT)

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.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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:


Students learn how to conduct original, cross-disciplinary and international scientific research with significant, positive societal impact within an intellectually and globally diverse student body. There is a focus on disciplinary research methods - in the laboratory, or in the field, depending on the nature of the research - and employing theoretical, statistical, modelling and desk-based techniques. Students' skills in research, teaching, public engagement, communications, consultancy, and knowledge exchange are emphasised.

Research areas

This MPhil/PhD programme, based in UCL's Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), offers a unique opportunity to focus on a research topic of interest while learning from other disciplines across the social sciences, physical sciences, engineering, medicine, arts and humanities. Leading international researchers in all aspects of risk and disaster are part of IRDR, and there are many opportunities to collaborate with internationally renowned scientists around UCL, in industry, government and non-profit organisations with whom we have close links. Further details of our research areas and academic expertise can be found at www.ucl.ac.uk/rdr

More information can be found on the department website: Risk and Disaster Reduction MPhil/PhD

About this degree


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


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 IRDR PhD provides excellent networks and training for careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering and many other fields. We run an annual IRDR Careers and Opportunities Fair for students and graduates to seek advice regarding employment, which is attended by a range of recruiters, from the financial sector to the public sector to disaster response NGOs.


IRDR PhD graduates have gained employment in a wide variety of positions in London and around the world both within and outside of academia. The institute’s extensive links and established credibility with the private sector, the non-profit sector, government, international organisations and academia provides graduates with a high-level network for winning positions, along with the skills and qualifications to apply for advertised posts and fellowships.


Networking occurs throughout the year, not just through the array of IRDR events, but also through the opportunities on offer at UCL, London's Global University.

Why study this degree at UCL?

In addition to world-class research facilities and information resources, PhD students will gain skills essential to employment, such as teaching, proposal writing, media and public engagement, organising events, and oral and written communications. IRDR uniquely holds an annual Student Forum and Spring Academy for PhD students and an open annual conference. The PhD offers research training alongside learning opportunities in all these other areas.

Department: Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction

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

Applications are accepted and students may start at any time. Many scholarships have specific deadlines.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 21 August 2020