UCL Graduate degrees


Sustainable Resources MPhil/PhD

The cross-disciplinary UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources (ISR) conducts research, teaching and enterprise work in the area of sustainable use of natural resources and brings 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.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration

Full time: 3 years
Part time: 5 years

Tuition fees (2018/19)

£5,060 (FT) £2,530 (PT)
£19,970 (FT) £10,140 (PT)

Application dates

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 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.

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:


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 several European Union FP7 and RCUK EPSRC funded projects, as well as consultancy with industry and policy practitioners at the highest level.

Research areas

Our research is built around five intersecting themes:

  • Abiotic resources
  • Biotic resources
  • Definitions and indicators of sustainable resource use
  • Green economy
  • Research efficiency.
More information can be found on the department website: Sustainable Resources MPhil/PhD


View the Institute for Sustainable Resources website for information on current funding opportunities.

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


Our students who have successfully completed their PhD studies have gone on to careers in academic teaching and research as well as consultancies, industry, government and policy organisations concerned with the economy-resource-environment interface.


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?

Our degree programme offers students a unique opportunity to work alongside world-leading researchers across disciplinary boundaries, collaborating with colleagues in the UCL Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, 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.

Department: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources

Student / staff numbers › 21 staff
Staff/student numbers information correct as of 1 August 2017.

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: Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources
81% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

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 review

"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 Flachenecker

Sustainable Resources
Student review

"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 Rentschler

Environmental 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.

Application deadlines

Deadlines and start dates are usually dictated by funding arrangements so check with the department or academic unit to see if you need to consider these in your application preparation. You should prepare your application well before the date you hope to start. In most cases you should identify and contact potential supervisors before making your application. For more information see our How to apply page.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

Contact information

Page last modified on 1 February 2018 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing