UCL Graduate degrees


Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes + EngD

This programme provides students with the opportunity to tackle a challenging research problem identified by industry as critical to improving our urban environment and our wellbeing. The programme includes a taught element which focuses on technologies and methodologies that will both increase the resilience and support the sustainability of our urban systems and infrastructure.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 4 years
Part time: 7 years

Part-time students complete the MRes in 2 years, and the EngD element in 5 years.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 30 July 2021

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£5,525 (FT)
£2,765 (PT)
£25,200 (FT)
£12,890 (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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the chosen field, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Relevant subjects include, but are not limited to, engineering, science, social sciences, architecture, town planning, economics and geography.

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: Good

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

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:


Our multidisciplinary department has a long tradition of excellence and innovation in research and teaching. We hold a substantial EPSRC research portfolio in civil engineering, and our diverse range of programmes, which cover most major and advanced areas of civil, environmental and geomatic engineering, are accredited by professional engineering bodies (e.g. the Joint Board of Moderators, the International Hydrographic Organization, and RICS). Research students benefit from our extensive links to world-leading industry in London and directly engage with global challenges through their research with us. Our research graduates go on to make the world a better place as academics, entrepreneurs, civil engineers, planners and policymakers.

Research areas

The EngD programme has two key themes: sustainability and resilience. We focus on reducing the impact of our cities on ecological systems (air, water, food chains) whilst improving the quality of daily lives and coping with the problems of population growth and changing demographics, such as an ageing society. We are concerned with engineering systems and developing technologies that will increase the resilience of our urban systems (education, health, transport, water, financial, governance) and the infrastructure that supports them (roads, communications networks, buildings) to shocks arising from natural, economic and technological hazards.

More information can be found on the department website: Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes + EngD

About this degree

Students undertake the MRes in Urban Sustainability and Resilience in year one (years one to two for part-time students). During this time, students take four taught modules: two 15-credit research skills modules  -  Interdisciplinary Thinking in Urban Sustainability and Resilience (CEGE0050), plus one other from an approved list, and 30 credits of electives from across UCL. Students also work on an MRes research project (120 credits). In years two to four (years three to seven part-time), students take an additional 60 credits of taught modules, including one innovation and enterprise module, a resilience module and a sustainability module selected from approved lists (15 credits each).

At the end of the programme students submit an EngD thesis, examined by viva voce, based on their research project.

Students also submit a report based on their MRes research project at the end of year one, and deliver a presentation (120 credits).

Both the MRes and EngD research projects may be on a topic of the student's choosing, in agreement with their supervisors, on any subject relevant to the field of urban sustainability or resilience.

The MRes dissertation is a maximum of 20,000 words in length. The EngD thesis is a maximum of 100,000 words in length.

Please visit the Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes + EngD programme page for further details. 

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.

Additional costs

The costs associated with course materials such as books will vary depending upon which modules you select. Some modules may also charge for field trips.  You may need to cover the costs of thesis binding and there may be additional costs specific to your project.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.


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


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

CSC-UCL Joint Research Scholarship

Fees, maintenance and travel (Duration of programme)
Based on academic merit

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 attractive qualification to further your career, the EngD will prepare you with commercial awareness and a holistic understanding of the industrial landscape. With these skills and knowledge, our graduates are equipped with the skills to enter the job market at a senior level within a research and development group. As an EngD Research Engineer, you will bridge the gap between the academic and commercial world.


The collaborative nature of the engineering doctorate offered within the UCL Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) means that students gain first-hand experience of working with industry, giving our alumni a distinct advantage as they enter their professional lives. The Centre has well-established partnerships with global engineering companies such as Arup, Atkins, Laing O’Rourke and Willis, and strong links with NGOs and government agencies such as London Underground and Transport for London. Through its Industrial Advisory Committee, the Centre ensures that the training its research engineers receive addresses what industry demands of its future employees.


USAR hosts an international conference series that gives our students the opportunity to interact and develop links with leading thinkers in the field. Our students are actively encouraged to present papers at international conferences, publish journal articles and to participate in opportunities beyond the Centre, for example by undertaking a secondment with the UK Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology and to exploit the experiences and connections that these activities present. USAR also hosts research showcases and workshops attended by industry and academics, where our research engineers present their work and are questioned by their peers.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) provides an energetic and exciting environment that draws on expertise from across the university.

The Centre is based within UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) – a revolutionary department within UCL, distinguished by its radical thinking and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching.The combination of innovative, transformative investigation and practical application is the department’s response to the challenge of making the world a better place.

Students work in a dynamic research environment - providing a critical mass of problem solvers and intellectual resources, and offering excellent networking opportunities.

Department: Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering

What our students and staff say

Student review

"I find the fact that we may be able to retain infrastructure, rather than needing to knock it down and rebuild, inspiring and interesting. During the programme, access to industry and gaining an insight into how industry works without having to fully engage with it has been useful in helping to understand whether it is a future career choice I would like to make. "

Felicity Davies

Urban Sustinability and Resilience EngD
Student review

"I really enjoyed my experience at UCL as BSc and MSc student. I knew that UCL had the best resources available and would give me an opportunity to work with the best academics."

Pola Berent

Urban Sustainability and Resilience EngD
Student review

"The interdisciplinary nature of my field is incredibly interesting. I work alongside chemical engineers, computer scientists, ecological experts and physicists. That inspires me."

Kurtis Garbutt

Urban Sustainability and Resilience EngD

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.

This programme requires two references. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

Application deadlines

All applicants
30 July 2021

Please include a research proposal (approximately one page in length) outlining the topic that you would like to investigate (context, research question, proposed methodology, case studies, references). 

If you have identified a suitable academic supervisor, please mention their name in your application.

The start date for students undertaking the four-year EngD programme in Urban Sustainability and Resilience is September.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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Page last modified on 11 June 2021