Risk and Disaster Science MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The importance of science in understanding disaster risks and the need for science-based strategies at local, national and international levels in the private, public, and third sectors are now widely recognised. The Risk and Disaster Science MSc aims to meet the growing need for experts trained in disaster science in sectors ranging from finance to humanitarian response.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£12,900
£6,450
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£24,000
£12,000
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 31 Mar 2022

Applications closed

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

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. Relevant discipline is any science, mathematical or engineering subject.

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

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.

Equivalent qualifications

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. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

In a science-led programme, students will explore the characterisation of risk from a fundamental understanding of hazard, statistical modelling, appreciation of causes of vulnerability, and quantifying exposure to the management and reduction of disaster risks. There is an emphasis on scientific analysis and statistical methods. Students will enjoy a wide range of taught modules covering scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives.

Who this course is for

The programme aims to train the next generation of innovative, creative and objectively critical researchers, thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers in risk and disaster science.

What this course will give you

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR), where teaching for this programme is based, leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL.

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to academics across seven faculties involved in world-class research, UCL IRDR has established links with scientific leaders in NGOs, industry and government departments based in and around London, who contribute to teaching and project supervision.

As a student, you will be encouraged to join our active seminar series, high-profile public discussion meetings and networking events.

The IRDR runs a careers and opportunities forum for students; this has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, and headhunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction.

The foundation of your career

This programme will equip students with scientific and analytical skills to better understand and assess disaster risks and to identify solutions to reduce those risks. These skills are highly sought after in the private, public and NGO sectors, and in specific fields such as catastrophe modelling, risk management, and public policy.

Employability

This programme provides excellent training towards careers in industry and commerce, research, research communication and public policy including insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, business continuity, humanitarian assistance, engineering, electricity distribution and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field. 

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, practicals, field visits, directed reading and problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is by independent and group oral presentations, written examination, coursework essays, and the independent project. Practical applications of critical and creative problem-solving will be encouraged and assessed throughout.

All students undertake an independent research project of 10,000-12,000 words which culminates in a research project and poster presentation. The dissertation has a value of 60 credits.

Modules

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Risk and Disaster Science.

Fieldwork

A selection of UK-based field trips are available. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by IRDR, students will need to pay for their meals.
 
Previous field trips have included: the Thames Barrier and disaster management; Cambridge flood hazard; a disaster scenario  exercise with a partner organisation; the Blacknest Seismological Observatory; the Met Office; Southwest England for  integrated group projects covering hazard mapping, vulnerability assessment, and critical  infrastructure assessment, with Hinkley Point nuclear power station as an example.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, some field trips may be run virtually on a case-by-case basis. 

Accessibility

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.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Sessions

Our open days are a great chance to find out more about your chosen course, the department and studying at UCL. You'll have the opportunity to find out more about the field of study you’re interested in, followed by a Q&A where you'll have the opportunity to hear from academic staff and ask any questions you might have about life at UCL.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £12,900 £6,450
Tuition fees (2022/23) £24,000 £12,000

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students are responsible for their subsistence on all fieldwork and for travel costs within London. For the one day trips, students can bring a packed lunch or expect to pay £5 to £10. For longer trips, we expect subsistence costs to be £30 per day. Travel within London is likely to be covered in travel cards students obtain for travelling to UCL. A single day travel card is £13.90. All other travel and fees will be paid for or reimbursed by the Institute.

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

Funding your studies

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) offers a number of fee-reduction scholarships for UK and International students. Please see the IRDR masters website.

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

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2021/22
Value: Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction Master's Scholarship

Deadline: 21 February 2022
Value: 1 full fee award for UK Home students, and 10 open £3,000 awards towards fees (1 year)
Criteria Based on financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

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.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Risk and Disaster Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Risk and Disaster Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background and skills meet the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.