Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. The Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes is a research-intensive programme, which aims to meet the rapidly growing need for experts trained to analyse and provide solutions to complex issues relating to risk and disasters.
Covid-19 programme updates
Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.
Modes and duration
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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.
Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. Relevant discipline is any science including social sciences, or any humanities 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
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
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:
About this degree
Students will learn about and explore the characterisation, quantification, management and reduction of risk and disasters, and their associated impacts, from a diverse range of scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives. They will acquire advanced levels of knowledge of empirical, theoretical and practical aspects of risk and disaster reduction, and will gain research experience and the ability to effectively communicate research findings through the independent research project.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two compulsory taught core modules (15 credits each), two taught skills modules (15 credits each), one programme-specific optional module (15 credits) and a substantial independent research project (105 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MRes in Risk and Disaster Reduction.
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.
The compulsory modules consist of two taught core modules and two taught skills modules.
- Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management
- Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
- Data Analysis and Interpretation
- Practice and Appraisal of Research
Students choose one of the following modules:
- Conflict Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction
- Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
- Advanced Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management
- Space Weather and Technological Failures
- Catastrophe Risk Modelling
- Digital Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data
- Risk Analysis For Disaster Science
- Gender, Disaster and Conflict
- Business Continuity Management and Organisational Resilience
All students undertake a substantial research project of 15,000 to 20,000 words, which culminates in an independent research report and oral presentation.
Optional, 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 visits have included: the Thames Barrier and disaster management; Cambridge flood hazard; a disaster scenario exercise with NGO Rescue Global; the Blacknest Seismological Observatory; the Met Office; Southwest England for integrated group projects covering hazard mapping, hazard modelling, vulnerability assessment, and critical infrastructure assessment, with Hinkley Point nuclear power station as an example.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading, practical 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 through coursework, examination, essays, project reports, oral and poster presentations, and the research dissertation.
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 to £40 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 £12.70.
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This programme provides excellent training towards careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering, 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, and those who wish to use this programme as a step towards a related PhD.
Whether you wish to start a new career in risk and disaster reduction, you already have experience in this sector, or you wish to use the MRes as a stepping stone towards PhD study, we are here to support you. With an MRes in Risk and Disaster Reduction, you will have excellent academic credibility coupled with practical and analytical skills.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL. A Risk and Disaster Reduction PG Cert is also available (see separate entry).
UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to academics across eleven faculties involved in world-class research, UCL IRDR has established links with 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 careers and opportunities forum for students has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, local government and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.
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.
Who can apply?
The programme aims to train the next generation of innovative, creative and objectively critical researchers, thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers in risk and disaster reduction. The programme may be completed as a standalone MRes, or it may be used as training towards subsequent completion of a PhD.
- All applicants
- 11 August 2020
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Risk and Disaster Reduction at graduate level
- why you want to study Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes
- what particularly attracts you to this programme
- how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with this MRes
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.
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