Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes

London, Bloomsbury

The aim of this programme is to equip students from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds with the research skills, knowledge and understanding required to tackle current and future real-world challenges faced by cities globally, including increasing the resilience of our urban systems, and the infrastructure that supports them, to shocks arising from natural, economic and technological hazards.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications closed

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.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

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.

If you are intending to apply for a time-limited visa to complete your UCL studies (e.g., Student visa, Skilled worker visa, PBS dependant visa etc.) you may be required to obtain ATAS clearance. This will be confirmed to you if you obtain an offer of a place.

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

Students will learn about the research process and how to apply a range methodologies applicable for sustainability and resilience research. Students will gain an understanding of policies, processes, technologies and materials available to shape future urban environments. Students can specialise through their choice of research project and by selecting modules from across a  range of different topics and disciplines.

Who this course is for

We are looking for applicants with evidence of an interest in and aptitude for research, who demonstrate they can think critically and creatively around the challenges cities are currently facing.
The programme is designed for graduates with a passion for urban sustainability and resilience issues and an interest in research (either academic or in industry) and in working across disciplines. The MRes is available on a full-time, part-time or flexible basis, making it an excellent option for those who want to further their professional development without taking a career break.

What this course will give you

The Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) 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.

Students work in a dynamic research environment that provides a critical mass of problem solvers and intellectual resources and offers excellent networking opportunities. USAR is an energetic and exciting environment which draws on staff from across the university.

The programme combines innovative, transformative investigation with practical application to respond to the challenge of making the world a better place.

The foundation of your career

Our focus throughout the programme of finding practical solutions to global urban challenges gives our alumni strong problem-solving skills, providing them with a distinct advantage as they enter their professional lives. The centre has well-established partnerships with global engineering companies such as Arup and Atkins, and strong links with NGOs and government agencies such as Habitat for Humanity and London Underground. Through these links, and the knowledge and experience our students gain of working across disciplines, we ensure that our students are able to engage with academics and industry, experts and non-experts alike on key urban sustainability and resilience issues. 


Graduates may choose to enter employment as researchers within engineering, planning or consultancy firms and/or decide to undertake further study at PhD/EngD level.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars,  tutorials, problem classes, laboratory work, computer work, group and individual projects. The balance of these will depend on which modules the student will select.

Assessment is done through a mix of examinations, individual and group project reports, essays, coursework, learning portfolios, podcasts, video presentations, individual and group oral presentations and a research dissertation.

5% of a student's time is spent in tutorials, 10% in lectures, seminars and practical sessions and the remainder in independent study.


Students will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits, comprising of 1 compulsory module, 3 optional modules and a substantive research project (120 credits). 

During terms 1 and 2, students will take one compulsory module and one research skills module from an approved list as well as two additional modules of their choice.

The compulsory module offers an introduction to the issues of interdisciplinarity within the context of urban sustainability and resilience and training on a range of general skills such as critical thinking and argument constructions.

The research skills modules undertaken during terms one and two will equip students with the skills that they will need to investigate their research topic and write up their research project.

The remaining optional modules can help students develop their knowledge and understanding of specific topics and issues. Research project planning commences in term one and during terms one and two where students will attend a number of sessions aimed to help them plan their project. Students will work on their research project continuously throughout the year with supervision.

The MRes programme is expected to be completed within one year for full-time students, two years for part-time students and over two to five years for students undertaking the programme on a flexible basis. 

Students will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits: two core modules, two elective modules and a substantive research project (120 credits).

Part-time students should take the compulsory module in year one and at least one other module - this may be from the compulsory group or an elective. We recommend taking three taught modules in year one. The remaining taught module requirements should be completed in year two. The research project is split over two years.

Students will undertake modules to the value of 180 credits: two core modules, two elective modules and a substantive research project (120 credits).

Students studying on a flexible basis should take the compulsory module in year one. They may choose when to take the remaining taught module requirements. We recommend that they complete the research project in the final year.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MRes in Urban Sustainability and Resilience.


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.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £5,860 £2,930
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100 £16,050

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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

The costs associated with course materials such as books will vary depending upon which modules the student will select. Some modules may also charge for field trips. Students may need special protective clothing for laboratory work such as a lab coat and safety boots. There may be additional costs specific to the student's project.

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

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

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

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.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Urban Sustainability and Resilience at graduate level
  • why you want to study Urban Sustainability and Resilience at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • why you want to learn about the research process and to learn through research
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this 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 include a brief research proposal (0.5 pages) outlining the topic that you would like to investigate (research question, methodology, case study, references).

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.