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 (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024

Applications closed

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

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.

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. Please note that ATAS processing times can take up to six months, so we recommend you consider these timelines when submitting your application to UCL.

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

The Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes programme at UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering offers a comprehensive and dynamic educational experience. The programme is tailored to empower students with comprehensive research skills and methodologies applicable to the domains of sustainability and resilience. 

This programme delves into the intricate research process, equipping students with the ability to apply diverse methodologies in tackling real-world urban challenges. A deep exploration of policies, processes, technologies, and materials shaping future urban landscapes is central to this program, fostering an understanding of how to build sustainable and resilient cities for the future.

The curriculum is designed to provide students with a specialised knowledge base, enabling them to excel in the realm of urban sustainability and resilience. By choosing specific research projects and modules spanning diverse topics and disciplines, students can tailor their learning journey to their interests. 

The programme's overarching goal is to equip students with the expertise to confront the pressing challenges faced by cities worldwide. Through a holistic approach, students will be empowered to enhance the resilience of urban systems and their supporting infrastructure against a spectrum of hazards, ranging from natural and economic to technological shocks.

Who this course is for

The Urban Sustainability and Resilience MRes programme is ideally suited for individuals who possess a fervent interest in addressing the multifaceted challenges of urban sustainability and resilience. Graduates who aspire to contribute meaningfully to the development of more sustainable and resilient cities will find this program engaging and rewarding.

Whether aspiring to pursue a research-oriented career in academia or industry, or seeking to work collaboratively across diverse disciplines, this program offers a unique opportunity to delve into urban complexities and develop innovative solutions. The flexibility of full-time, part-time, or flexible study options ensures that professionals seeking continuous growth in their careers can seamlessly integrate this program into their educational journey without necessitating a career hiatus.

What this course will give you

Discover unparalleled educational opportunities at UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering. Located in the vibrant hub of London, our esteemed multidisciplinary department boasts a rich history of excellence in teaching and research.  

The programme is embedded within a department known for its groundbreaking and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching, creating a dynamic environment for learning and growth. This environment fosters critical thinking, problem-solving, and innovation, providing students with the tools they need to tackle the complex challenges of urban sustainability and resilience.

Being a part of USAR means students are surrounded by a community of like-minded individuals and expert faculty members, creating a critical mass of intellect and problem-solving capabilities. This environment not only facilitates networking opportunities but also exposes students to cutting-edge research and real-world applications, enriching their learning experience. The programme’s emphasis on practical solutions to global urban challenges equips graduates with strong problem-solving skills, giving them a competitive edge in their professional careers.

The programme’s partnerships with industry giants like Arup and Atkins, as well as NGOs and government agencies, offer students the chance to engage with experts and non-experts alike, creating a well-rounded perspective on urban sustainability and resilience. This exposure, coupled with interdisciplinary collaboration and a focus on practicality, ensures that graduates of the program are not only equipped with academic knowledge but also with the ability to drive positive change in the urban environment.

The foundation of your career

Upon completing our programme, graduates unlock a multitude of promising pathways. They seamlessly integrate into the workforce, finding placements in esteemed consultancies, construction giants, and influential government bodies.

With a comprehensive skill set and in-depth knowledge, graduates are poised to excel across various sectors, spearheading projects, influencing decisions, and contributing to the advancement of the engineering landscape. This degree not only opens doors to an array of prestigious employment opportunities but also sets a well-defined trajectory for a fulfilling and impactful career.


Graduates of the programme are well-positioned to embark on diverse career paths that reflect the programme’s interdisciplinary and practical approach. With a solid foundation in research skills, knowledge of urban sustainability, and resilience challenges, graduates have the expertise to excel in various fields. Many graduates may choose to contribute as researchers within prestigious engineering, planning, or consultancy firms, where their ability to think critically, analyse complex problems, and propose innovative solutions is highly valued. 

The programme’s emphasis on real-world applicability equips graduates with practical problem-solving skills that are directly transferable to their professional roles. Additionally, for those aspiring to further academic heights, the programme provides an excellent stepping stone for pursuing PhD or EngD studies, allowing graduates to deepen their research capabilities and contribute to advancing the field of urban sustainability and resilience.


UCL offers an enriching environment for networking and professional growth. Engage with peers, industry experts, and faculty members who share your passion for engineering excellence. Through collaborative group projects, seminars, workshops, and industry partnerships, you'll forge connections that extend beyond the classroom. 

These networking opportunities provide insights into real-world challenges, offer chances to learn from industry leaders, and pave the way for potential internships and job placements. Your interactions within this vibrant community will not only enrich your learning experience but also establish a valuable network that can shape your future in the civil engineering arena.

Teaching and learning

Throughout the programme, a diverse range of teaching and learning strategies foster comprehensive skill development and intellectual growth. Graduates emerge with an array of capabilities:

Advanced knowledge and contextual understanding: Students engage with lectures, seminars, tutorials, laboratory work, computer sessions, and both group and individual projects. This dynamic blend of learning methods facilitates the acquisition of advanced knowledge while fostering a deep contextual understanding of urban sustainability and resilience. The flexibility of module selection allows tailoring of the learning experience.

Practical proficiency and collaboration: The programme nurtures practical proficiency through problem-solving classes, laboratory and computer work, encouraging hands-on learning. Collaborative projects enable students to work together, fostering teamwork and enhancing their ability to apply learned concepts in real-world scenarios.

Intellectual, academic, and research excellence: The programme cultivates intellectual and academic excellence by encouraging critical thinking, in-depth analysis, and evaluation of complex problems. Students gain the skills to assess evidence, draw sound conclusions, and comprehend the far-reaching impacts of decisions. The interdisciplinary nature of research is emphasised, fostering an understanding of its benefits and challenges.

Practical and innovative aptitude: Practical skills are honed through independent and team-based work, equipping students to communicate technical information effectively to diverse audiences. The programme emphasises project planning and execution, information retrieval, data analysis, and the ability to assess data relevance in problem-solving contexts. This approach nurtures both practical aptitude and innovative thinking, ensuring graduates are equipped to excel in the ever-evolving field of urban sustainability and resilience.

These multifaceted teaching and learning methods imbue graduates with the prowess to thrive in research, industry, and various professional domains.

The programme employs a diverse range of assessment methods to evaluate student understanding and proficiency. These assessments encompass examinations, individual and group project reports, essays, coursework assignments, learning portfolios, podcasts, video presentations, as well as individual and group oral presentations. In addition, students will undertake a substantial research dissertation, providing them with an opportunity to demonstrate their research skills and contribute to the field of urban sustainability and resilience. This varied assessment approach ensures a comprehensive evaluation of students' capabilities across various dimensions, fostering a well-rounded learning experience.

Students can expect a well-balanced division of their time between various learning activities. Tutorials account for 5% of a student's time, providing personalised guidance and interaction. Lectures, seminars, and practical sessions make up 10% of the schedule, ensuring engagement with course content and active participation.

The majority of the student's time, the remaining portion, is dedicated to independent study, allowing for in-depth exploration and self-directed learning. This balanced approach to time allocation ensures that students have ample opportunities for collaborative learning, direct instruction, and autonomous exploration, fostering a comprehensive and well-rounded educational experience.


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 and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £6,035 £3,015
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400 £17,200

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

Potential additional costs within the programme encompass various aspects. Expenses related to course materials, such as books, are contingent on the selected modules. Some modules may entail charges for field trips. In laboratory settings, specialised protective gear like lab coats and safety boots might be necessary, contributing to potential costs. Project-specific necessities can also incur additional expenses. 

While not an exhaustive list, it underscores the potential financial considerations. Material and project costs depend on individual choices. Moreover, short local visits, integral to the program, could involve public transport costs. Being cognizant of these potential costs aids in prudent financial planning throughout the programme.

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: 20 June 2024
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

UCL East London Scholarship

Deadline: 20 June 2024
Value: Tuition fees plus £15,700 stipend ()
Criteria Based on 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.

In addition to fulfilling the necessary academic prerequisites, the personal statement serves as a pivotal aspect of your application. It offers a platform to align your motivations for selecting this program with its offerings. When evaluating your application, we are interested in understanding:

  • 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).

While applications are accepted until the deadline, it is advisable to submit your application early due to the competitive nature of placements. The process typically takes around four weeks from submission to receiving an offer letter. For international applicants seeking visas, we recommend applying in advance to secure the necessary CAS number within the required timeframe. Your application journey is a significant step towards a rewarding educational experience at UCL.

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.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.