UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Ben Schroeder, Risk and Disaster Science MSc

Meet Ben, who is currently studying on the Risk and Disaster Science MSc.

Ben Schroeder
My name is Ben, and I am currently studying on the Risk and Disaster Science MSc in the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR). I came straight to IRDR from my undergrad in politics and sociology. 

What attracted you to the programme/IRDR?

I applied to the programme for a few reasons. Personally, I've always found 'disaster' to be fascinating, and studying it at an academic level was something I hadn't really thought of until recently. As much as I enjoy social sciences, I also wanted to give myself a more scientific, or statistical background. IRDR thus made perfect sense, as having a dedicated department particularly appealed.

What have you enjoyed about being a student in the IRDR/your programme?

I've really enjoyed the variety of content. So far, I've taken classes on early warning systems, seismological forecasting, some heavy statistics, digital public health, catastrophe risk modelling, and business continuity, just to name a few.

How have your studies have helped you prepare for your career?

As cliched as it may sound, the biggest help has been to see just how many relevant career paths are out there. For someone like me who had very little mathematical or coding background, the applied nature of the statistics, probabilities, and scripting used has really helped.

Would you recommend the programme? Why?

I can only speak for those coming straight from university, but I'd say for anyone wanting to shift their focus, it's a good combination of challenging but manageable.

Any advice for people thinking about applying?

I think one of my favourite things about this course is that it is what you make of it. If I wanted to focus on climate and resilience I could, if I wanted to make myself a better candidate for an insurance or private sector role I could, or if I wanted to apply the relevant learnings to related fields like public health or communications, I very easily could.

Find out more about the Risk and Disaster Science MSc