UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction



The global challenge of understanding risk, increasing resilience and reducing exposure to hazards has generated demand for a new type of professionals who can work across boundaries in every sector.

Based in central London, at the heart of the international hub for global finance, risk management and humanitarian response, UCL IRDR educates students to meet the growing need for experts trained in disaster risk reduction from industry, consultancies, governments and NGOs.

“London itself is an unparalleled breeding ground of ideas for anyone interested in research” (MSc student 2015/16).

UCL IRDR provides unique and dedicated support for traditional careers (i.e., insurance, consultancy, academia, governments and NGOs) and non-traditional careers (i.e., start-ups and independent experts) in risk and disaster reduction for our masters and PhD students, and graduates.

Career support is an essential complement to our academic programmes. The IRDR Careers team is led by Dr Shanshan Zhou (training and employer engagement) and Dr Rosanna Smith (careers events), and supported by the UCL careers team. In addition, students have experienced personal tutors to support bespoke career development plans. We help students to identify their career goals and get best prepared to achieve them.

IRDR students and alumni receive support on:

Personal Development

Personal development plan and advice for PhDs

Personal tutorials and advice for masters students

Volunteering for the Humanitarian Institute


Workshops on entrepeneurship 

Workshops on consultancies and job hunting skills

Masterclasses from international practitioners

Details of recent courses here

Industry insight

Seminars from industry leaders (i.e. RMS, Willis Towers Watson, Resilience Global, UK Cabinet Office, etc.)

UCL Careers

Information hub and a wide range of careers fairs

Support for career choices and job applications

Find out more

IRDR enterprise workshop on Entrepreneurship for Global Humanitarian Impact at UCL Business Incubator (BaseKX)

“The workshop on developing entrepreneurial humanitarian solutions was fantastic. It built a great toolbox for working through the basics and clearly leads to a next step which is an idea generation workshop, which could be developed into a few strong commercials, road-tested ideas. Great initiative by UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction” - IRDR MSc student

IRDR Careers and Opportunities Fair

Europe's No.1 specialist university fair in risk and disaster reduction is held annually by UCL IRDR. It is the focal point of our careers support and is normally held in Term 2 (February/ March) over the late afternoon and evening.

It offers expert and targeted advice for students and graduates. Speakers in the talks and Q&A session are from the academic, humanitarian/NGO and commercial sectors. These include our own graduates who are advancing in their careers. 

Exhibitor stalls host a range of employers, headhunters and further training providers such as NGOs, companies, consultancies, local and national government and universities. Sectors covered may include insurance, catastrophe modelling, risk management, public policy, humanitarian response, development, business continuity, emergency services, consultancy and academic research.

Attended by 100+ students and graduates, the Fair has real value for employers to meet interested and qualified potential recruits.

career event

Recruit our students:

Selected by rigorous criteria, our global student community can meet the most diverse recruitment needs. Taught by world-class researchers and practitioners, delivering programmes through a combination of lectures, presentations, problem-solving exercises, field trips, etc.; IRDR graduates are equipped with excellent scientific knowledge coupled with practical and analytical skills. As a recruiter, you can be confident that much of the initial work has already been done for you.

Ways you can engage with our students:

Advertise or look for vacancies

AIR Worldwide are currently recruiting for a Data Scientist - Quantitative Developer. 

Employers: Target your opportunities, internships and placements to specific programmes. We will advertise your opportunities free of charge.

Raise your profile

Participate in our industry insight sessions and deliver company presentations. You can get involved in these activities throughout the year.

Masters Projects

Benefit from an independent perspective on strategic issues by harnessing the expertise of our students. We welcome projects from all industry sectors and will be happy to discuss your needs further.

IRDR Careers and Opportunities Fair

Participate in our annual Careers and Opportunities fair in February, present and discuss job opportunities in your organization and meet the talents.

Employers who have engaged with IRDR:




Qatar Re


Willis Tower Watson



National Grid


UK Cabinet Office

London Resilience

London Fire Brigade

Met Office

Embassy of Japan in London

MSB Civil Contingencies Secretariat


Resilience Global (Rescue Global)

Save the Children


Doctors Without Borders 

Catholic International Development Charity 

London First

Resilience First



If you are an employer who would like further information on how to engage with UCL IRDR, please contact Dr Shanshan Zhou, Enterprise and Promotions Manager at shanshan.zhou@ucl.ac.uk

 UCL IRDR Alumni and member network

The UCL IRDR is keen to maintain the connection with its alumni and member community and hosts a number of events to strengthen the tie. Alumni are welcome to join IRDR public events, masterclasses, seminars, etc.

UCL IRDR Network Roundtable Dinner 

The roundtable dinner is held every year in November. All IRDR students, alumni and network members are invited to join. The evening also includes the annual prize giving for this year's graduates from IRDR programmes. Find out more about the 2018 IRDR Network Roundtable Dinner 

UCL IRDR Linkedin Community

IRDR alumni and network members can join our exclusive Linkedin community which allows you to receive IRDR updates, share your updates, catch up on what your fellow alumni are doing, and connect with other alumni and current students.

Some career destinations of recent IRDR alumni:

Business Continuity & Resilience Consultant, PwC
Business Continuity Consultant, Arup
Catastrophe Analyst, Barbican Insurance Group
Analyst, RMS (Risk Management Solutions)
Reinsurance Claims Management Executive AXA Global Re, Paris
Willis Towers Watson

Emergency Information Management Specialist, Plan Nepal
Coastal Risk Management Officer, Environment Agency, UK
Project Officer, Cairo Local Government

Disaster Risk Management Consultant, World Bank
Project Officer, Global Risk Forum, Davos
Field Delegate, Red Cross
Global Engagement Fellow, Interpeace
Resilience Technical Officer, International Medical Corps
Project Officer, Rescue Global

PhD Student, NERC London Doctoral Training Centre
PhD Student, UCL IRDR

Student quote Space

Rachel Ewer, IRDR Alumna, 2015-16, Defence Infrastructure Organisation (Ministry of Defence)


Join IRDR and be a member