UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Data Science Pathway: MSc Risk and Disaster Science

The Data Science Pathway of this science led programme combines knowledge of risk and disaster reduction with statistical and computational skills.

Data science provides tools to measure and understand risks, vulnerabilities and resilience. It is fundamental for decision-making in disaster response and recovery. It helps to understand how disaster risk may evolve in the future and how science and technology may be able to improve preparedness.

The pathway begins at an introductory level and continues with a range of optional modules covering more specialized knowledge in statistical computing and modelling of natural and anthropogenic hazards, humanitarian and health crises, conflict, and climate change. Students will be able to analyse both qualitative and quantitative data and communicate the results to wide and varied audience that have different objectives with regard to issue and solutions.

As one of the best global universities in the world, we aim to nurture future leaders who are equipped with scientific knowledge of disasters and professional skills of industry - standard software. 

The Risk and Disaster Science MSc Data Science Pathway has the same core content as the Risk and Disaster Science MSc but offers the opportunity to select up to two optional modules from the UCL Department of Statistical Science (availability subject to timetabling).

About this degree

Director: Professor Peter Sammonds

This course is suitable for students who want to have a wide range of taught courses, whilst still completing a substantial independent project. The taught courses are the focus of the programme, with the project constituting 1/3 of the programme credits.

MSc students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits: two core taught modules (15 credits each), One programme-specific core module (15 credits), two compulsory taught skills modules (15 credits), three optional taught modules (15 credits each), and an independent research project (60 credits).

Two core taught modules (15 credits):

  • IRDR0003 Emergency and Crisis Management
  • IRDR0015 Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction

One programme-specific core module (15 credits):

  • IRDR0010 Risk Analysis for Disaster Science

Two compulsory taught skills modules (15 credits each):

  • IRDR0004 Data Analysis and Interpretation
  • IRDR0005 Practice and Appraisal of Research

Three Optional Taught Modules:

For those students interested in the Data Science Pathway, we recommend the following optional modules. Please note all optional modules are subject to availability and there may be timetable restrictions. Therefore students may not be able to take their first choice of optional modules.

  • STAT0011 Decision & Risk Statistics * 
  • STAT0020 Quantitative Modelling of Operational Risk & Insurance Analytics *
  • STAT0013 Stochastic Methods in Finance *
  • STAT0018 Stochastic Methods in Finance 2 *
  • IRDR0008 - Catastrophe Risk Modelling
  • IRDR0009 - Digital Public Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data
  • IRDR0001 - Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • IRDR0002 Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • IRDR0006 - Conflict, Humanitarianism, and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • New Module Gender, Disaster and Conflict
  • New Module Business Continuity Management and Organizational Resilience

* These modules are from UCL Department of Statistical Science and may require some prerequisites. Please contact the module tutor for details. 

Independent Project (60 credits):

  • Risk and Disaster Science MSc Independent Project
How to apply


Applicants who wish to choose this optional pathway must apply through the Risk and Disaster Science MSc Programme.

After getting admitted by the Risk and Disaster Science MSc, students will be eligible to choose the Data Science Pathway and have the opportunity to enroll in the optional modules from UCL Department of Statistical Science.