UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


Induction for Master's Students

Welcome to the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction! Here you'll find information about your induction to the IRDR and what to expect when you start your studies with us.

We know there is lots to think about when you are starting a postgraduate degree programme. Throughout your application, you will have received information about studying at UCL from the central UCL teams. This page focuses on your departmental induction, and should be read in conjunction with UCL's information for new students.

Before you start

How your course will be taught

We are planning an exciting academic year for students. We will email details of our plans for teaching and learning, but please note these are subject to change, depending on Government advice and guidance. Any updates to our plans will be sent to applicants by email and posted on our website.

Read about our plans for teaching this year.

Keep up to date on the latest coronavirus guidance from UCL on the UCL Coronavirus Hub.

LIfe on campus

The UCL Students website has the latest information about what our students can expect in the next academic year, as well as a Connected Learning at UCL Moodle course, which introduces you to all the tools and platforms that will support your learning this year. We strongly encourage you to visit the site to stay up to date.


Once you have confirmed you are accepting your offer and intend to study with us, you will be emailed an invitation to enrol via the UCL student record system, Portico. These will be sent out in batches, depending on when you confirm your place. If you have any queries about your enrolment, please email postgraduate-admissions@ucl.ac.uk if you cannot find the answer to your question via the Applicant FAQ page or Offer holder page.

Induction events

Induction Week will take place in the week beginning Monday 27th September 2021 and teaching starts on Monday 4th October 2021.

As well as formal events, there are also a number of online induction modules that you must complete before or during induction week. Find them, along with lots of other useful information on the UCL New Students website.

UCL IRDR Induction events for Master's Students

Locations for these events will be emailed to students in advance.

Wednesday 29 September

2–5pm BST: UCL IRDR Welcome and Induction for new Masters students
In these talks, we will tell you more about the IRDR and about your courses, including what you will learn, how it is assessed, our expectations of MSc and MRes students and what you can expect from us. All new students are expected to attend.

Thursday 30 September

2–4pm BST: Online drop-in zoom session for support and assistance with module selection
The UCL IRDR team will be available online to assist with the module selection system. Academic staff will be able to tell you more about the modules they teach and other modules available to you. Login details have been sent to applicants holding offers.

We also plan to hold online and in person welcome reception events within the first few weeks of term, details to be confirmed.

Other Welcome Events (not compulsory)

UCL Students' Union Welcome Fair – Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 October, 10am – 5pm BST 
Your chance to meet more than 300 sports clubs, societies, and student-led networks. Live entertainment, society demonstrations, performances, music and food in the Quad and Wilkins Terrace. Find out more about the Welcome Fair.

The Students' Union has a full calendar of activities on their website and the Welcome to UCL app.

Find out more about all the Induction activities at UCL on the New Students website.

International students’ orientation

Information on International Students orientation can be found on the UCL International Students website, where you will also find an online orientation  course to help you settle in.

How to prepare for your studies

Read the Countdown to UCL emails
These helpful emails are an easy way to keep track of what you need to do before you start your studies. They contain information about services, student life and reminders about key tasks you need to complete. If you are not receiving these emails, check your junk folder and then contact us.

Suggested reading
We've compiled a list of useful texts that you might like to explore before you arrive and in the first few weeks of your studies. This is not compulsory, and we don't expect you to have read them in order to start your programme, but we know students find them interesting.

IRDR Taster Lecture series
Over the summer, the IRDR hosts a series of taster lectures for applicants, exploring some of the key issues covered in the Master's programmes. If you missed any of the lectures, you can find them on the IRDR YouTube channel.

UCL New Students website
Find out more about studying at UCL, how to access services, and what induction activities are available to students on the UCL New Students website.

Download the Welcome to UCL app
You'll find information about UCL Induction and how to book onto events on the UCL Welcome to UCL app, which you can download from your app store.

Check the checklists
UCL have created useful checklists to help you prepare for life at UCL and your first few days.


The UCL Timetable will be ready to view at the end of August. We are aware some of you would like to consult the timetable to help with module selections. Please note changes to the timetable are possible. You can view timetables via degree, individual modules, or you can set up a custom timetable including your module choices.


Teaching weeks in the timetable
The UCL common timetable can be displayed with the whole academic year (default) or with individual weeks. See the top right of the screen when in the timetable view to change the dates displayed.

  • Weeks are displayed by teaching week.
  • Week (6) is the first teaching week in term 1 starting Monday 4th October and ends with week (16).
  • You will notice most teaching activities are not present for week (11), starting 8th November, which is reading week, a chance for you to catch up and prepare assessments. Although some departments may run scheduled activities within reading week.
  • Week (5) activities are induction events the week before main teaching commences.
  • Term 2 starts with week (20) starting in Monday 10th January and ends with week (30).
  • Week (25), starting 14th February, is reading week in term 2.
  • Note some teaching sessions only occur on selected weeks so do make a note of these.

Module selection

Module selection will open in August and we'll email you when it's time to choose your modules. We strongly recommend you read more about the modules on offer on the UCL module catalogue. We will give you plenty of support when choosing your modules and there is the opportunity later in Term 1 to change your Term 2 modules if needed. 

We will be running online drop-in sessions to provide support for module selection dring induction week. Login details will be emailed to offerholders.

Download the guide to modules for each programme here.

Here some of our staff introduce their modules, but please do contact us if you need further information.

IRDR0001 - Natural and Anthropogenic Hazards and Vulnerability – Joanna Faure Walker
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IRDR0002 Fundamentals of Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management and IRDR0003 - Advanced Emergency and Crisis Planning and Management – David Alexander 
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IRDR0004 Data Analysis and Interpretation and IRDR0009 Digital Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data – Patty Kostkova

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IRDR0006 Conflict, Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction – Ilan Kelman 

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IRDR0008 Catastrophe Risk Modelling – Joanna Faure Walker
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IRDR0012 MSc Independent Project – Bayes Ahmed

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Transcript for IRDR0012
IRDR0015 - Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction – Joanna Faure Walker
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IRDR0017 Business Continuity Management and Organisational Resilience – Gianluca Pescaroli

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While you're here


Throughout your time with the IRDR, we offer you lots of support to plan your future career steps, learn new skills and expand your professional networks. Watch an introduction to UCL's career support by Katie Bisaro, Deputy Head, UCL Careers.
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Student life

Find out from student Caroline Paige what life at UCL has to offer IRDR students.
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Contact us

If you have any queries, please email us at irdr-enquiries@ucl.ac.uk or contact the programme leader for your course (see Key contacts).