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.

2023 entry

Please note this is information is for students wntering in September 2023. It will be updated for 2024 entry in the summer.

We know there is lots to think about when you are starting a postgraduate degree programme.

UCL has a detailed website for new students with plenty of information about joining the University and the answers to some frequently asked questions. This is the best place to look for guidance and support about the university and essential tasks you need to complete before you start your programme. You will also receive regular Countdown to UCL emails from UCL with everything you need to know before you arrive.

The information on this page contains additional information about the department and the answers to some questions you might have about being an IRDR student.

Before you arrive

How do I find out what I need to do?

UCL will send you emails throughout the summer. These contain useful information about life at UCL but also tell you want you need to do at the right time. Keep checking your inbox.

You can also find helpful checklists on the UCL New Students website.

What is Portico?

Portico is the UCL student record system. You’ll be using Portico to enrol and choose your modules later in the summer.

When does term start?

Term starts on Monday 25 September 2023. The first week will be your induction, with teaching beginning on Monday 2 October. Induction is part of your programme and attendance is compulsory.

Find term dates here

When will I receive my timetable?

You will be sent an email when your timetable is ready to view, usually late summer.

How to enrol

You will be sent an email invitation to enrol online when it’s time. For more information about enrolment, visit the UCL New Students page.

Choosing your modules

You will get an email from UCL telling you when module selection is open, usually in early September. We will be running a session in Induction week to help you choose modules but in the meantime, take a look at the UCL Module Catalogue for more information about modules. We strongly recommend you don't select modules until you have attended the session in induction week.

You can also have a look at the modules on offer in the IRDR on our website, including introductory videos from the module leaders.

International students

The UCL International team are here to support all International students settle in to University. Visit their website to find out more about events dedicated to students from overseas. 

The International team also have some great ways for you to make friends when you arrive, like the online International common rooms, where you can meet other students from your region.

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.

Download the UCL Go app

To help you navigate your first few weeks as a UCL student, and throughout your studies, download the UCL Go app. This is where you book your UCL induction sessions and there’s loads of really useful information on there. It is available for Apple and Android devices, and can also be accessed via the web.

How to get here

Our address is: Room 32a, 2nd floor, South Wing, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

Find UCL maps and travel information on the UCL website.

The Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction student office is on the 2nd floor. To find us, enter the main campus from the Gower Street entrance and use the door in the right-hand top corner of the Quad (South Cloisters). Then go up to the second floor and enter the corridor on the left. 

Map to IRDR offices showing arrow pointing to South Wing

We will be giving you a tour of the department and campus as part of your induction programme.

We will email you during the summer with details of where to go on your first day.

When you arrive 

Welcome and Induction

Induction takes place mainly in the first week of term and is designed to help you settle in to University life. Term begins on Monday 25 September 2023 and attendance at induction is mandatory. Formal teaching starts on Monday 2 October 2023.

As well as these in-person 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 and further details for these events will be emailed to students in advance.

Wednesday 27 September

2–5pm BST: UCL IRDR Welcome and Induction for new Masters students, followed by Reception
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. The induction session will be followed by a reception.

Thursday 28 September

11am–1pm BST: Optional drop-in session for support and assistance with module selection
The UCL IRDR team will be available 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. 

Other Welcome Events (not compulsory)

UCL Students' Union Welcome Fair - Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October, 10am–5pm 
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. You must book a ticket to attend this free event (available from 25 September) – see UCL Students' Union Welcome Fair website for more information.

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.

Workshop: Putting Gender on the COP 28 Agenda – 29 September 2023, 11am–2pm
COP 28 is to be held in Dubai later this year and it claims to be ‘a COP for all.’ But how inclusive is COP? We will be looking at last year’s COP resolutions as well as themes introduced this year and how you can make a difference. During this free interactive workshop, you’ll be working in teams to come up with a gender-responsive plan to tackle climate change issues – working towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Book your free place on Eventbrite

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.

Getting your ID card

You will need an ID card to access buildings and services. You’ll receive an email telling you how to make an appointment to get your card. We can also provide a letter confirming you are a student if you aren’t able to obtain an ID card before the start of teaching.

Where to eat

There are lots of options for buying food both on campus and in the surrounding area. There are two places to eat within our building: the Lower Refectory, a large restaurant serving hot and cold food and drinks, and the Print Room café, which serves sandwiches and drinks.

There is also a takeaway pizza shop on campus in Malet Place and you can head to nearby Tottenham Court Road for shops, cafes and takeaways. On Thursdays, a large farmers' market sells food in Torrington Square. 

Find out more about cafes on campus.


    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 2 October and ends with week (16).
    • Week (5) activities are induction events the week before main teaching commences.
    • Term 2 starts with week (20) starting in Monday 8 January and ends with week (30).
    • Note some teaching sessions only occur on selected weeks so do make a note of these.

    Settling in

    How to find information and support

    Make sure you check out the UCL Students website. It lists all the main student support services and key information for current students.

    Who to contact in the department

    We are a friendly department and want to help you settle in to our community. If you have any questions or need support, please email us on irdr-education@ucl.ac.uk or call into the IRDR office (Room 32a, 2nd floor, South Wing) during opening hours (displayed on the door).

    How we’ll contact you/how to find information

    Most information about your programme and modules can be found on our learning platform, Moodle. Once you have pre-enrolled and got your UCL credentials you’ll be able to log in, but don’t worry there’s nothing you need to do before term starts. We’ll show you how Moodle works as part of you induction and there are useful help guides available on the platform. 

    Once term starts, we’ll also send you regular emails to your UCL email account, so please make sure you check it.

    Settling into London

    London is a fantastic city to live and study in. Watch UCL’s Make the Most of London video for some tips about making the city your home. 

    Making the most of UCL

    UCL will continue to send you information about opportunities that are available to you throughout the first few weeks of term. You can also take a look at the Make the Most of UCL website

    Student reps

    In the first few weeks we will ask for volunteers to be both academic and social reps. Student Academic Reps are the voice of their fellow students, attend dedicated meetings and have the power to influence decisions at UCL.

    Social reps help to build the student community by organising social events and bringing students together.

    Meeting other students

    As well as people you'll meet on the programme, the UCL Students' Union is a great place to meet new friends and discover new interests. 

    We also have a dedicated society for our department – Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarianism Society. We'll introduce the reps when you arrive, but you can also find them on the UCL Students Union website.

    There will be an informal social event on Wednesday during Induction Week. This is a great opportunity to meet staff and your fellow students, so please come along to say hi!

    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 a drop-in session to provide support for module selection during induction week. Details will be emailed to offer holders.

    Visit our postgraduate modules page to watch introductions from each module leader.

    Contact us

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