UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


BSc new students

Welcome to UCL and the Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction! Here you’ll find information about the department to help you prepare to start your degree with us.

We know there is lots to think about when you are starting a 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

Your timetable

You will be sent an email when your timetable is ready to view.

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.

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.

Reading list

If you’re looking for some summer reading, check out our recommended reading/listening list. This isn’t a mandatory reading list, just a way to explore the subject more. You can also see our full list of useful resources

You will be given required reading lists as part of your modules after you start your programme.

Contact us

If you’ve got any questions, need help, or want to tell us about any additional support you require, email us at irdr-education@ucl.ac.uk

For Admissions queries, contact the UCL Admissions team direct

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, 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 in Room 32a. 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

What is induction?

Induction takes place mainly in the first week of term and is designed to help you settle in to University life. You’ll have a timetable of events that will cover key information about your department and programme. We’ll show you how to access key information and services and give you plenty of opportunities to get to know us and other students.

Induction week schedule 

The core UCL and IRDR Induction weeks begin on Monday 25 September 2023. As well as the huge range of UCL events happening across campus, we will also hold departmental induction sessions during this week. Attendance at these sessions is mandatory. We’ll send you your IRDR induction timetable before the start of term.

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.

One of our research projects is running a free workshop for new and returning students, and you're invited to attend.
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

UCL Students' Union Welcome Events
The Students' Union has a full calendar of activities on their website.

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

International students

As well as the main induction for all students, International students also have access to a dedicated online orientation course that you can complete before you arrive.

Find out more about International student orientation.

Getting an 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.

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. Here are a few key contacts who can help with any questions you have.

Education Administrator
Our Education Administrators deal with the administration of the BSc programme and can help you with module selections and amendments, timetables, Moodle/Portico difficulties and absences.

Dr Mohammad Shamsudduha (Shams), Department tutor
Shams supports students throughout the programme on all things academic and can help you access learning support.

You can also get support with modules from the module leaders and you will be allocated a personal tutor when you arrive.

The department office on the second floor of South Wing is open during term time, but you can email the team at any time (we'll respond as soon as possible during working hours).

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 have a dedicated IRDR 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.

Here are some of the other clubs and societies related to humanitarianism that you might be interested in joining:

Make sure you go to the Students' Union Welcome Fair on Saturday 3 Septemer and Sunday 1 October to see what's on offer.