UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


MSc Risk and Disaster Science - Space Risks Pathway

You will learn space science, hazards and vulnerabilities unique to outer space, disaster response, and the monitoring of hazards on Earth from outer space in this one-of-a-kind pathway.

Teaching and Learning

Learn from world-class researchers and professionals delivering the programme through a combination of lectures, class discussions, problem-solving exercises, practicals, field trips, directed reading, student-led dialogue, and a practitioner-led real-time disaster scenario event. Assessment is by individual and group presentations, coursework, written examinations, and a research project.

Programme Specific Themes

Hazards of Outer Space 

  • Space weather, radiation, debris
  • Emerging risks and the future of disaster monitoring

Satellite Design and Operations in Space

  • Learn how to design and operate a satellite from the largest university space science department in the UK





IRDR MSc themes

Understanding Vulnerability

  • From fragility curves describing damage to buildings to social vulnerability of individuals and society

Quantifying Risk

  • What is risk and how do we measure it?
  • Components of risk: exposure, hazard, vulnerability

Multidisciplinary Holistic Approaches

  • Integrating scientific knowledge into disaster risk reduction research, policy and practice
  • Communicating with stakeholders

Managing Disasters

  • How to apply plans to manage real emergencies

Download the MSc Risk and Disaster Science: Space Risks Pathway Brochure



Whether you wish to start a new career in risk and disaster reduction or you already have experience we are here to support you. With an MSc in Risk, Disaster and Resilience you will have excellent academic credibility coupled with practical and analytical skills. We run an annual Careers and Opportunities Fair which offers expert and targeted advice, and hosts stalls from a range of employers and headhunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Our alumni are highly sought-after in the following sectors: insurance, catastrophe modelling , risk management, public policy, humanitarian development, NGOs, business continuity, government, emergency services, consultancy, and academia.

Some career destinations of recent IRDR graduates:

  • Disaster Risk Management Consultant, World Bank
  • Project Officer, Global Risk Forum Davos
  • Global Engagement Fellow, Interpeace
  • Civil Contingencies Coordinator, UK Local Government
  • Project Officer, Cairo Local Government
  • Reinsurance Claims Management Executive AXA Global Re, Paris
  • Business Continuity Consultant, Arup
  • Business Continuity & Resilience Consultant, PwC 
  • Space Engineering, Airbus
  • Space Engineering, AstroSat
  • PhD student, NERC London Doctoral School