UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction


How to apply

If you are interested in PhD study at UCL IRDR, we recommend that you first explore more about our research, academic staff, and current PhD students from our website and our annual report, or come to meet us at one of our events.

Application process

Before you apply

  • Applicants should identify primary and secondary supervisors with suitable expertise in their field of study whom they would like to supervise their PhD.
  • Make contact with your primary supervisor before submitting a formal application to study for a PhD in UCL IRDR. Find out more about the application and eligibility requirements and funding. Please avoid contacting multiple staff (more than two or three) – if you are unsure who might be the most appropriate supervisor, contact irdr-pgr@ucl.ac.uk and we can provide further guidance. Please note, no PhD student can start at IRDR without having at least two supervisors in place and ready to supervise.

Once you apply

  • If your formal application is accepted, the nominated supervisor will compose an interview panel. The interview will be carried out with several members of academic faculty, including the nominated supervisor, online. Each panel member will have had formal training from UCL in equality, diversity and inclusion requirements for interviews.


  • Please note that interviews are part of the application process. Prior to the interview, each prospective PhD student needs to submit to the prospective primary supervisor a sample research proposal. This is to demonstrate that they can put together a research proposal. The length, contents, and style should be discussed with the prospective supervisory team.
  • If your interview performance is deemed satisfactory, you will be issued with a formal letter of acceptance that will outline the formal process of joining IRDR and UCL. All applicants will be informed of the outcome within two weeks of the interview. Any candidates still on a ‘reserve’ list will also be informed.

Entry dates

  • There are dates across the year for joining UCL: You will be asked to choose one of these dates to formally join us.
    PhD/EngD entry dates 2024/25:
    1 October
    1 February
    1 May


  • Once you arrive, there will be a formal induction process at both the faculty and departmental level at which you will be welcomed to the institution and given access to its processes and services, as well as enjoying the opportunity to meet staff and fellow students.


Standard entry requirements are as follows:

  • A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline; OR an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.
  • A Master’s degree is helpful but not required.
  • Excellent English oral and written communication skills are required. Please note, while research may take place and sources used in other languages, the only language in which a dissertation is accepted is English.

Apply now on the Risk and Disaster Reduction MPhil/PhD prospectus page