MRes Risk and Disaster Reduction

University College London
United Kingdom
  • Duration
    Full time: 1 year; Part time: 2 years
  • Type
    University programme
  • Level

Funding available for UK-based and current UCL students

The IRDR has full and part funding available through a number of scholarships for our Masters programmes in 2022. As we have a thriving cohort of international applications already, we especially encourage UK-based and current UCL students to apply - earmarked funds have been allocated for these groups.

Applications for September 2022 entry close on 31 March 2022, but we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.

Why not attend one of our postgraduate virtual open days to find out more and hear from current IRDR staff and students? Spaces are still available for our 19 January or 02 March events.

All information on courses, funding and open days can be found on our website.


Risk and disaster reduction, particularly within the contexts of dealing with uncertainty and increasing resilience, are high on local, national and international agendas. The Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes is a research-intensive programme, which aims to meet the rapidly growing need for experts trained to analyse and provide solutions to complex issues relating to risk and disasters.


Bloomsbury campus, London

Study mode:

Full-time and Part-time


1 calendar year

Please visit the programme website for up-to-date information about fees and funding, entry requirements, modules and how to apply.

We recommend that you submit your application as soon as possible.

Entry requirements

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. Relevant discipline is any science including social sciences, or any humanities subject. Please see programme website for international qualifications.

About this degree

Students will learn about and explore the characterisation, quantification, management and reduction of risk and disasters, and their associated impacts, from a diverse range of scientific, technical, socio-economic, political, environmental, ethical and cultural perspectives. They will acquire advanced levels of knowledge of empirical, theoretical and practical aspects of risk and disaster reduction, and will gain research experience and the ability to effectively communicate research findings through the independent research project.

Who this course is for

The programme aims to train the next generation of innovative, creative and objectively critical researchers, thinkers, practitioners and decision-makers in risk and disaster reduction. The programme may be completed as a standalone MRes, or it may be used as training towards subsequent completion of a PhD.

What this course will give you

The UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction (IRDR) leads and co-ordinates multidisciplinary research, knowledge exchange and advanced teaching in risk and disaster reduction across UCL. A Risk and Disaster Reduction PG Cert is also available (see separate entry).

UCL is uniquely well placed to lead research and teaching in this field; in addition to academics across eleven faculties involved in world-class research, UCL IRDR has established links with NGOs, industry and government departments based in and around London, who contribute to teaching and project supervision.

As a student, you will be encouraged to join our active seminar series, high-profile public discussion meetings and networking events.

The IRDR careers and opportunities forum for students has been attended by insurance companies, catastrophe modelling firms, NGOs, academic institutions, local government and head hunters in the field of risk and disaster reduction. Students have found opportunities through contacts made and positions advertised during this event.

The foundation of your career

Whether you wish to start a new career in risk and disaster reduction, you already have experience in this sector, or you wish to use the MRes as a stepping stone towards PhD study, we are here to support you. With an MRes in Risk and Disaster Reduction, you will have excellent academic credibility coupled with practical and analytical skills.


This programme provides excellent training towards careers in research, research communication, public policy, (re)insurance, catastrophe modelling, finance, risk management, international development, humanitarian assistance, engineering, and many other fields. It supports the career development of professionals already working in risk and disaster reduction, as well as those who intend to go into this field, and those who wish to use this programme as a step towards a related PhD.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading, practical problem-solving exercises and a real-time disaster scenario event, with an emphasis on hands-on learning and tutorial-style dialogue between students and lecturers. Assessment is through coursework, examination, essays, project reports, oral and poster presentations, and the research dissertation.

For a full list of modules, visit the programme website.


Optional, UK-based field trips are available. Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by IRDR, students will need to pay for their meals.

Previous field visits have included: the Thames Barrier and disaster management; Cambridge flood hazard; a disaster scenario exercise with NGO Rescue Global; the Blacknest Seismological Observatory; the Met Office; Southwest England for integrated group projects covering hazard mapping, hazard modelling, vulnerability assessment, and critical infrastructure assessment, with Hinkley Point nuclear power station as an example.

Further information

If you would like further information about post-graduate courses at the UCL Institute for Risk and Disaster Reduction, or wish to discuss the application procedure, please email

This program is related to