The world we live in is an increasingly urban one as cities currently account for half the world’s population. By 2030, it is expected that three out of every five people will live in an urban environment. Sustainable management of the urban environment has become one of the major challenges of the 21st century as you will learn during the two-year master's Urban Environmental Management programme at the university. This development calls for control of the environmental impacts of urbanisation like growing traffic, increasing waste emissions, deteriorating air and water quality, and growth in energy and resource consumption.
Inadequate water supply, sanitation, waste collection and waste management systems are the cause of serious urban pollution and health hazards in many Asian, African and Latin American cities. The MSc programme Urban Environmental Management is an international and interactive programme providing a balanced curriculum of theory, tools and application. It aims to train students like you to guide the future along the path of sustainable urbanisation.
On the Programme of Urban Environmental Management page you can find the general outline of the programme and more detailed information about courses, theses and internships.
Within the master's programme you can choose one of the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests.
Graduates from the MSc Urban Environmental Management (MUE) programme are well-equipped with the skills and knowledge to continue academic training (PhD) or continue their career outside the University.
This MA degree programme is designed for students who wish to explore the social dimensions of risk and resilience. The Department of Geography is especially well-suited to examine these in relation to environmental hazards, climate change and security-related risk, but students are encouraged to develop their thinking in relation to any aspect of risk research, including broader environmental change, disaster risk reduction, financial risk, risk and insurance, risk and health, risk and migration, risk and social policy, risk and governance, borders and terrorism. The MA programme foregrounds the existence of multiple ways of understanding risk, from risk as an objective phenomenon managed through scientific tools (e.g. in the case of environmental hazards) to risk as a social construct and a political technique (e.g. in the case of risk and security).
For students interested in security-related risk, the MA programme offers in-depth and advanced understanding of geo-political security challenges and politics, including the ways in which society is governed increasingly through the prism of risk. Dealing with risks as a function of both the natural and social environments we live in, the course responds to the growing realisation that many risks are being created through social processes bound to questions of security, including the ways that risk techniques are emerging and being employed as a means of securing uncertain futures.
Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:
Elective Modules available in previous years include:
Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.
The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. The MA supports students in developing a strong social science perspective on risk. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science, social science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.
All students will undertake a suite of core modules (150 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are: Understanding Risk, Using Geographical Skills and Techniques, Risk Frontiers, Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience, and the Dissertation.
Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 30 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:
Electives can be selected from: Strategic Asia, European Security, International Relations in the Middle East, Social Policy and Society and Risk, Science and Communication.
The Risk Masters (both in its MA and MSc forms) is taught jointly between Durham University’s Geography Department, the School of Government & International Affairs, and the School of Applied Social Sciences. The programme’s interdisciplinary approach encourages students to combine science and social science perspectives. Students have a broad range of modules to choose from, and in this way develop an individualized set of professional skills that, depending on the student’s preferences, speak more to either the natural sciences (e.g. via scientific modelling, GIS or science and communication) or the social sciences (e.g. via social science research methodologies and engagements with social policy and international relations). The programme is delivered in close collaboration with Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), and through IHRR’s activities students get permanent exposure to both practitioner and academic perspectives at the forefront of risk thinking and practice.
In the course of our day-to-day life, we come into contact with a vast number of chemical, biological, and physical agents that could do us harm. These agents are present in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and even the food we eat. We encounter them when we travel and when we work or when we use consumer goods such as cosmetics or electrical equipment.
Determining the source of these risks, and quantifying their effects, requires cooperation by experts across a host of different disciplines. Our Master’s programme in Toxicology and Environmental Health has been designed with this in mind, training you in the fundamentals of toxicology, environmental epidemiology, emerging toxicological agents such as nanoparticles and zoonotic components, and exposure assessment. This programme will enable you to assess the risks present in the workplace or the food chain.
The multidisciplinary nature of this programme means that you will have the flexibility to specialise in a particular field or undertake more generalist training in risk assessment. You may also take part in experimental research in the fields of neurotoxicology, immunotoxicology, allergies, in vitro toxicology, endocrine toxicology, environmental toxicology, and chemistry. Alternatively, you may wish to undertake practical work in environmental or occupational exposure assessment engaging in activities such as exposure modelling or in-depth analysis of samples taken from a variety of sources.
As a graduate of this programme, you will be qualified to assess the impact of toxicological agents on populations or work environments by applying the principles of environmental and occupational epidemiology.
This MSc programme will give you the knowledge and skills needed to assess chemical, biological, and physical hazards, as well as the risks associated with exposure to toxicological agents.
After completing the MSc programme in Toxicology and Environmental Health, you will:
Increasing urbanization, growing wealth concentration, climate change and environmental degradation are rapidly raising exposure to natural hazards in the developed and developing world. Growing numbers of stakeholders are thus seeking ways of reducing the risk from natural hazards. UCL's Natural Hazards PG Cert offers students a better understanding of natural hazards and the means by which their impacts on people, communities and business can be mitigated and managed.
A strong emphasis is placed on developing an improved understanding of
natural hazards and the processes that drive them. The latest research is
used to evaluate the nature of available data, the conclusions we can draw
from them and their limitations. The content focuses on the most destructive and costliest hazards, notably windstorms, floods and earthquakes, but also addresses geotechnical topics such as dam and reservoir safety and radioactive waste management. The programme provides students with intellectual and practical tools for making more informed decisions in their professional capacities.
Students undertake modules to the value of 60 credits.
The programme consists of two taught core modules (40 credits) and an independent research project (20 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent project, which culminates in an 8,000-word independent report and an oral presentation.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, seminars, discussions, directed reading, and problem-solving exercises. Student performance is assessed through a combination of examination and coursework in the form of essays, reports and exercises. The independent project is assessed through an 8,000-word report and an oral presentation.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Natural Hazards PG Cert
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
This programme is accredited by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the premier professional organisation for those working in the insurance and financial services industry.
Top hazard scientists at UCL and other leading academic institutions have worked with professionals in the business and NGO arenas to develop a flexible programme that accommodates the demands of a full-time professional career.
The programme is staffed by academics from UCL and other universities, the British Geological Survey and partners from the business sector.
The programme is part-time and taught in three blocks over a period of ten months. The total programme length is 600 hours, of which 140 hours is contact time with tutors, which takes the form of lectures, seminars and discussions. The remaining study time is made up of directed reading, essay writing, problem-solving exercises and the preparation of an independent project report.
This MSc provides a broad introduction to geohazards, together with advanced courses in seismology, volcanology, hydrogeological hazards and meteorology. A key goal is to provide an essential grounding in quantitative modelling that can be widely applied to several fields, from pure research to the commercial sector.
The programme provides an introduction to the spectrum and impact of geophysical hazards, and a focus on quantitative models for hazard forecasting and assessment. Selected case studies illustrate how these models are essential for improving decision-making during emergencies, for raising the awareness of vulnerable populations, and for evaluating and implementing mitigation strategies.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of six core modules (120 credits) and a research dissertation (60 credits).
There are no optional modules for this programme.
All students undertake an independent research project in geophysical hazards, which culminates in a dissertation of 15,000 words.
Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, directed reading and practical exercises. There are excellent opportunities for field investigations in the UK and abroad. Assessment is through unseen written examinations, practical problem-solving exercises and essays. The independent research report is assessed through the dissertation and an oral presentation.
Field sites for field trips are normally in Italy. The department pays for accommodation and transport in the field. Students pay to get to the field and subsistence.
Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Geophysical Hazards MSc
On graduation from this programme about one-third of students have followed careers in global insurance and re-insurance and another third have pursued research with a PhD in hazard-related studies. The remaining third have developed careers in a wide range of sectors, from non-governmental organisations, through teaching, to the fields of emergency planning and environmental management.
Recent career destinations for this degree
The MSc in Geophysical Hazards will provide essential training for careers in hazard assessment and risk evaluation, including: industry, from engineering to insurance; academic research; civil protection agencies and government organisations; and NGOs related to aid and development.
Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.
UCL Earth Sciences is engaged in world-class research into the processes at work on and within the Earth and planets.
Graduate students benefit from our lively and welcoming environment and world-class facilities. The department hosts UCL Hazard Centre, Europe's leading multidisciplinary hazard research centre, and engages in extensive collaborative work with the Royal Institution and the Natural History Museum.
This MSc aims to include a short field trip to locations that illustrate the impact of natural hazards. Previous trips have included the Neapolitan volcanic district, the Italian Alps and the Po Delta, and the Cádiz region in south-western Spain.
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Earth Sciences
92% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.