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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.

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two compulsory taught core modules (15 credits each), two taught skills modules (15 credits each), one programme-specific optional module (15 credits) and a substantial independent research project (105 credits). 

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) is offered. See separate entry for further details.

Compulsory modules

The compulsory modules are consist of two core taught modules and two taught skills modules.

  • Emergency and Crisis Management
  • Integrating Science into Risk and Disaster Reduction
  • Risk and Disaster Reduction Research Tools
  • Research Appraisal and Proposal

Optional modules

Students choose one of the following modules:

  • Conflict Humanitarianism and Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Natural and Anthropegenic Hazards and Vulnerability
  • Emergency and Crisis Planning
  • The Variable Sun: Space Weather and You
  • Catastrophe Risk Modelling
  • Digital Health: Epidemics and Emergencies in the Era of Big Data
  • Risk Analysis For Disaster Science

Dissertation/report

All students undertake a substantial research project of 15,000 to 20,000 words, which culminates in an independent research report and oral presentation.

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.

Fieldwork

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.

Additional costs

Students are responsible for their subsistence and travel costs within London when on fieldwork. All other travel and fees will be paid for or reimbursed by the IRDR

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

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.

Employability

Examples of previous graduate students' employment within the field of risk and disaster reduction include working for an international economic consultancy based in London in the area of micro-finance, working as a consultant in disaster risk for a key player in the London insurance market and working for Rescue Global, an NGO based in London. 

Why study this degree at UCL?

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.

Department: Earth Sciences

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

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.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Risk and Disaster Reduction at graduate level
  • why you want to study Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with this MRes

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to elaborate on your reasons for applying to this programme and how your interests match what the programme will deliver.


Visit the Risk and Disaster Reduction MRes page on the University College London website for more details!

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