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The aim of the MRes in Urban Sustainability and Resilience is to equip students from a variety of backgrounds with the research skills, knowledge and understanding required to tackle current and future challenges faced by cities globally, including increasing the resilience of our urban systems, and the infrastructure that supports them, to shocks arising from natural, economic and technological disasters.

What will I learn?
Students will learn about the research process and research methodologies and gain an understanding of policies, processes, technologies and materials available to shape the future of the urban environment. Students can specialise by selecting modules from across a wide range of different topics and disciplines. As members of the Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR), students will join a community of innovative researchers tackling topics across this dynamic field and will benefit from the networking opportunities of this multidisciplinary environment.
The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, problem classes, workshops and projects. Assessment is through examinations, project reports, coursework and project presentations.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?
The Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience (USAR) is based within UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering (CEGE) - a revolutionary department within UCL, distinguished by its radical thinking and interdisciplinary approach to research and teaching. Students work in a dedicated research centre that provides a critical mass of problem solvers and intellectual resources and offers excellent networking opportunities. USAR is an energetic and exciting environment that draws on staff from across the university. The programme combines innovative, transformative investigation with practical application to respond to the challenge of making the world a better place.​​


What is the structure of this degree?

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.  The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits), two optional modules (30 credits) and a research project (120 credits).

Students must undertake CEGEG104 Interdisciplinary Thinking in Urban Sustainability and Resilience plus one other 15-credit research skills module from an approved list.  Students choose elective modules (30 credits) from across UCL.

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 20,000 words and produce a presentation to be delivered at a dedicated event in September (120 credits).

What our students say
‘For me, the MRes was a very intensive masters programme where I expanded my skills in preparation for a PhD programme. I learned a lot about statistics and gained programming skills. I never thought it was possible to do it all in just one year, for someone used to reading old books and writing essays. My academic supervisors critically helped me pick courses that were right for me. In all, my MRes was very challenging but gave me a toolkit with which I have been able to pursue a highly quantitative PhD and write papers for the top journals within my new discipline’.

Radoslaw Kowalski, MRes Urban Sustainability and Resilience graduate, currently PhD Political Science student.

What are my career prospects after this degree?
Graduates may choose to enter employment as researchers within engineering, planning or consultancy firms and/or decide to undertake further study at PhD/EngD level.

Our focus throughout the programme of finding practical solutions to global urban challenges gives our alumni strong problem-solving skills, providing them with a distinct advantage as they enter their professional lives.  The Centre has well-established partnerships with global engineering companies such as Arup and Atkins, and strong links with NGOs and government agencies such as Habitat for Humanity and London Underground. Through these links, and the knowledge and experience our students gain of working across disciplines, we ensure that our students are able to engage with academics and industry, and experts and non-experts alike on key urban sustainability and resilience issues.

Example destinations of our MRes graduates include:
  • EngD Research Engineer
  • Transport Planner, Transport for London
  • Principal Consultant within a global engineering consultancy
  • PhD student 


A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor’s degree from a UK university in a subject appropriate to the chosen field, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required. Applications are not restricted to those with a civil engineering background. Relevant subjects include engineering, architecture, town planning, science or other quantitative degree. Those wishing to apply for this programme should upload a 0.5 - 1 page research proposal as part of their application. This should briefly outline their proposed research topic, suggested research methods and ideas about the data to be used.

Find out more


Course leaflet (PDF)

​​Key information and how to apply​

For more information, please visit Centre for Urban Sustainability and Resilience​ or contact Jane Doogan​​​​

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