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Want a postgraduate specialism in risk? UCL has the answer

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Climate change, urbanisation, wealth concentration, and more exposure to natural hazards are increasing economic losses and imposing growing pressure on insurers and reinsurers to reduce their exposure.

One of the most effective ways to do this is by having a better understanding of natural hazards, what causes them, and how their impacts can be mitigated or avoided.

Natural Hazards for Insurers (NHFI) is a programme designed to provide insurers, reinsurers, and other stakeholders in the financial sector, with the intellectual and practical tools required to make more informed decisions in their day-to-day encounters with natural hazard exposure and loss.

Top hazard scientists at University College London (UCL) and other leading academic institutions have worked with market professionals to develop this targeted and flexible course designed to address the needs of the insurance market. The programme is part-time and taught within three blocks over a period of 10 months. Total course length is 600 hours, of which 140 hours is contact time with tutors - lectures, seminars and discussions.

The remainder is directed reading, essay writing, problem-solving exercises and the preparation of an independent project report. Out-of-office time is limited to 20 afternoons during the taught part of the programme.

The course develops an improved understanding of natural hazards - the nature of available data, the conclusions we can draw from them, limitations, and relevant cutting-edge research. Content focuses on hazards of most interest to the market - windstorm, flood and quake - but also addresses geotechnical issues such as radioactive waste, contaminated land, ground water rise, and dam safety.

The two 10-week taught modules - Geological & Geotechnical Hazards and Meteorological Hazards - are timetabled to run from October-December and January-March. The Independent Project is undertaken from April-July.

The course is delivered by UCL academics from the Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre and other departments, and academics from other institutions with hazard research expertise, including the British Geological Survey, Birkbeck College, the University of East Anglia, and Imperial College London, and from industry and market practitioners.

The course is accredited by the CII, the world's largest professional body for insurance, risk and financial services. The CII has 100,000 members in over 150 countries.

Successful completion of the NHFI programme will qualify students for 60 CII credits at Advanced Diploma level, which is equivalent to two Advanced Diploma units.

Alternatively, students can use successful completion of the programme to count towards Fellowship of the CII, although as the major achievement for Fellowship must commence after the award of Associate, the same programme may only be counted once by any candidate.

Successful completion of this high-quality programme also allows students to claim 50 CPD credits which are required to demonstrate continuous development.

To apply online or request an application form, go to

For more information contact Professor Bill McGuire, the Programme Director by phone 020 7679 3449 or email

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