MSc, PgDip, PgCert Advanced Water Management

General information

Environmental Water Management

If you want to help solve the complex environmental and water management problems our society faces, this course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to do so. It builds on your existing strengths and expands and deepens your knowledge of science, policy and practice on the management of this vital resource for people and the environment. 

Recent students have come from a wide range of backgrounds, including engineering, natural and environmental sciences, and geography. Some are recent graduates and others have several years of work experience and are looking to enhance or change their careers.

What makes this course unique?

Post-graduate only environment – Learning is custom designed to the course and level, meaning you get exactly the skills and knowledge you need. 

Diverse teaching and learning – The course uses interactive sessions, field trips, laboratory and computer practicals, group exercises, lectures and projects to provide you with a stimulating learning experience.

Compressed blocks of teaching – Teaching is concentrated into 2-3 day blocks to facilitate independent learning and part-time study. A part-time student needs to attend the university, on average, 13 days per year.

Integrated technical and professional skills programme – You develop advanced intellectual and practical skills relevant to industry, such as climate science, GIS, data management and analysis, social and economic appraisal, and written and oral communication through technical sessions and activities that link across modules and projects. 

Our strong industry links make the course particularly suited for those looking to work in the water industry, government or environmental and engineering consultancy, and in a wide range of roles including water quality, water resources, aquatic habitat and wildlife, flood defence, and policy.

Course details

Your course is organized into four modules, a group project and an individual thesis project. 

Modules – You develop your knowledge of topics and methods in core areas: hydrology, water quality and ecology, water-related risks, and catchment and urban water management. 
All students start their course with the taught modules that provide you with a foundation in science, policy and practice. Each module takes place over 4 weeks, with the teaching concentrated into 2-3 day blocks during the first 3 weeks. This structure helps both full and part time students, providing everyone with sufficient time for independent study and making it easier for part-time students to fit the module into their existing commitments.

Full-time students take the modules over the first five months of the full time MSc (Oct-Feb). Part-time students select 20-40 credits of modules per year that fit into their ongoing commitments.

Group project - You apply the learning developed in the modules to a real-world problem, working in an interdisciplinary group on a consultancy project for a client. 

Thesis project – With the support of your supervisor, you chose a topic to delve into for the individual research project, helping you to specialise your knowledge and skills for your future career.

The option to undertake the course on a part-time basis allows you to extend your professional development within your current employment.

Previous students have gone on to jobs within prestigious institutions including:

Consultancy - Mott MacDonald, Atkins- SNC Lavalin, Jacobs, Royal Haskoning, WSP, JBA, AECOM, MJA Consulting, OHES, Thomson Ecology. 
Water companies - Thames Water, Anglian Water, Severn Trent Water. 
Government/Charity/Other – Environment Agency, Scottish Environment Protection Agency, National Resources Wales, National Grid Canal and River Trust, Hertfordshire County Council, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, British Geological Survey.

Learning outcome:

The Environmental Water Management MSc is a long-established course which has a highly regarded reputation within the sector. On completion, graduates have a broader network of global contacts, increased opportunities for individual specialism in their chosen career, and the capability to make an immediate and real contribution to improved water management. Cranfield graduates are highly sought after by employers.

Graduates find employment with:

  • Regulatory bodies. A large proportion go on to work for a regulatory body (such as the Environment Agency in England and Wales or SEPA in Scotland) in a wide range of roles including water quality, water resources, flood defence, abstraction licensing and policy
  • Environmental and engineering consultants. About half of our course graduates go on to work for consultancies in UK and the rest of Europe.
  • UK and European water companies.

Career paths for recent Environmental Water Management students include:

Canal and River Trust, Thames Water, British Geological Survey, Mott MacDonald, Normandy Environment Agency, WS Atkins, Binnie, Black & Veatch, Entec, The Environment Agency of England & Wales, Essex & Suffolk Water, Ewan Associates, Ghana EPA, Halcrow, Hannah-Reed Associates, Hyder Consulting, HydroLogic, JDIH, Jeremy Benn Associates, Lyonnaise des Eaux, Ondeo, Posford-Haskoning, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Severn Trent Water, UNDP, and United Utilities


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology", "0588 - Scientific modelling


Venue: Cranfield University
Cranfield, United Kingdom


  MSc PgDip PgCert
full-time part-time full-time part-time full-time part-time
UK/EU student £10.500 £1.635* £8000 £1.635* £4.600 £1.635*
Overseas student £21.500 £21.500** £17.400  £17.400** £8.700 £8.700**

* This course has an annual registration fee and a fee per module. The fee quoted above is the annual registration fee and this amount is invoiced annually. The fee for taught modules is £1,340 per 10 credits, invoiced on attendance. Modules will usually be worth 5, 10, 20, or 30 credits, with the module fee for each calculated accordingly.

** Fees can be paid in full up front, or in equal annual instalments. Students who complete their course before the initial end date will be invoiced the outstanding fee balance and must pay in full prior to graduation.


Degree Requirements
Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a 1st or 2nd class UK Honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

English language
If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. The minimum standard expected from a number of accepted courses are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5
  • TOEFL: 92
  • Pearson PTE Academic: 65
  • Cambridge English Scale: 180
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - C ​| Proficiency - C
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency - C
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - minimum overall score of pass

Application Procedure:

Apply for the programme Environmental Water Management using the online application form. UK students are normally expected to attend an interview and financial support is best discussed at that time. Overseas and EU students may be interviewed by telephone.

Application deadline: although there are no set application deadlines, applicants are recommend to apply as early as possible to secure a place. This is particularly important if you also want to apply for on-campus accommodation or need to apply for a visa to study in the UK, as these activities will take additional time after your course offer has been made.

Grant Opportunities:

Funding opportunities exist, including industrial sponsorship, School bursaries and a number of general external schemes. For the majority of part-time students sponsorship is organised by their employers. Applicants are recommend to discuss this with their company in the first instance. More information is available here.

To help students find and secure appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search by filtering the results to suit your needs. Scholarships and bursaries are available to contribute towards fees and/or living costs for graduates applying for full-time Masters courses in the themes of Water, Energy and Environment. Please see below for the specific funding that is available and the eligibility criteria. Visit the funding finder.


This MSc, PgDip and PgCert has been accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) .


Academic level: Master


Modules are assessed through appropriate assignments and examinations. The three elements of the course are assessed as follows: Taught modules: 40% Group project: 20%: Individual project: 40%.

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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