MSc/Diploma Water and Environmental Management

General information

Recent floods and droughts across the world highlight the need for our natural water resources to be better managed. In addition, the provision of secure clean water supplies and the treatment and disposal of wastewater and other contaminants require innovative and sustainable solutions to ensure that their environmental and socio-economic impacts are minimised.

The Water and Environmental Management programme provides a multi-disciplinary understanding of these water resources and environmental issues through the development of knowledge and skills necessary for the planning and management of these resources to meet the needs of society and the environment within the context of climate change.

The programme is delivered by experts in the field of water and environmental management, covering a wide range of relevant disciplines including: environmental hydrology; computer simulation of river flows; water conservation; environmental geotechnics; environmental and energy economics; urban drainage and water supply; water and wastewater treatment; marine wastewater disposal; environmental statistics; environmental contamination and health; environmental planning; flood inundation modelling; water resources management.

The programme can be studied full-time, part-time or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL) ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. As an IDL student you will not be required to attend any lectures, tutorials or other events at any of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses.

This programme consists of eight courses and MSc students also complete two research projects. On-campus (full-time/part-time) students study eight courses from a range of optional courses. Independent Distance Learning (IDL) students study four mandatory courses in Semester 1 and four optional courses in Semester 2. 

Programme structure for on-campus students

Optional courses - Semester 1 Optional courses - Semester 2
Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources Urban Drainage and Water Supply
Computational Simulation of River Flows Water and Wastewater Treatment
Water Conservation Marine Waste Water Discharges
Environmental Geotechnics Statistical Modelling of the Environment
Environmental and Energy Economics Environmental Contamination and Health
  Environmental Planning
  Flood Inundation Modelling
  Integrated Water Resource Management


Industry links

Heriot-Watt's Water Academy has strong links with practitioners in industry, local authorities and government. As part of our commitment to preparing our students to contribute to solving ‘real world’ issues, high achieving students on our Water and Environmental Management MSc programme have an opportunity to undertake their dissertation research for an external organisation such as The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the Scottish Government, or for a private consultancy such as Royal HaskoningDHV or Grontmij.

Learning outcome:

Training is provided in water resources engineering, environmental engineering, flood risk management, integrated water resources management, environmental implications of water engineering schemes, and industrial software packages. On completion, graduates will be able to offer employers a broad range of skills and advanced knowledge in a number of important areas of water engineering. Primary employment destinations include:

  • Leading UK and international consultants (e.g. Jacobs, HR Wallingford, JBA, Halcrow, Hyder Consulting and Fairhursts)
  • Local and National Government (in the UK and elsewhere)
  • Environmental regulators (e.g. SEPA & EA)
  • Academic institutions (including PhD study and research associate posts)
  • Non-Governmental Organisations

Professional recognition. This MSc degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See for further information.


The aim of this new programme is to provide a multi-disciplinary understanding of water resources and environmental issues through the development of knowledge and skills necessary for the planning and management of these resources to meet the needs of society and the environment within the context of climate change. The programme is delivered by experts in the field of water and environmental management, covering a wide range of relevant disciplines

Contact Person: Lindsay C Beevers (


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

0712 - Environmental protection technology", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography


Venue: Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, United Kingdom



Tuition fees for 2015 entry:

  Full-time Part-time
Scotland/Non-UK EU £5.100 £2.250
England/Northern Ireland/Wales £5.100 £2.250
Overseas £17.220 £8.610

For the Distance Learning option the fees are £1.162 per course and £830 per research project for all students.

For questions about IDL fees, please contact our Distance Learning Office:


For MSc level entry applicants must have: 
Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area. For PG conversion programmes, non-cognate degrees will be considered. Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.

For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:

  • Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.
  • Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation. 
  • Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview.

Non-graduating study at masters level:
Entry is based on CV or on formal academic qualifications or graduate (or incorporated) membership of a relevant professional institution. 

Language Requirements
If English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above. Applicants who have previously successfully completed programmes delivered in the medium of English language may be considered and will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. A minimum of at least one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required. 

Application Procedure:

You can apply for this programme using the online application form and start by creating an account. You will need to attach the following documents to your online application: 

  • a copy of your degree certificate and relevant transcripts
  • proof of your ability in the English language
  • references from two academic sources
  • a copy of the photo page from your passport (International students requiring a visa to enter the UK)
  • a financial guarantee to prove how your tuition fees and personal maintenance costs will be met (International students requiring a visa to enter the UK or are being sponsored by their government or a commercial organisation)

Application Deadline: there is no official deadline for postgraduate applications; they are accepted right up until the beginning of term. However, if you are applying for a popular programme, it is in your best interest to submit your application as soon as you can so that you have the best chance of getting a place.

Grant Opportunities:

We aim to encourage well-qualified, ambitious students to study with us and we offer a wide variety of scholarships and bursaries to achieve this. Over £6 million worth of opportunities are available in fee and stipend scholarships, and more than 400 students benefit from this support.

View our full range of postgraduate taught scholarshipsand postgraduate research scholarships.

Postgraduate Taught Funded places available. This programme has been selected to support the skills demand in Scotland's key economic growth areas. A number of full fee bursaries are available to applicants permanently resident in Scotland. Download an application form and submit


Academic level: Master


In the MSc marks are gathered from a combination of examination and project work – overall 66% examination and 33% project work. Students are supported and guided by coursework to prepare them for taught course examination assessments.

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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