River Environments and their Management MSc

General information

The River Environments and their Management MSc course will examine the interactions between climate, hydrology, geomorphology, ecology, biogeochemical cycling, water and habitat quality and biodiversity. Using a combination of lectures, fieldwork, tutorials, laboratory classes, group projects and an individual research-based thesis, you will be provided with the necessary training and skills for a career in the successful environmental management of rivers.including techniques on assessing their status and approaches to rehabilitate and restore the condition of these globally threatened environments.

An important aspect of the training will be an understanding of how these interactions act at different spatial and temporal scales to influence the structure and function of ecosystems in running waters. This scientific and technical corpus will allow you to understand and quantify the consequences of natural and anthropogenic disturbance on river systems. 

You will also gain training in legislation that is driving the environmental management of rivers worldwide. In particular, the EU Water Framework Directive provides an exceptionally strong driver, requiring all European member states to draw up river basin management plans to achieve 'good ecological status' by 2015. This is certain to create many career opportunities in the future. This degree will provide direct postgraduate training for students interested in this career direction, as well as providing advanced-level training suitable for further PhD studies in water science. 

Modules are taught over the entire semester allowing for development of ideas and additional reading. Modules are also open to occasional students:

  • Environmental analysis and modelling
  • Quantitative Analysis of Hydrological Processes
  • Advances in Water Science and River Management
  • River Ecology: Theory and Practice
  • Hydrogeomorphology and Catchment Management
  • River Habitats and Biogeochemistry Assessment and Monitoring
  • Dissertation

 This core material is backed up by supplementary material. Examples of activities include:

  • Seminars by external lecturers to broaden knowledge of the water industry and river environmental management
  • Seminars by course participants to improve communication skills and knowledge of current trends in river environmental management
  • Fieldwork and visits to river monitoring sites, river restoration sites, the River Laboratory of the Freshwater Biological Association and research organizations.
  • Computing and practical projects to develop information technology, modeling and field skills
  • Group management projects and industrially related projects to develop research, problem solving and management skills.
Contact Person: Laura Benson (Programme Administrator) (l.j.benson@bham.ac.uk)


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

0031 - Project management", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management


Venue: University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom



Home/EU students:  £9,250 FT (£3.240 PT (Part-time registration is possible but you should first discuss your requirements with the Programme Director))

International students: £23,310 FT only


You will need normally a good Honours degree or equivalent in Geography or a related discipline.

International students
The University accepts a range of qualifications, the country pages show you what qualifications are accept from each country. You can satisfy the English language requirements in two ways:

  • by holding an English language qualification to the right level (IELTS/TOEFL/PTE or alternative qualifications)
  • by taking and successfully completing one of the University's English courses for international students.

Application Procedure:

By using the Apply Now link you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme 'River Environments and their Management' for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. The following information will usually be needed before a decision can be made on your application:

  • Two academic references
  • Degree transcript(s) - originals or certified photocopies
  • English language certificates
  • Personal statement, approximately 5.000 characters, explaining why you are interested in studying on your chosen programme.

Application Deadline: In general, there are no closing dates for applications at the University of Birmingham, but you are advised to apply early as many of our programmes receive more applications than there are places available. International applicants should also allow time to obtain a visa.

Grant Opportunities:

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students. Student Finance England's new Postgraduate Loan application service is now open for Masters degrees in the UK. The Postgraduate Loan for Masters study will be: 

  • Up to £10,000 per student;
  • A contribution towards the costs of study, i.e. it will be at your discretion to use the loan towards fees, maintenance costs or other costs;
  • Non-means tested;
  • Paid directly to you into a UK bank account;

Online applications are now open via the PGL website.

Water Conservators Bursary. Students with a place on this programme are eligible to apply for a Water Conservators Bursary, worth £4,000, given by the Worshipful Company of Water Conservators. to apply, please complete the application form (PDF 399KB) and return it to Laura Benson, PGT Programme Administrator by Wednesday 31st August 2016.

Email: l.j.benson@bham.ac.uk 
Or post to: Laura Benson, Geography School Office, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT

Studentships. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or get in touch with the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system.


Academic level: Master


Your performance on the course is assessed by written examinations on the lecture material and by reports on the project work. You must normally reach a satisfactory standard in the written examinations to be permitted to proceed to the individual project. On satisfactory completion of the course and examinations you are awarded the degree of MSc River Environments and their Management.

Qualification: Master of Science

UK Credits
Occupations (not validated):
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