MSc Water Security and International Development

University of East Anglia Faculty of Social Sciences

Program Description

MSc Water Security and International Development

University of East Anglia Faculty of Social Sciences

The MSc Water Security and International Development degree interprets 'water security' in its broad political ecology and political economy sense. We believe that the hydrological cycle is intimately connected to critical global policy concerns: climate change, food trade and food security, energy security - and in turn to the international cooperation that affects human, community, regional and state security.

Inextricably linked to people's welfare and livelihoods in non-industrialised contexts, water is a resource of fundamental importance to environment and development concerns. This Master's programme will critically reflect on the practical and theoretical facets of 'water security', with a view to develop a better foundation upon which to achieve developmental and environmental objectives. We will provide the latest interdisciplinary theory and tools necessary to rise to the challenges and students will graduate with the knowledge and tools to be able to understand and audit the water security of a system of interest; be it nation, region, company, sector, scheme or household.

The MSc Water Security and International Development degree will be offered over one year full-time, or two years part-time.

Applicants for this degree are encouraged to apply as soon as possible in order to secure their place. Please contact the Course Director, Dr Mark Zeitoun if you would like to discuss your application before it is submitted.

Who is the Course for?

This unique degree seeks to prepare graduates to engage with and contribute to societal responses to critical global water policy issues, encapsulated in part by Professor John Beddington's (UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser) 2009 analysis identifying the 'Perfect Storm' arising from the 'surge in demand for food, water and energy over the next two decades... all intimately connected'. The School is world-renowned for its interdisciplinary and rigorous approach to subject-area teaching within a wider pedagogic framework of development and environmental studies. The students will benefit from our specialist knowledge in the social and biophysical aspects of water resources, including excellent networking and fieldword opportunities.

The course is relevant for those who have recently completed undergraduate study as well as those who have already worked in the field of development. It does not require specialised prior study although students will benefit from an environmental Bachelors degree such as geology, geography or environmental sciences. People with other backgrounds oriented towards the environment, for instance in political sciences, sociology or law, or with practice experience in development work, are also strongly encouraged to apply. The course aims to prepare students for employment in a wide range of areas, including non-governmental organisations (NGOs), government aid agencies, and multilaterial organisations.

Course Profile

Our Masters courses require students to undertake 180 credits:

  • Compulsory and Optional modules (120 credits)
  • Examination (20 credits)
  • Dissertation (40 credits)

The Compulsory modules include:

  • Water Security - Theory and Concepts (Autumn semester - 20 credits)
  • Water Security - Tools and Policy (Spring semester - 20 credits)

Students will be able to choose from a range of Optional modules. Recommended modules include:

  • Understanding Global Environmental Change
  • Catchment Water Resource Management
  • Political Ecology of Environment and Development
  • Climate Change Policy for Development
  • Globalised Agriculture and Food Systems

Students will receive detailed module outlines, including information about lectures and seminars, full reading lists and assessments once they have registered at the beginning of their course.

Professional, Employability and Practical Skills

A range of optional seminars and workshops are offered during your Masters programme for the teaching and strengthening of student skills. Sessions to support learning - in particular essay and dissertation writing - occur throughout the year. Development practice training is also provided.

UEA Water Security Research Centre

The University of East Anglia's Water Security Research Centre integrates world-class natural and social sciences to address the challenges. We offer unique skills and internationally-renowned researchers centred in the School of International Development and the School of Environmental Sciences. Together they address key water security and related issues from the individual to the global level.

The Water Security Centre also draws upon expertise from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, the School of Economics, the School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, International Development UEA, the Low Carbon Innovation Centre and the Climatic Research Unit – all based at the University of East Anglia. We go beyond studying phenomena to bring about positive change by means of engagement through extensive outreach, action research and policy formation.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject: Social Science or Natural Resource Science
  • Degree Classification: 2.1 or equivalent
This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated August 1, 2016
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Aug. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
Start date Aug. 2017
United Kingdom Norwich, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Duration 1 - 2 years
Price Request Info