MSc in Environmental Water Management

Cranfield University

Program Description

MSc in Environmental Water Management

Cranfield University

Around the world, the quality and quantity of water in streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands and underground is significantly affected by human activity. At Cranfield University, we capitalize on our industry connections to provide students with the up-to-date skills and knowledge needed to tackle these challenges in a career in today’s environmental water management sector.

Who is it for?

The course is ideal for graduates wishing to develop the expertise needed to solve environmental water management problems. It is designed to complement and expand your existing knowledge of science, policy, and practice, making it suitable for students from a range of backgrounds. Recent students have joined us from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in engineering (civil, hydraulic, agricultural), physical geography, chemistry and environmental sciences, as well as from professional careers.

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 defense, and policy.

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

Why this course?

At the UK’s only exclusively postgraduate university, students get the unique experience to work with researchers whose primary purpose is to understand the needs of their sector. Therefore all components of the Environmental Water Management course are designed with the same end goal in mind: to produce the best graduates for jobs in water resources, hydrology, water quality, habitat conservation and creation, and flood risk management.

To do this, you will first reinforce your knowledge of topics and methods in eight core areas (hydrology, ecology, water quality, modeling, drought, flood risk, urban water, and catchment management). You then integrate this learning and apply it to a real-world problem in the group project. Over a 10-week period, you will work in a team of 6-8 students from a range of MSc courses on a consultancy project, handling all stages of project design and delivery from initial meetings to scope out the work to the final report and presentation. Topics vary yearly as they respond to the needs of our industrial partners, but typically relate to water resources, aquatic ecology, and flood risk management. Finally, you will delve into a single topic for your individual thesis project, strengthening your skills in project design and management; data collection, analysis and interpretation; and report writing, all of which are essential for your future career.

By completing this course, you will become part of a long line (>30 years) of environmental water management alumni who can now be found across the entire water sector, from entry-level scientists to senior managers and regulators, in the UK, Europe and beyond.

Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. Industrial involvement comes in the form of sponsored group and thesis projects, and oversight from an Industrial Advisory Panel.

Sponsored projects stem from the active research and consultancy work of the Cranfield Water Science Institute, a leader in water research, whose researchers have expertise in water and wastewater treatment, water supply, and irrigation, flood risk management, and water policy and economics.

The Industrial Advisory Panel performs an essential role in course review and the proposition of new content. As it is composed of members from consultancy, government, industry and charitable sectors, the panel ensures that Cranfield graduates have the knowledge and skills to be immediately employable. Current panel members include:

  • Jo Parker – Independent Consultant
  • Adam Brookes – Anglian Water
  • Mark Buttle – Save the Children
  • Duncan Marsh – PumpAid
  • Richard Hill – Whitewater Ltd
  • Mansoor Ali – International Medical Corps
  • Maria Manidaki – Mott Macdonald
  • Peter Vale – Severn Trent
  • Robert Keirle – CWIEM
  • Tom Nichols – Environment Agency
  • Martin Janes – RRC
  • Jodie Rettino – Severn Trent
  • Maxine Zaidman – JBA Consulting
  • Alastair Moseley – Future Water Association

Course details

The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project, and an individual project.

Group project

A unique component of a Cranfield University taught MSc is the group project. Group projects are usually sponsored by industry partners and provide students with an experience of working on real challenges in the workplace along with skills in team working, managing resources and developing reporting and presentation skills. Experience gained is highly valued by both students and prospective employers.

Individual project

The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems. Students have the choice to work on projects sponsored by industry or related to current Research Council, EU or industry-funded research. Recent sponsors of individual projects include:

  • AB Sugar
  • ASDA
  • Atkins
  • British Geological Survey
  • British Sugar
  • Canal and River Trust
  • Catchment Partnerships
  • Environment Agency
  • Innocent
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Marks & Spencers
  • River Restoration Centre
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • WSUP
  • WWF-UK


Taught modules 40%, Group project 20%, Individual project 40%

Entry requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a first or second 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. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

In addition to these minimum scores, you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking an IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

Cranfield University environmental water management graduates are found all over the UK, EU and world working at all levels of the water industry, government, environmental and engineering consultancy, and charitable sector. Therefore you will join a large and supportable alumni network.

Industry and Consultancy

  • Adas
  • AECOM (formerly URS)
  • Atkins
  • Environmental Resources Management (ERM)
  • Golder
  • Mott MacDonalds
  • JBA Consulting
  • Unilever

Public sector

  • Environment Agency
  • Natural England
  • Canals and Rivers Trust
  • Hertfordshire County Council


  • Farming and Wildlife Advisory Group
  • National Trust
  • Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

Water Companies

    • Thames Water
    • Anglian Water
    • Severn Trent Water


  • British Geological Survey
  • Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH)
  • BlueTech Research
  • Ph.D., PGCE
  • Cranfield University
  • Joint Research Centre, Ispra

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated October 9, 2018
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Oct. 2019
1 - 3 years
Part time
Full time
10,250 GBP
Home/EU students, full-time program. £20,500 overseas students.
United Kingdom - Cranfield, England
Start date : Oct. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Oct. 2019
United Kingdom - Cranfield, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info