MSc in River Basin Dynamics and Management with GIS

University of Leeds, School of Geography

Program Description

MSc in River Basin Dynamics and Management with GIS

University of Leeds, School of Geography

River basins are of fundamental importance to the world’s population. Research training in water dynamics and management are demanded by both industry and academia. The University has a world-class reputation for water-related research and GIS development in an environmental context. This programme builds on that success.

Core components are river basin hydrology and basic environmental GIS. Students choosing a RB pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in channel hydraulics and sediment transport, river ecology and environmental assessment. Students on a GIS pathway gain advanced knowledge and skills in GIS for environment, GIS programming and digital image analysis and remote sensing.

This highly practical course advocates learning by doing and is assessed 100% by coursework. We host guest lecturers from business, industry and academia, visit work places and conduct a series of field-, laboratory- and PC-based practicals. You also have the chance to take a work placement module.

More information

The programme offers a detailed understanding of the principles of water resource management and an appreciation of the institutional and legal frameworks impacting on river basin management. You learn to formulate important research questions and design methodological approaches to answer them; and to develop quantitative analyses skills.

This programme is available part time, allowing you to combine study with other commitments. You can work to fund your studies, or gain a new qualification without giving up an existing job. We aim to be flexible in helping you to put together a part-time course structure that meets your academic goals while recognising the constraints on your study time.

Course content

This programme delivers advanced pure and applied education and training in key modern and developing fields of catchment dynamics and management and GIS. This is achieved across the modules of study by developing research methods (15% time), communication and interpersonal skills (10%), independent working (10%), instruction in advanced techniques (10%), specialist disciplinary knowledge (15%), quantitative skills training (15%), field skills training (10%) and vocational/employability/research career awareness and training (15%). As such the programme emphasis is on practical work, is assessed by 100% coursework (no exams) and permits considerable interaction of students with industry and business.

If you study this programme part-time you will study fewer modules in each year.

Compulsory modules

  • Issues and Skills for River Basin Dynamics and Management
  • Professional Development
  • Dissertation for River Basin Dynamics and Management


  • Introducing GIS and Hydrological Processes and Analysis


  • Principles of GIS and Using GIS

Optional modules

  • Environmental Assessment
  • River Basin Management for Water Quality
  • Professional Development
  • Programming for GIS: Core Skills
  • Programming for GIS: Advanced Skills
  • Digital Image Processing for Environmental Remote Sensing
  • GIS and Environment


Assessment is entirely by coursework, not examinations. You’ll need to show you can conduct independent in-depth enquiry and evaluate and criticise received opinion. You’ll apply breadth and/or depth of knowledge to a complex specialist area and will complete an independent masters-level dissertation.

Career opportunities

This programme offers a range of transferable, marketable skills required to obtain employment in river basin processes and management or to pursue a career in research and education.

Typical roles undertaken by our recent graduates are:

  • Assistant Analyst
  • Flood warning Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Graduate Water Scientist/Catchment Scientist
  • Hydrologist/Hydrogeologist
  • Licensing Officer
  • Planning Liaison Officer
  • PhD study
  • Projects Co-ordinator
  • Water Resource Manager.

Some of the organisations our graduates work for are:

  • Arup
  • Ballinderry Fish
  • Black and Veatch
  • Carlbro
  • Consultant Engineers
  • Dales Water Services Ltd
  • Environment Agency
  • Farrer Consulting
  • Hatchery Ltd
  • JBA Consulting
  • Scott Wilson
  • Yorkshire Water.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a related subject

Language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component.

This school offers programs in:
  • English
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2017
1 - 2 years
Part time
Full time
6,500 GBP
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Start date: Sept. 2017
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2017
United Kingdom - Leeds, England
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
International fee: £17,750