MSc in Water and Planetary Health


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

"Geography at Lincoln represents one of the most significant investments in UK university Geography for a generation" Dr Rita Gardner CBE, former Director of the Royal Geographical Society

This programme focuses on the emerging field of planetary health and is designed to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of climate change, global population dynamics, and human and ecosystem health. It includes advanced interdisciplinary learning in all aspects of water and planetary health and is delivered by award-winning staff from Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health (LCWPH).

Students can learn from and work with world-leading researchers to assess the impacts of local to global scale challenges within fresh and coastal water systems. Particular emphasis is placed on interactions among human, ecosystem, and planetary health. Students have the opportunity to develop management, mitigation, and adaptation strategies to address issues resulting from climate, environmental, and socio-economic change.

Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health focuses on solving the most pressing global environmental and societal problems emerging from the world’s largest rivers. These include climate change impacts on extreme floods and droughts, flood-related contamination from metal mining and processing, and waterborne and vector-borne diseases affecting humans and animals where riverine environments provide the principal habitat.

How You Study

This Master's includes five core modules designed to provide students with transdisciplinary, methodological, and theoretical foundations in the emerging field of water and planetary health. Students can pursue specialisms through a selection of up to two optional modules in each term, followed by a research project of choice.

Optional modules are designed to address problem-centric matters and to foster cross-disciplinary learning that reflects the real-world complexity of today's environmental challenges. This aims to encourage students to apply a wide range of methods from different disciplines in tackling these issues.

The programme includes field trips to globally significant river catchments of topical interest included in the course fee. These visits allow students to practically investigate water and planetary health and collect scientific field data. As part of the core Overseas Field Trip: Water and Planetary Health module students have the opportunity to visit Zambia and experience first-hand some of the most pressing global challenges associated with water and planetary health from a Global South perspective. In the core Water and Planetary Health 2 module, students will have the opportunity to study challenges from a Global North perspective through a field trip to London or the Netherlands.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Due to the nature of this programme weekly contact hours may vary. The postgraduate level study involves a significant proportion of independent study, exploring the material covered in lectures and seminars. As a general guide, for every hour spent in class, students are expected to spend at least two to three hours in an independent study. For more detailed information specific to this course please contact the Programme Leader.


  • Advanced Research Methods in Water and Planetary Health (Core)
  • Coastal Ecosystems: Processes and Management (M) (Option)*
  • Environmental Histories of the New & Old World (M) (Option)*
  • Environmental Inequalities & Social Marginalisation (Option)*
  • Human Impacts on Ecosystems, the Environment & Planetary Health (M) (Option)*
  • Overseas Field Trip: Water and Planetary Health (Core)
  • Policy and Politics of Climate Change (M) (Option)*
  • Preparing for Research (Core)
  • Psychology of Environmental Behaviour and Resource Management (Option)*
  • Research Project (MA/MSc) (Core)
  • River Systems & Global Environmental Change (M) (Option)*
  • System Modelling for Water & Planetary Health (Option)*
  • Urban and Regional Political Ecology (M) (Option)*
  • Water and Planetary Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach 1 (Core)
  • Water and Planetary Health: An Interdisciplinary Approach 2 (Core)
  • Work Placement (Geography) (Option)*

*Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

How You Are Assessed

The way students are assessed will vary from module to module but may include multiple, diverse methods including coursework such as written assignments, blogs, reports or dissertations; practical tasks, fieldwork and presentations; and written exams, such as formal examinations or in-class tests.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly – usually within 15 working days of the submission date.

Career and Personal Development

This programme aims to equip students with a comprehensive understanding of climate change, global population dynamics, and human and ecosystem health. With global challenges becoming increasingly interconnected, graduates with knowledge of these key issues are becoming increasingly valued in the national and international job market and across a diverse range of industries. Job opportunities could include environmental and public health planning, consultancy, and research and policy within the private, public, or third sectors.

"The Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health (LCWPH), is the world's first interdisciplinary research centre to focus on pressing environmental and societal issues emerging from aquatic systems."
Professor Mark Macklin, Founding Director of the Lincoln Centre for Water and Planetary Health

Entry Requirements

First or second class honours degree or equivalent overseas qualification. We will consider applicants from non-related degrees, with relevant experience.

International Students will require the English Language at IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in each element, or equivalent.

If you have studied outside of the UK, and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page.

If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses.

These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.


  2020/21 Entry*
Home/EU £10,610
Home/EU (including Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction )** £8,488
International £18,910
International (Including International Alumni / Global Postgraduate Scholarship £2,000 reduction)** £16,910
Part-time Home/EU £59 per credit point
Part-time International £105 per credit point

* Academic year September- July
** Subject to eligibility

Additional fees may apply. Scholarships and loans are available. Please contact us for more information.

Last updated Jun 2020

About the School

Since being opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, the University of Lincoln has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities.

Since being opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1996, the University of Lincoln has invested more than £300 million in its buildings and facilities. Read less