Although much progress has been made over the last three decades, still more than one billion people lack access to a safe, reliable and affordable water supply; and more than twice that number still lack access to basic sanitation. This course provides the essential skills and knowledge required to plan and implement water supply and sanitation projects and programmes in any part of the world, particularly in low-income countries.

This course is ideal for graduates who wish to progress their career in the planning, implementation and management of sustainable water supply and sanitation projects to low-income countries. The course comprises of assessed modules, group projects and an individual project. The modules include lectures and tutorials with an emphasis on analysis of real problems, with practical fieldwork to reinforce learning.

Course structure

The Water and Sanitation for Development MSc is made up of three components: taught modules MSc 40%, PgDip 66.6%, Group project (dissertation for part-time students) MSc 20%, PgDip 33.3%, Individual project MSc 40%.

Example modules

The modules include lectures and tutorials and are assessed through appropriate assignments


  • Surface and Groundwater Hydrology
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment for Development
  • Management and Governance for Water and Sanitation
  • Health, Hygiene and Sanitation
  • Communities and Development
  • Water Source Engineering
  • Water in Cities
  • Emergency Water Supply and Environmental Sanitation

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 in water management. There will be opportunities during the thesis project for overseas projects.

Group project

The group project provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets.

Future career

Cranfield graduates leave with the skills to make an immediate contribution in the international water industry, and many enjoy long-term careers in diverse roles such as consultants, managers, engineers, sanitation specialists and project managers. Some of our graduates went on to work in water and sanitation development with non-governmental organisations, emergency relief agencies, UN and similar international bodies. The course also provides an ideal grounding for research positions and PhD programmes.

Entry requirements

Minimum requirements: 1st or 2nd class UK Honours degree in a relevant discipline such as engineering, environmental science, geography, development studies, earth science or related subjects, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Please contact us if you do not meet our formal entry requirements.

ATAS Certificate

Students requiring a visa to study in the UK may need to apply for an ATAS certificate to study this course.

Program taught in:
  • English

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Last updated April 20, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Oct 2019
1 - 3 years
20,500 GBP
Overseas - Home/EU: £10,250
By locations
By date
Start Date
Oct 2019
End Date
Oct 1, 2020
Application deadline

Oct 2019

Application deadline
End Date
Oct 1, 2020