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Course content

This MSc attracts UK and overseas graduates who wish to take advantage of the considerable global interest in water, wastewater, sanitation and waste to develop their careers.

Many graduates from the programme go on to work for consultancies, water utilities, contractors, relief agencies, regulatory bodies and international organisations.

Graduates from the programme also have the potential to progress to relevant specialist PhD or EngD research programmes in the field.

In the past, scholarship students have been accepted from a range of schemes, including: Foreign Office and British Council Chevening, World Bank, Commonwealth, Thames Water, Commonwealth Shared Scholarships, and the Royal Academy of Engineering, together with students from numerous overseas national schemes.

Programme structure

This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation project.

Example module listing

The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.

Modes of study

Apart from the usual full-time mode, there are also part-time options. The majority of Bridge, Geotechnical and Structural Engineering modules can be studied by distance learning through the use of an interactive web-based e-learning platform (SurreyLearn).

Distance learning

This programme can be studied via distance learning, which allows a high level of flexibility and enables you to study alongside other commitments you may have. Download our distance learning PDF to learn more.

Facilities and resources

Laboratories and pilot plants

In recent years, CEHE has benefited from investment in new equipment in both the small centre facility, which primarily supports fieldwork, and a larger, more extensively equipped microbiology and chemistry laboratory.

The laboratories are equipped with recently acquired state-of- the-art analytical equipment including ICP-OES, GC/MS, TOC, Ion Chromatograph, Particle Counter, water quality loggers, Delagua kits and so on, available for fieldwork.

A water and wastewater research pilot plant is located at Thames Water’s Shalford and Godalming Water Treatment Works, just a few kilometres away from the University campus. Over the years, many MSc dissertation projects have been completed at this facility, most of them to assist in the development or testing of relief agency systems.

A parallel wastewater research pilot plant has recently been established, again with the support of Thames Water, at Godalming Sewage Treatment Works.

Library facilities

The University library is currently resourced for books, journals and electronic resources, as the postgraduate programme in Water and Environmental Engineering has been well established over the last decade.

The programme draws on science, engineering and other areas of knowledge, and the overall diversity of academic groups within the University ensures that there are library resources to answer most needs.

The provision of British Standards online has reduced the copyright requirements and the quantity of photocopying required. Passwords are available from the library web pages for all other electronic resources.

CEHE resource centre

Provision is made within CEHE to access a limited range of textbooks, previously completed MSc dissertations, a selected range of journals and software mounted on PCs in the Catchment Modelling Laboratory or available on CD.

Professional Institution resources

Library and learning resources are available at the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and other appropriate professional bodies.

All categories of members of the professional institutions are allowed to borrow books from the institution libraries by post, and in some cases to access other services online.

Computing

There are suitable computing facilities available both within the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences and through central university facilities.

Teaching rooms

Teaching is primarily in flat floor teaching rooms, although there are occasions when formal lecture theatre facilities are used. All of the usual academic support materials and systems are available and pre-printed notes are distributed during every lecture.

Educational aims of the programme

The programme aims to provide graduates with:

  • A comprehensive and robust understanding of key areas of water and environmental engineering 
  • Skills that will enable students to explore, critically assess and evaluate problems and produce systematic and coherent solutions integrating core engineering science with practical applications both independently and within a team structure
  • An understanding of how this knowledge can be articulated around sustainable development practices
  • A sound base for enhanced communication skills both oral and written
  • A pathway that will prepare graduates for successful careers in the field including, where appropriate, progression to Chartered Engineer status

Global opportunities

We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.

In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.


Visit the Water and Environmental Engineering MSc page on the University of Surrey website for more details!

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