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Loughborough University Featured Masters Courses

Water and Environmental Management by Distance Learning (MSc)

Course Description

This Distance Learning programme is ideal for engineers and scientists who want to improve the delivery of water and environmental services in low- and middle-income countries. You will develop knowledge, expertise and skills in many aspects of water, sanitation and environmental management. The programme focuses on the conditions and aspirations of communities in low- and middle-income countries.

Modules are delivered by experts in a broad range of disciplines who have considerable experience of working in low- and middle- income countries. Participants have a mix of nationalities and past experiences, providing opportunities for learning from them and development of a valuable future network.

Externally accredited, WEDC programmes are well-established, and held in high regard by practitioners and employers from both the emergency and development sectors.

Key Facts

- Research-led teaching from international experts. 75% of the School’s research was rated as world-leading or internationally excellent in the latest Government Research Excellence Framework.

- An outstanding place to study. The School of Civil and Building Engineering is ranked in the UK top 10 in the Guardian Good University Guide.

- Excellent graduate prospects. Many of our participants are employed by relief and development agencies.

- Professionally accredited. The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) have accredited this programme. Students registered for this programme are eligible for free student membership of CIWEM. The Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) has also accredited all WEDC MSc degrees as meeting requirements for Further Learning.

See the website http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/civil/water-environmental-management-dl/

Programme modules

Core modules:
- Management of Water and Sanitation
The aim of this module is to introduce the principles, concepts and key issues of managing sustainable water and environmental sanitation services for low-income consumers in developing countries.

- Water and Environmental Sanitation
The aim of this module is for participants to understand the range of suitable technologies for water supply and engineering management of liquid and solid wastes in low- and middle-income countries.

- Data Collection, Analysis and Research
The aims of this module are to introduce the principles and approaches for doing research and studies on infrastructure and services in low- and middle-income countries and to prepare students to undertake the research dissertation module.

- Environmental Assessment
The aim of this module is for participants to develop a broad understanding of both the needs for and the mechanisms of environmental assessment and management, with emphasis on aquatic environments, in low and middle-income countries.

- Integrated Water Resources Management
The aim of this module is for participants to understand the concepts used in integrated planning and management of water resources in low and middle-income countries.

- Case Study
The aims of this module are to give participants a basic understanding of a complete project cycle for infrastucture and services; and to consolidate and integrate material contained in earlier modules.

- Research Dissertation
The aim of this module is to provide the student with experience of the process and methodology of research by defining and studying (on an individual basis) a complex problem in a specialised area relating to their degree.

Optional Modules (choose 2):
- Wastewater Treatment
The aims of this module are for the student to understand the various stages, and unit operation and process options, for treatment of wastewaters, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

- Water for Low-income Communities
The aim of this module is for the student to understand important aspects of the design, construction, operation and maintenance of small water supplies for low-income communities.

- Solid Waste Management
The aim of this module is to introduce participants with available and possible options in solid waste management for low and middle income countries. To make participants familiar with the key issues for low income countries.

- Low-cost Sanitation
The aim of this module is to increase the student's knowledge of all aspects of low-cost human excreta disposal.

- Water Utilities Management
The aim of this module is to better enable participants to plan for and manage urban water and sanitation services in developing countries.


Distance Learning students study from home but are welcome to visit the Loughborough campus. They can make remote use of the University Library’s electronic search facilities. They can also remotely access the WEDC ‘Knowledge Base’, which has links to many sources of useful and relevant information.

Facilities on campus include our laboratory which houses equipment for field sampling and analysis of water and wastewater, and some of the largest hydraulics equipment in the UK. Although Distance Learners will not normally have access to this equipment they can ask the advice of laboratory staff if they are carrying out fieldwork as part of their dissertation.

How you will learn

Distance Learning students study from home but are welcome to visit the Loughborough campus. They can make remote use of the University Library’s electronic search facilities and the WEDC ‘Knowledge Base’, which has links to many sources of useful and relevant information.

The programme comprises both compulsory core modules, and optional modules which may be selected. The Case Study module draws together material from across the programme. A research dissertation between 75 and 150 pages long on a chosen topic relevant to interests or career development concludes the programme. Many of the Distance Learning modules have web-based discussion forums, where Distance Learners can choose to interact with each other and Module Tutors.

The method of delivery for the learning materials is mainly portable and paper-based, to suit students who are living or working in areas of the world with poor internet connectivity, or those who travel frequently. We also arrange some webinars which are recorded for students who are unable to participate.

During the programme students build up an excellent library of well-produced bound module notes, additional resources and relevant text books. In addition to the printed version we are developing and planning to provide e-reader versions of some module notes to enhance portability.

- Assessment
For most modules, students are assessed by two written assessments (three items for core modules). The Case Study module relates to a given scenario for which the student has to produce pre-feasibility and feasibility reports. The individual research dissertation module is assessed on the basis of a written dissertation and an oral when a student discusses their submitted dissertation with their supervisor and a second member of staff. For students who cannot visit the UK this oral takes place over Skype.

Careers and further study

Many WEDC students and alumni work for international NGOs (MSF, Oxfam, SCF, GOAL, WaterAid, etc.) and agencies (such as UNICEF), or National Governments. Distance Learning students already working in these sectors find their new skills to be directly relevant and readily applicable to their jobs.
Graduate job titles include Technical Manager, Programme Engineer, Water and Sanitation Consultant, Project Manager, Environmental Health Officer and WASH Coordinator.


On occasion we offer specific full-fee and partial-fee scholarships for Distance Learning applicants.

Why choose civil engineering at Loughborough?

As one of four Royal Academy of Engineering designated Centres of Excellence in Sustainable Building Design, the School of Civil and Building Engineering is one of the largest of its type in the UK and holds together a thriving community of over 60 academic staff, 40 technical and clerical support staff and over 240 active researchers that include Fellows, Associates, Assistants, Engineers and Doctoral Students.

Our world-class teaching and research are integrated to support the technical and commercial needs of both industry and society. A key part of our ethos is our extensive links with industry resulting in our graduates being extremely sought after by industry and commerce world-wide,

- Postgraduate programmes
The School offers a focussed suite of post graduate programmes aligned to meet the needs of industry and fully accredited by the relevant professional institutions. Consequently, our record of graduate employment is second to none. Our programmes also have a long track record of delivering high quality, research-led education. Indeed, some of our programmes have been responding to the needs of industry and producing high quality graduates for over 40 years.

Currently, our suite of Masters programmes seeks to draw upon our cutting edge research and broad base knowledge of within the areas of contemporary construction management, project management, infrastructure management, building engineering, building modelling, building energy demand and waste and water engineering. The programmes are designed to respond to contemporary issues in the field such as sustainable construction, low carbon building, low energy services, project complexity, socio-technical systems and socio-economic concerns.

- Research
Drawing from our excellent record in attracting research funds (currently standing at over £19M), the focal point of the School is innovative, industry-relevant research. This continues to nurture and refresh our long history of working closely with industrial partners on novel collaborative research and informs our ongoing innovative teaching and extensive enterprise activities. This is further complemented by our outstanding record of doctoral supervision which has provided, on average, a PhD graduate from the School every two weeks.

- Career Prospects
Independent surveys continue to show that industry has the highest regard for our graduates. Over 90% were in employment and/or further study six months after graduating. Recent independent surveys of major employers have also consistently rated the School at the top nationally for civil engineering and construction graduates.

Find out how to apply here http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/programmes/departments/civil/water-environmental-management-dl/

Visit the Water and Environmental Management by Distance Learning (MSc) page on the Loughborough University website for more details!

Student Profiles

Entry Requirements

Lower second class (2.2) degree or above. IELTS overall 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in the individual Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking test

Course Fees

Please use the fee finder UK: View Website International View Website

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