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Water and Environmental Management - MSc

Course Description

Environmental water management is of increasing importance to all types of organisations in the UK and throughout the world. There is a growing need for qualified and trained environmental water managers.

About the course

The MSc Water and Environmental Management course focuses on sound water management and the requirements of sustainable development. You acquire expertise in the choice, design and implementation of a range of environmental management tools and methods including environmental impact assessment, integrated catchment management and environmentally sensitive river management.

Whether you are a graduate looking for a career in environmental water management or a professional who already has experience in this area the course advances your knowledge and skills so that you can develop your career in implementing environmentally sustainable solutions in business and organisations around the world. Studying on the MSc Water and Environmental Management course is the first step to becoming a Chartered Environmentalist.

Three modules are Accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and when you successfully complete these modules you can apply for Associate Membership of IEMA . When you graduate you become eligible to apply for Graduate membership of Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) CIWEM.

The structure of the MSc Environmental Management degrees is based on six core modules and a choice of three taught modules from specialists ones. Students will begin their studies, for both full-time and part time students, with a core module in Sustainability and Environmental Systems. To obtain a Masters degree you need to carry out a supervised research project comprising of another taught module, research methods and a 10,000-15,000 word research project. The project can be based on an environmental management issue that interests you or is relevant to your organisation. If you do not want to carry out a research project you may graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma.

This course is available both full and part-time with intakes in September (Semester A) and January (Semester B). Full time study in Semester A takes 1 year. Full time study beginning in Semester B will take 15 months. Part time study options typically take two years but students are given a maximum of five years to complete.

Why choose this course?

-This route prepares you for all aspects of environmental management in the water industry world wide
-Accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) and the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
-It is structured around a modular short course structure to enable flexibility whilst working. This allows part-time student to not have to take more than 12 days off a year (if studying over 2/3 years)
-Networking opportunities per module with lunch and refreshments provided within your fees

Professional Accreditations

Three modules are accredited by the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) for Associate membership (giving exemption from the Associate Entry Examination). All modules are accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) for graduate membership.


Graduates have gained employment in a wide variety of sectors including Water companies, environment agencies, consultancy, NGOs, local government, and many other areas of the private and public sector employment.

Former students have made impressive environmental improvements and large savings for their companies while studying on the programme, and several have achieved significant promotion within their companies.

Teaching methods

The programme approach integrates blended learning, combining face-to-face teaching and tutorials with online learning materials, easy contact with tutors and online submission of assignments. All modules are delivered as intensive two or three day short courses that run primarily on Fridays and Saturdays.

Full-time students attend tutorials in the weeks following a short course, receiving face-to-face support.

Part-time students attend courses at the University for only about six working days a year. These students complete their assignments through making use of our outstanding virtual learning environment Studynet and keeping in remote contact with tutors. Most part time students complete this course within 2 years but you are given a maximum of 5 to complete.

Assessment is primarily by assignments, often directly related to environmental management in the workplace or field. These can include reports, essays, seminars and online tests.

You have access to excellent University facilities including a field station, laboratories and state of the art Learning Resource Centres.


Core Modules
-Environmental Management Tools and Methods
-Environmental Policy and Governance
-Foundation in Environmental Auditing
-Management Skills for Environmental Management
-Sustainability and Environmental Systems
-Water Pollution Control
-Water Resources

-Ecology and Conservation
-Environmental Management Tools and Methods
-Integrated Waste and Pollution Management
-Research Methods
-Sustainability and Environmental Systems
-Water and Environmental Management Individual Research Project

Visit the Water and Environmental Management - MSc page on the University of Hertfordshire website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Md. Abdur Rouf

Having a civil engineering background and working as an employee of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) Bangladesh, I have mainly served in planning, formulation and implementation of rural road construction and maintenance projects during my last 20 years’ professional career. LGED is the largest engineering organisation of 10,000 employees, mainly responsible for rural/secondary town infrastructure development and maintenance projects all over the country. My practical experiences showed me that a number of environmental issues need to be tackled to ensure the environmental impact assessment practices of LGED are more realistic and fruitful. My limited knowledge on environmental issues was a great hindrance to communicate such issues to decision makers. I successfully convinced my authority to create an opportunity for higher studies in Environmental Management to facilitate better inputs on environmental issues and they even funded my course.

I decided to study at the University of Hertfordshire after finding out about the course modules, staff expertise and teaching facilities. I was also excited by the idea of meeting students from so many different international backgrounds. The course comprises a wide range of relevant and essential modules, which were really outstanding. Important topics such as environmental management systems, auditing, water resource management and impact assessment were delivered very professionally. The course provided a tremendous opportunity to share environmental knowledge/experiences and interact with students from different countries, which helped me develop my professional skills. During my dissertation studies on the EIA process of rural road projects, I received constant support and critical guidance from an excellent supervisor who had a strong academic and professional background.

Now I have chalked out a plan to provide training to enhance awareness and build capacity in environmental understanding among the employees of LGED. I am currently preparing different training modules, which will help ensure that environmental issues are properly considered during the planning and implementation of rural infrastructure development projects.

Md. Abdur Rouf
Senior Assistant Engineer
Local Government Engineering Department

(Student Profile)

Paul Cross

I originally attained my Honours degree in Geography at the University of Hertfordshire so had experience of learning from technically gifted lecturers in a relaxed and supporting environment.
After working for the Environment Agency for two years in a variety of different roles I wanted to develop my technical competence in working with the environment. I sought an accredited course -specifically by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM). Upon my investigations I found that the University of Hertfordshire offered a flexible CIWEM (and IEMA) accredited MSc in Water and Environmental Management.

I successfully attained sponsorship from the Environment Agency to study for the MSc on a part-time basis. Support from both my employer and the University helped me to complete the course in two years on a part-time basis whilst working full-time. Studying on a part-time basis whilst working full-time can prove challenging at times but is ultimately very rewarding. Working towards an MSc can equip you with the knowledge and confidence to meet the challenges which lie ahead in your environmental career.

I must say that the greatest lesson I learnt from my post-graduate study was the importance and tools necessary to achieve an appropriate life/work balance. In order to achieve the most in life, finding this balance is integral. In addition, my technical competence improved greatly. Working with the environment is often challenging but always rewarding, therefore the more options you have at your disposal, the better for everyone.

I would highly recommend this course, you will find the modules enlightening and the tools you gain empowering.

Paul Cross
Flood and Coastal Risk Management Internal Advocate
Environment Agency, UK

(Student Profile)

Richard Spencer-Smith

When I started my MSc in Water and Environmental Management at the University of Hertfordshire, I was already 60 and had a full career in Learning and Language Support teaching and management in Further Education behind me. I wanted an occupational change that would give me some science, take me well beyond retirement and would connect me to what I valued most: humanity and its harmonious, respectful and creative interaction with the environment.

The course at UH is taught by the most knowledgeable, dedicated and enthusiastic team of lecturers you could possibly hope for. It also presented the ideal range of modules to satisfy an eclectic interest in the environment and a unique chance to combine an investigation of water resources and water quality through taught modules and the Research Project. I benefitted enormously from the rigorously systematic approaches to managing the environment presented in the Tools and Methods and the Foundation in Environmental Auditing modules. The thorough wedding of theory and practice on the Sustainability and Environmental Systems module allowed me to complete a report on my previous employer’s energy use and present it to the Development Manager.

The course was also flexible enough to allow informal participation in the Ecology module and the Phase 1 Habitat Survey field practicals, which added value to my Research Project Report on the Impact of Water Quality on the Breeding of Black-Necked Grebe on a Hertfordshire reservoir.

Thanks to the UH MSc, I now have my dream job, working on the Thames as a lock and weir keeper surrounded by water, wildlife and people, with an infinitely greater understanding than before of what is going on beneath the surface of each and the potential to make a contribution to the environmental management of my new employer.

Richard Spencer-Smith
Ealing, UK

(Student Profile)

Liz Wagner-Dempster

I graduated with a BA degree in Geography but found it extremely difficult to find a job role that really linked to what I was interested in: the management of the interaction between people and the environment. Having spent several years in job roles that were interesting and provided me with necessary business skills, but were outside of the environmental profession, I was offered the opportunity to complete further study by my employer at that time. They identified a gap within their organisation in terms of environmental knowledge and asked me if I would undertake some study to help remedy this.

This led me to search for a course in Environmental Management. I decided on MSc Environmental Management at the University of Hertfordshire because it is designed for people in full-time employment, offers a wide variety of modules important to any role in environmental management, allows for part-time students to attend lectures and workshops without impacting too much on work hours and is accredited by IEMA. The course also offers more specific pathways in Environmental Management for students that want to specialise.

Studying the MSc at the University of Hertfordshire confirmed to me I wanted to become an Environmental Practitioner. My tutors and thesis supervisor have been endlessly supportive to me in my studies and my career change, and I am impressed with the positive working atmosphere of the university. During my studies, I managed to get my first full-time environmental role as Sustainability Officer at a small higher education institution and I believe this experience coupled with my MSc has ultimately led to my ideal and current role at the University of Hertfordshire! I am now an Associate Member of IEMA and am looking to work towards Full Membership and eventually become a Chartered Environmentalist too.

Liz Wagner-Dempster
Environmental Co-ordinator
University of Hertfordshire


Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 2.2 degree in any subject. Applicants with other qualifications and relevant experience will be considered individually by the Programme Tutor. Accredited Prior Learning (APL) is available for those who already have associate membership of IEMA.

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