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    Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year; Part-time: 2 years

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees

    Please see website

  • Last Updated

    24 April 2018

Course content

Our Water: Science & Governance MSc combines pure and applied research methods from the social and environmental sciences, allowing you to gain an advanced understanding of the many contemporary, and often controversial, perspectives on water resource allocation and management. You will learn about examples from the UK, Europe and developing economies worldwide. 

Key benefits

  • Gain advanced interdisciplinary understanding of the contemporary challenges of diverse water environments around the world through lectures and seminars informed by cutting edge research and policy.
  • Explore the socio-economic, political and environmental aspects of water allocation and management through engagement with leading international scientists and professionals from the water sector.


This is an interdisciplinary course that combines pure and applied research methods from the social and environmental sciences. We aim to give you cutting-edge knowledge, analytical skills and practical experience to prepare you for a career in the field of water science, policy and governance. We will help to develop your initiative and independent critical judgement in identifying, analysing and solving problems at an advanced level. You will learn about a wide range of theories within a sustainability framework and discover how the diverse needs of society, the economy and environmental/ecosystem services are addressed and mediated by both political and technical processes.

Through lectures and seminars you will meet water scientists and professionals from the public and the private sectors as well as from civil movements and NGOs. A key feature of the course is the opportunity to engage with environmental scientists, policy makers and professionals working in a variety of practical contexts in the water sector. This engagement allows you to critically analyse current water issues and to gain insights into the different assumptions of stakeholders using, managing and regulating the global water environment and its services.

Course purpose

The aim of the course is to develop an ability to evaluate critically current and advanced scholarship as well as the practical experience of those working in the fields of water science and governance. It promotes initiative and the exercise of independent critical judgement in identifying, analysing and solving problems at an advanced level. Participants will acquire a wide range of relevant theory within a sustainability framework. They will discover how the diverse needs - of society, of the economy and of the environmental/ecosystem services provided by water - are addressed and mediated by political processes.

Course format and assessment


We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.


Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.

Career prospects

Students enter employment within the water sector, including working for government departments, water companies, environmental consultancies and NGOs, or alternatively develop a research career, using this course as a foundation for PhD training.

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Visit the Water: Science & Governance - MSc page on the King’s College London website for more details!