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MSc Water Hazards, Risk & Resilience

Course Description

The MSc in Water Hazards, Risk and Resilience is unique in Scotland offering an applied interdisciplinary approach to real world case studies and problems faced by environmental agencies, local and regional councils, as well as government level implementation of a robust hazard policy. With a potential increase in intensity and duration of water hazards associated with on-going climate change, the course is well placed to address a real need for graduates with hazard analysis and assessment expertise across a wide range of sectors.

Why study Water Hazards, Risk and Resilience at Dundee?

This course is uniquely placed as the only MSc in the UK to offer a balanced interpretation and adaptation to water hazards, bringing together an understanding of the science with its impacts on Society.

The course will be integrated with public and third sector bodies in order to meet the growing demand for graduates who wish to pursue or advance a career in water hazard or risk management, environmental monitoring, emergency planning or catastrophe-related mitigation for NGOs. Emergency response officers and members from a range of bodies will participate and run workshops as an integral part of research training.

Potential for work-based placements across the wide sector identified above will provide unique opportunities for students to gain real-hazards experience in conjunction with the dissertation module. Internationally recognised experts teach the MSc with cross-disciplinary expertise in environmental hazards, environmental sciences, human geography and health.

What's so good about this course?

The MSc programme will provide a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to the study of natural water hazards. This will provide training in the key fundamentals of the geoscience of water hazards which underpins hazard research and assessment. Skills will be developed to allow a career in a range of environmental sectors. These include rapid hazard assessment techniques, key field skills in the geomorphological mapping of hazard zones as well as a comprehensive study of the impacts of hazards on both the landscape and human populations.

This course focuses on the physical processes that generate natural hazards through an advanced understanding of geological and environmental processes, field recognition and mapping of hazards, GIS and remote sensing techniques for mapping and modelling of hazards, risk assessment techniques as well as the social and cultural dimension of those hazards. Links with industry and practitioners in the emergency and disaster management field, including, community resilience officers, Local Authority Emergency Planning Departments, NGOs (e.g. Red Cross) and major disability and older persons charities will allow graduates to develop a range of skills and real-world expertise in preparedness and planning.

Who should study this course?

This course should appeal to graduates of geography, geoscience, environmental science, planning and related disciplines, who wish to widen their subject knowledge of natural water hazards and combine integration of science with societal impact and policy.

Funded places

Due to an initiative from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) designed to support key sectors in the Scottish economy, there are 10 fully-funded places available to eligible students starting this course in 2013/14. This covers all tuition fees associated with the MSc programme and can be held by students classified as Scottish or EU for fee purposes only. Please indicate your interest in being considered for a funded place when you apply through UKPASS.

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months full time.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September.

The course is taught using lectures, seminars and workshops as well as integrated field study of between 1 day to 1 week duration.

What you will study

The programme is taught over two semesters, plus the summer period for the Dissertation. It consists of four core modules and two optional modules which the student can choose from a list of six possible modules. Modules will be taught as follows:

Semester 1: September to December

Core modules (20 credits):

Research Training
Water Hazard Geoscience
Plus one option module (20 credits):

Hydrological Monitoring and Modelling
Quantitative Methods
Semester 2: January to April

Core modules (20 credits):

Population Vulnerability and Resilience
Plus one option module (20 credits):

Research in Practice (work placement)
Qualitative Methods
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Hydrological Applications
Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a Dissertation (worth 60 credits) over the summer period.


This course is relevant for individuals who wish to pursue careers in:
Water hazard or risk management
Environmental monitoring
Emergency planning
Catastrophe-related mitigation for NGOs
Further postgraduate research (PhD)
Research and development organisations

Visit the MSc Water Hazards, Risk & Resilience page on the University of Dundee website for more details!

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Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Funded Places - 20+ Awards

Due to an initiative from the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) designed to support key sectors in the Scottish economy to develop a high-level skills base, the University of Dundee is pleased to announce that we can offer 20 fully-funded places to eligible students starting in September 2013. 10 places are for MSc Design & Construction of Zero Carbon and Ultra-Low Energy Buildings
10 places are for MSc Water Hazards, Risk & ResilienceThe funded places cover all tuition fees associated with the MSc programmes and applicants classified as Scottish or EU for fee purposes are eligible to apply. Funded places will be awarded competitively to applicants with the strongest applications in the judgement of the course leaders. This will principally be based on a student's prior academic performance, but equivalent work experience may also be taken into account.

Value of Scholarship(s)



Applicants must be classed as having Scottish/EU fee status by the University of Dundee to be considered for a funded place.

Application Procedure

Applicants should indicate their wish to be considered when they complete their UKPASS application.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

An upper second-class undergraduate honours degree is required in Geography, Environmental Science, Geoscience, Social Sciences, Civil Engineering or related fields.English Language Requirement: IELTS of 6.5 (or equivalent), if your first language is not English. Please check our Language Requirements page for details of equivalent grades from other test providers, and information about the University of Dundee English Language courses.

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