Water Resources Technology and Management Masters/MSc/ Diploma

Postgraduate degree programme Water Resources Technology and Management Masters/MSc/ Diploma

This programme provides advanced training to engineers and scientists in order to develop their understanding of the activities involved in the optimal design and operation of water engineering systems.

This opens up the range of career opportunities available for specialists who understand the complex role of water in modern society, and can provide guidance to ensure optimum utilisation of this often scarce resource.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Continuing professional development, taught

Study Options: Full time

Duration: 1 year full-time

Start date: September

Details

This programme recognises water as the world's most precious natural resource. It provides advanced training to engineers and scientists in order to develop their understanding of the activities involved in the optimal design and operation of water engineering systems. This opens up the range of career opportunities available for specialists who understand the complex role of water in modern society, and can provide guidance to ensure optimum utilisation of this often scarce resource.

The programme is intensive, and aims to develop your ability to think originally and produce innovative solutions to practical problems. The integrated approach to the water cycle and the use of modern management techniques both help to ensure that graduates of the programme can attain senior management positions in the water industry, both in the UK and overseas.

The syllabus covers:

  • Water Quality Management
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • River Flow Fundamental 
  • Hydrology
  • Flooding and Water Resource Management
  • Water and Environmental Management
  • Pipeline Network Analysis
  • Management and Research
  • Industrial Research Project

Related links:

Why study this course

Why study at Birmingham? In short, we offer a well-established Masters Programme in Water that integrates scientific, engineering and management aspects of water quality and quantity in a single course. 

Studying here is very interesting because the students here are very diverse, so you get to learn about other cultures. We get a very wide exposure to the [water] field that we are studying in and that is very important. Demmo Darling, WRTM MSc graduate.

This course is ideally suited to engineering graduates who want to work in the water industry and to science graduates wanting to add an engineering perspective to their qualifications. It is popular with geography, geology and environmental science graduates who want to work for the major engineering consultancies.

Students on this MSc are drawn from the UK, Europe and around the world, giving a vibrant mix of cultures and experience that adds to the learning experience. In recent years, students from Bangladesh, Barbados, Chile, China, France, Ghana, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Spain and the UK have attended the course.

What our students say:

I would firmly recommend this course to any graduate who is seeking a career in the water industry. Paul Jenkin (Partner) Peter Brett Associates 

Studying here is very interesting because the students here are very diverse, so you get to learn about other cultures. We get a very wide exposure to the [water] field that we are studying in and that is very important. Demmo Darling, WRTM MSc graduate.

The course gave me a good grounding in the water industry but particularly in river hydrology and hydraulics. I really enjoyed the course and also recognise the quality of those who graduate.  Over the years I have employed about a dozen graduates from the MSc, some of which remain with me, some of which have moved on to other challenges, all have been very successful. Paul Jenkin, Partner, Peter Brett Associates (WRTM MSc graduate).

This course gave me a wider understanding of environmental issues, which then allowed me to specialise in wastewater treatment. However, the course also gave me management skills that have progressed my career from being technical at Year 0 to dealing with strategic company business plans just 5 years after graduating.  Simon Brown, Operation Leader (COSC) Severn Trent Water (WRTM MSc graduate).

I found the course challenging but very rewarding. It was varied enough to cover most aspects of the water industry, yet technically detailed to enable you to specialise in your chosen career. I would not have been able to get my current job without the good grounding of the WRTM MSc.Tim Smith, Senior Network Modeller, Hyder Consulting (WRTM MSc graduate).

The breadth and depth of the WRTM MSc provided me with a good understanding of general issues in the water industry and kick started my career in academia. Without this course I would not be able to lecture or research in my current area of interest.Jen Smith, RCUK Academic Fellow, Cranfield University, Centre Water Sciences (WRTM MSc graduate).

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Birmingham both socially and academically. The MSc in Water Resources and Technology was challenging but enjoyable and enabled me to pursue my subsequent PhD. The course gave me a diverse and thorough grounding understanding of the water industry and the confidence to undertake the engineering challenges I was to face as a process engineer. The depth and diversity of the course provides graduates with the knowledge to pursue opportunities across the water industry. Ben Courtis, Technical Specialist (Process), Tankersley UK (WRTM MSc graduate)

I liked the water treatment design project as it helped us to learn the principles behind water treatment processes. The site visits were relevant and helped me to visualise the treatment processes.  Student feedback on the Water Quality module.

Over the years we have worked with this  MSc Course on a variety of R&D projects and it is a relationship I value.  Peter Vale, Wastewater Strategy, Severn Trent Water.

The lecturers allow the students to develop themselves – they don’t do the work for you, they’ll guide you and give you the opportunity to get something done for yourself. I think that’s very good. Demmo Darling, WRTM MSc graduate.

Modules

Course objectives

Tackling flooding worldwide is an issue that is going to be increasingly problematic as the climate changes.

The Water Resources Technology and Management MSc programme is an intensive course that aims to develop students that can think originally and produce innovative solutions to practical problems.

Unlike many other courses, our integrated approach to the water cycle produces graduates who can work in water companies, government departments, consultants and contractors.

The course covers conditions and techniques which are appropriate for both developed and developing countries, an important point since many employers have international activities.


Course content (full-time students) 

Semester 1 (September – December)

  • Water Quality Management (10 Credits)
    • The basic principles of water quality characterisation.
    • The principles of water quality management.
    • Sampling and storage, physical, chemical and biological characteristics. 
    • Water-related diseases, characteristics of water sources and wastewater.
    • Oxidation of organic matter. 
    • Ground and surface water pollution.
    • Water quality standards and associated legislation. 
    • Water industry management.
    • The role of potable water in public health.
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment (20 Credits)
    • All aspects of the water cycle related to abstraction and treatment of drinking water.
    • The treatment and discharge of used (waste) water back to into the aquatic environment.
    • Treatment of both surface water and groundwater. 
    • Introduction of scientific and engineering fundamentals of the treatment processes.
    • How chemistry, biology and engineering work together to meet drinking water and environmental quality standards.
    • The water quality, flows and loads into sewage treatment works.
    • The chemistry, microbiology and operation of the main wastewater treatment.
    • Two site visits (water treatment works and a wastewater treatment works) to demonstrate the practical and engineering aspects of water/wastewater treatment.
  • River Flow Fundamental (10 Credits)
    • The fundamental principles of water flow in river management.
    • Governing equations for open channel flow.
    • Practical design problems involving the flow of water in open channels.
    • Fieldwork River Gauging. 
    • Introduction to the use of iSIS for modelling river hydraulics.
  • Hydrology (10 Credits)
    • Introduction of hydrological processes and the practical applications of hydrology.
    • Hydrological cycle, precipitation and evapotranspiration.
    • Subsurface hydrology (soil moisture, infiltration) and groundwater introduction.
    • River flow and unit hydrograph analysis. 
    • Rainfall-runoff modelling and Flood Estimation Handbook.

Semester 2 (January – March)

  • Flooding and Water Resource Management (20 Credits)
    • Introduction to flooding, flood control and river basin management.
    • The principles of flood routing (storage and channel routing methods).
    • River flood hydraulics and the prediction of stage-discharge relationships.
    • The physical and numerical modelling of channel flow and flooding. 
    • River conveyance estimation system.
    • River models. 
    • Introduction of flood risk management.
  • Water and Environmental Management (20 Credits)
    • Introduction to key issues facing future managers of the water environment under the framework of the six UNEP.
    • The role of environmental systems analysis in environmental protection. 
    • Global resource management and the function of water and environmental management.
    • The challenges of implementing new water-related legislation.
    • The impacts of climate change on water quality and quantity.
    • The global water situation and diffuse pollution of water.
    • The key challenges facing the water industry today and the approaches to be taken. 
    • The use and role of energy and bio-energy in water and wastewater treatment.
  • Pipeline Network Analysis (10 Credits)
    • Introduction to the concepts of pipeline hydraulics, pumps and turbines.
    • The main components of water distribution systems. 
    • Pipeline hydraulics, reservoirs and pumps.
    • Water network analysis and simulation.
    • Hydraulic processes in the design of water distribution systems.
    • Introduction to EPANET for hydraulic analysis and water quality analysis. 
  • Management and Research (20 Credits)
    • A group project to tackle an open-ended problem from an industrial partner.
    • Skills of time management and group work. 
    • Usage of the Internet and the library resources for information gathering.
    • Group presentation and report writing skills.
    • Effective communication skills and abilities to collect data analysis. 

Semester 3 (June – September)

  • Industrial Research Project (60 Credits)
    • Independent study on a chosen research topic, either based with an industrial partner or on campus.
    • The project aims at developing skills and acquiring specialized knowledge in the interest area of the students.

Assessment

  • The taught courses are generally examined by a series of coursework and written examinations in January and May.
  • Each student is required to submit a thesis on his or her individual project at the end of the academic year in September followed by an oral examination (viva).

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for home/EU students (2014/2015)


Full-time fees
Postgraduate Masters      £5940
Postgraduate Diploma     £3420

Part-time programmes
Most part-time programmes run for two years and their fees are one half of the standard full-time programme fees. 

Tuition fees for international students (2014/2015)

International student tuition fees are set at £17355.
For further information please view the fees for international students page.
Part-time programmes
UK student visa regulations mean that students classed as overseas for fees purposes may normally only register on a full-time basis.


Further funding information

Standard fees apply 
Learn more about fees and funding

Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

For further information contact the School directly or email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Entry requirements

The basic requirement is a good Honours degree in an appropriate discipline (for example, Engineering, Sciences, Geology, Geography or Mathematics) and evidence of adequate knowledge of English. However, practical experience may also be an important consideration.

Learn more about entry requirements   

International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements

Standard English language requirements apply

How to apply

When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages

Apply now

Learning and teaching

Highlights of the WRTM MSc Programme

Semester 1

  • Take part in a river gauging exercise in the countryside to the west of Birmingham.
  • Visit a water treatment works and storage reservoir and use this practical experience to plan your water design project.
  • Visit a wastewater treatment works to see how theory relates to practice and view examples of all major treatment processes plus renewable energy generation by combined heat and power.
  • Learn through enquiry by taking part in a group project to design a water treatment works for various surface water and
  • underground water abstraction scenarios.

I liked the water treatment design project as it helped us to learn the principles behind water treatment processes. The site visits were relevant and helped me to visualise the treatment processes. Student feedback on the Water Quality module. academic session

Semester 2

  • As part of a team, tackle a current problem from the Water Industry, working with our industrial partners to get a flavour of what it is like to work as a project consultant.
  • Debate topical water management issues with fellow students and invited speakers from industry.
  • Learn how to use software models currently used in the water industry and complete an individual project using one of these models.

Semester 3

  • Tackling flooding worldwide is an issue that is going to be increasingly problematic as the climate changes.
  • Spend three months either placed in industry or based at the University, to do a challenging individual research project that allows you to specialise in a particular area of the course.

Over the years we have worked with this MSc Course on a variety of R&D projects and it is a relationship I value. Peter Vale, Wastewater Strategy, Severn Trent Water.

Water resources tecnology msc

River flow measurement using an acoustic Doppler current profiler.

Contact

Admissions Team:
Tel: +44 (0)121 414 5089
Fax: +44 (0)121 414 5051
Email: d.moody@bham.ac.uk

 

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Related staff

Employability

Our graduates are very successful in finding employment with a wide range of water-related employers. Recent graduates who looked for work in the UK were snapped up by:

Graduate destinations:
Atkins MWH The Met Office
Halcrow Royal Haskoning The University of Birmingham
(Doctoral Research Students)
British Waterways AECom Hyder Consulting
Cranfield University Jeremy Benn Associates The Drinking Water Inspectorate
Entec UK SevernTrent Water Peter Brett Associates
OFWAT ThamesWater
Mott McDonald United Utilities
Mouchel The Environment Agency

 

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2011/12 (postgraduate taught graduates)

The DLHE survey is conducted 6 months after graduation.

Examples of employers

  • AECOM
  • Amey
  • Arup
  • Atkins
  • British Army
  • Hyder Consulting
  • Interserve
  • Laing O'Rourke
  • Mouchel
  • Network Rail

Examples of occupations

  • Assistant Civil Engineer
  • Consultant Engineer
  • Graduate Bridge Engineer
  • Graduate Leader
  • Graduate Site Engineer
  • Graduate Tunnelling Engineer
  • Officer Cadet
  • Site Engineer
  • Structural Engineer
  • Water Engineer

Further study - examples of courses

  • MRes Materials and Sustainable Technology
  • MRes Science and Engineering of Materials
  • MSc Computer Science
  • MSc Construction Management
  • MSc Environmental Technology
  • MSc Railway Systems Engineering and Integration
  • MSc Road Engineering and Management
  • PhD Civil Engineering

Visit the Careers section of the University website for further information.

Professional accreditation

The MSc version of this degree is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree.

See www.jbm.org.uk for further information