Heriot-Watt University logo
  • Tuition Fee:
  • Local: $ 6.18k / Year (International)
  • Foreign: n/a
  • Languages of instruction:
  • English

    Photos of university / #heriotwattuni

    Recent floods and droughts across the world highlight the need for our water resources to be better managed. The aim of this programme is to provide a sound understanding of sustainable water resources issues by developing the knowledge and skills necessary for the planning and management of these resources to meet the needs of society and the environment within the context of climate change.

    Our students and graduates

    The programme is mainly designed for graduates in civil engineering, earth sciences or other related disciplines and are typically looking to broaden their knowledge base, extend their technical expertise or gain further learning to meet the needs of the professional institutions. Applicants from other backgrounds planning to develop a career in water resources will also be considered. On completion, graduates will be able to offer employers a broad range of skills and advanced knowledge in a number of important areas of water engineering.

    Part-time and Distance Learning study options

    This programme can be studied on a part-time basis or via Independent Distance Learning (IDL), ideal for those in employment or with other commitments, providing flexible study options that fit around work or family. As an IDL student you will not be required to attend any lectures, tutorials or other events at any of Heriot-Watt University’s campuses.

    The Institute for Infrastructure and Environment (IIE)

    This programme is delivered by Heriot Watt University’s Institute for Infrastructure and Environment. As a Water Resources postgraduate student you will be part of the Institute’s Graduate School, connecting you with staff, research associates and fellow students engaging in cutting-edge research in areas such as water management, ultra-speed railways, construction materials, geomechanics and more.

    Professional recognition

    This MSc 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. Seefor further information.

    Industry links

    Where possible MSc dissertation projects are set up in collaboration with industry, the aim being to encourage contact between the student and industry, and to underpin the industrial relevance of the projects. Students are also encouraged to suggest their own topics and projects may be undertaken at overseas laboratories.

    This programme is supported by the Civil Engineering Industry Advisory Committee, which includes representatives from major multi-national employers AECOM, ARUP, Balfour Beatty,Halcrow, Jacobs and WSP Group. This committee convenes regularly and advises on the programme content and structure, ensuring quality, up-to-date content and relevance to industry needs.

    Teaching and research excellence

    Our teaching staff is engaged in a wide range of research within the field of civil engineering, with 50% of that research recognised as being internationally excellent by the most recent Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008).

    With a history dating back to 1821, Heriot-Watt is one of the UK’s leading universities, and Scotland’s most international. Find out more about Heriot-Watt University’s reputation, rankings and international profile.

    This programme, led by Dr Alan Cuthbertson, consists of eight courses. MSc students also complete two research projects.

    On-campus (full-time/part-time) students study eight courses from a range of optional courses. Independent Distance Learning (IDL) students study four mandatory courses in Semester 1 and four optional courses in Semester 2.

    Programme structure for on-campus students:

    Semester 1

    Students choose 4 courses from the following optional courses:

    • Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources

    • Computational Simulation of River Flows

    • Water Conservation

    • Environmental Geotechnics

    • Environmental and Energy Economics

    Semester 2

    Students choose 4 courses from the following optional courses:

    • Urban Drainage and Water Supply

    • Water and Wastewater Treatment

    • Marine Waste Water Discharges

    • Statistical Modelling of the Environment

    • Environmental Contamination and Health

    • Environmental Planning

    • Flood Inundation Modelling

    • Integrated Water Resource Management

    Programme structure for IDL students:

    Semester 1

    Students study the following 4 mandatory courses:

    • Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources

    • Computational Simulation of River Flows

    • Water Conservation

    • Environmental Geotechnics

    Semester 2

    Students choose 4 courses from the following optional courses:

    • Urban Drainage and Water Supply

    • Water and Wastewater Treatment

    • Marine Waste Water Discharges

    • Statistical Modelling of the Environment

    • Environmental Contamination and Health

    • Integrated Water Resource Management

    Course descriptions

    Please find below the course descriptions. For more information on courses, please contact the Programme Leader.

    Environmental Hydrology and Water Resources

    Semester 1 (optional)

    The aim of this course is to provide the students with a thorough understanding of the hydrological basis of water resources assessment, planning and management. In this regard, the course is designed to provide the learners with a board introduction to hydrological modelling, as well as a detailed appreciation of the following topics:

    Methods of meteorological data collection & analysis techniques; surface water resources; collection and analysis of low stream-flow data; reservoir planning & design; uncertainty analysis in water resources planning; groundwater occurrence, evaluation & management.

    Computer Simulation of River Flows

    Semester 1 (optional)

    This course will help students to develop an understanding of the theory under pinning and application of one-dimensional computer models for river flow prediction, as well as an understanding of the concept of sustainability applied to the design of flood protection schemes. Topics covered in the syllabus include:

    Introduction to river modelling; GIS in river modelling; Governing St Venant equations; Data requirements; Model calibration; Hydraulic structures; Conveyance estimation system; Explicit finite difference schemes; Implicit finite difference schemes; Mathematical properties of finite difference schemes.

    Water conservation

    Semester 1 (optional)

    This course will enable students to understand the drivers for water conservation and how conservation measures are best implemented. The course focuses on both the technologies available for water conservation, as well as on the implications of implementation. Students will be encouraged to develop skills in tailoring water conservation solutions designed not only to comply with legislation but that also provide best benefit within the context of their use. Subjects in the syllabus include:

    Drivers for water conservation; relevant legislation; water consumption; attenuation principles; design principles to reduce water consumption; rainwater harvesting; greywater recycling; green/living roofs; storage, control and distribution of reclaimed water and treatment of reclaimed water.

    Environmental Geotechnics

    Semester 1 (optional)

    This course aims to give students an appreciation of the role of contaminated land within geotechnical engineering, developing understanding of current UK legislation and government policy relating to methodologies for dealing with contaminated land. In this regard, the course enables learners to understand the practical relevance of the remediation technologies within the context of site contamination and to gain knowledge of the engineering measures adopted at landfill sites for the safe disposal of waste. Subjects and topics covered include:

    Historical pollution sources and extent; qualitative and quantitative risk assessment; site investigation; remediation methods; legislative background; characteristics of landfill sites and wastes.

    Environmental Energy and Economics

    Semester 1 (optional)

    This course looks at how particular analytical techniques can be applied to understanding energy markets and environmental issues - carbon emissions and climate change in particular. It also look at how to use the results from this analysis are used to understand, critique, and formulate policy relating to environment issues, carbon emissions and energy markets.

    Urban Drainage and Water Supply

    Semester 2 (optional)

    This course introduces the learner to the broad theme of Urban Drainage and Water Supply, with the aim of providing understanding of the following topics: runoff estimation, rainfall estimation, system layout/design, pump system design, sediment transport, Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, the role of computer simulations, service reservoirs, water distribution practice and groundwater supply. The course includes instruction on the use of Infoworks CS. Subjects covered in the course syllabus include:

    Performance requirements (e.g. technical, public safety, whole-life operational, amenity and sustainability); combined and separate sewerage systems; rainwater quantification/climate change; overview of sewer sediments; storm Sewer Design; hydrodynamic flow models; SuDS; service reservoirs; water distribution practice; groundwater supply; leakage.

    Water and Wastewater Treatment

    Semester 2 (optional)

    The aim of this course is to enable learners to understand the processes and technologies for water treatment including conventional and advanced wastewater treatment and the sizing of various treatment units. The course also provides awareness for the learner of the importance of effective wastewater treatment for river pollution control. Specific topics covered in the course syllabus include:

    Introduction to water & wastewater characteristics; fresh water treatment (e.g. coagulation and sedimentation, filtration, disinfection); desalination technologies for sea water treatment; wastewater treatment (e.g. preliminary treatment design, primary tank design/secondary treatment, advanced wastewater treatment); land-based, low-energy and sustainable wastewater treatment systems; sludge handling, treatment & disposal; effluent disposal (including re-use).

    Marine Wastewater Discharges

    Semester 2 (optional)

    This course will provide students with a good understanding of the underlying physical processes controlling wastewater disposal in the marine environment and an awareness of commercial software available (e.g. CORMIX) for modelling wastewater discharges. It will also demonstrate the role of marine outfalls as part of a wastewater management strategy and provide students with an awareness of the relevant legislation controlling wastewater disposal. Topics in the syllabus include:

    Introduction to turbulent buoyant jets and plumes (e.g. jet trajectories and dilution equations); Multi-port diffuser discharges in the marine environment (e.g. near-source merging of multiple 3D jets, dilution characteristics); Integral methods for buoyant jet modelling; Commercial software available for wastewater discharge modelling); Specific characteristics associated with hypersaline and particulate-laden discharges; The hydraulics of sea outfall design and performance (e.g. hydraulic requirements, outfall pipe sizing and diffuser arrangement, prevention of sea water intrusion, purging flows); The role of marine outfalls in wastewater management strategies; Legislative and social issues associated with marine wastewater discharges.

    Integrated Water Resource Management

    Semester 2 (optional)

    This course provides students with a solid understanding of the principles of Integrated Water Resources Management and the different policy instruments which govern the management of water resources at the regional and basin level. Topics covered in the course syllabus include:

    Introduction to Integrated Water Resources Management and its associated policy agenda arising from the sustainability agenda (sustainability at the River Basin level); Interrelationships between land, water and atmosphere; ecosystems, biodiversity and water resources; Water resources planning and management considerations (e.g. floods, droughts and environmental considerations); Environmental legislation governing river basins (EIA/SEA) and policy (Environmental Flow Allocations); Integrated management concepts in the Water Environment (IRBM/ICZM/IFM); Introduction to water governance and transboundary issues and management.

    Research projects

    MSc students complete two research projects. The research projects aim to enable learners to develop a capacity to research and report in depth on a subject of relevance to the student's academic or professional career.

    Assessment

    In the MSc marks are gathered from a combination of examination and project work – overall 66% examination and 33% project work. Students are supported and guided by coursework to prepare them for taught course examination assessments.


    UK requirements for international applications

    Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

    Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

    All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.


    program_requirements

    For MSc level entry applicants must have:Minimum of 2:2 honours degree or equivalent academic qualification in cognate and semi-cognate subject area. For PG conversion programmes, non-cognate degrees will be considered. Corporate (or chartered) membership of relevant professional institutions will also be considered.For PG Diploma level entry applicants must have:Third class honours degree in a cognate or semi-cognate subject area PLUS 2 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level completed post qualification.Cognate or semi-cognate ordinary degree PLUS 3-4 years of relevant experience at an appropriate level following graduation.Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements or have no formal academic qualifications will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.There is no entry at PG Certificate level except through exceptional agreement with approved learning partners.Non-graduating study at masters level:Entry is based on CV or on formal academic qualifications or graduate (or incorporated) membership of a relevant professional institution.Distance Learning January entryDistance learning students can choose to start their studies in January or September. The January intake is not available to students studying on-campus.English language requirementsIf English is not the applicant’s first language a minimum of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent is required with all elements passed at 6.0 or above.Applicants who have previously successfully completed programmes delivered in the medium of English language will be required to provide documentary evidence of this. Examples would be secondary school education or undergraduate degree programme. A minimum of one year of full time study (or equivalent) in the medium of English language will be required.Distance learning studentsPlease note that independent distance learning students who access their studies online will be expected to have access to a PC/laptop and internet. English Language Requirements IELTS band: 6.5 IMPORTANT NOTE: Since April 2014 the ETS tests (including TOEFL and TOEIC) are no longer accepted for Tier 4 visa applications to the United Kingdom. The university might still accept these tests to admit you to the university, but if you require a Tier 4 visa to enter the UK and begin your degree programme, these tests will not be sufficient to obtain your Visa. The IELTS test is most widely accepted by universities and is also accepted for Tier 4 visas to the UK- learn more.

    Scholarships & bursaries

    • Alumni Scholarship Scheme
      Heriot-Watt Alumni
    • Carnegie-Cameron Taught Postgraduate Bursaries
      Applicants must be Scottish by birth, have at least one parent born in Scotland or have been continuously resident in Scotland for a period of three years for the purpose of secondary or tertiary education.
    • Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan
      International (Commonwealth citizens)
    • Department for International Development (DFID) Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme(SBE)
      International (Commonwealth citizens)
    • Department for International Development (DFID) Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme
      Commonwealth citizens
    • East Lothian Educational Trust
      Applicants must be a resident of the old county of East Lothian (ie excluding Musselburgh, Wallyford and Whitecraig.)
    • India Scholarship (SBE)
      Students who have applied via the Heriot-Watt India office. Please note that this award is available for study at our Edinburgh campus only.
    • Leverhulme Trade Charities Trust
      Restricted to residents of the UK who are a son, daughter, spouse, widow or widower of a commercial traveller, chemist or grocer.
    • Local Education Authority Awards
      Various
    • Mexican Scholarships
      Mexican applicants
    • Music Scholarships
      All students
    • Part-time Fee Grant (SAAS)
      See SAAS residence conditions.
    • Postgraduate Student Allowance Scheme (SAAS)
      EU and UK applicants who meet the SAAS criteria on eligible courses
    • Remission of Fees (families of staff)
      Spouses/civil partners and children of members of staff, also retired members of staff of the University
    • Royal Caledonian Schools Trust
      Applicants must be of Scots parentage (conditions apply - see below)
    • Scotland's Saltire Scholarships
      Citizens of Canada, the People's Republic of China, India or USA (2 awards for each country)
    • Sports Scholarships
      All students
    • Staff Scholarships
      Employees of Heriot-Watt University
    • The Consumer Affairs UK Scholarship Programme
      All currently enrolled students
    • West Lothian Educational Trust
      Individuals must have originated in West Lothian or have lived there for the last 3 years.
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