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Hydrology and Water Management MSc

Gain knowledge, theoretical and practical skills for a career in the water and environmental industries, with specialist focus on climate and flood risk.

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Start date(s):

  • September 2024


Our Hydrology and Water Management MSc provides you with the opportunity to understand issues and challenges. Taught by leaders in their field, you'll learn:

  • water management
  • addressing current global issues in developed and less developed countries including:
    • climate change
    • urbanisation
    • food and water security

You'll develop technical skills built on the latest science. You'll also broaden your understanding of policy and practice. This will be relevant to developing a professional career in the water industry.

Our MSc is for both practising professionals and graduates in subjects such as:

  • engineering
  • geography
  • environmental sciences
  • earth sciences
  • mathematics
  • physics
  • geology
  • chemistry
  • computer sciences
  • geomatics

The needs of industry and government policy and our strong industrial engagement help shape our degree programmes. You'll gain from this engagement through:

  • industry guest lectures
  • site visits
  • projects

Our graduates are in high demand. Particularly in consultancies and regulatory bodies in the UK and worldwide. You'll graduate with enhanced skills and knowledge, preparing you for a wide range of career opportunities.


Important information

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What you'll learn

The course provides an advanced knowledge and understanding of:

  • key scientific and technical subject areas such as hydrology and hydraulics
  • the theoretical basis for methods of analysis and modelling
  • the regulatory and socio-economic aspects of water management
  • specific examples of water management, drawing on examples from developing and industrialised countries

These provide the basis for development of skills and experience in areas including:

  • programming for data management and modelling
  • field-based hydrometric measurement
  • application of software used in industry

Most of our students undertake the full set of standard compulsory water modules. You also choose one optional module. This provides a coherent integrated educational experience. You may also be able to select modules from other MSc courses (with the agreement of the Degree Programme Director).

This MSc programme is closely aligned with its partner course Hydrogeology and Water Management. This MSc provides more focus on groundwater as a specialism.

The taught modules during Semester 1 are identical in the two MScs. You'll have the opportunity to change course after starting the programme if you decide you would like to follow this speciality.


You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

How you'll learn

Your development

Technical skills

You'll be guided throughout the course to develop your technical understanding and skills through a range of learning and teaching approaches. These include:

  • lectures and seminars from leading academics, researchers, and experts from a range of industry organisations
  • extensive use of hands-on field and computer-based studies. These are supported by individual and group tutorials, and the individual research project

Transferable skills

These are structured through the programme to help you gain confidence in key transferable skills including:

  • critical evaluation and design
  • individual time and project management
  • working with colleagues
  • writing for technical audiences
  • presenting ideas orally with confidence

Intellectual and practical skills

On completion of the course, you will have developed intellectual and practical skills relevant to industry including:

  • how to apply appropriate mathematical methods for modelling and analysing relevant problems
  • using scientific principles to develop mathematical and environmental solutions to practical problems
  • creating new products or methodologies by combining ideas from a wide range of sources
  • planning, executing and reporting research projects
  • designing water infrastructure schemes
  • using instrumentation, IT tools and hydroinformatic technologies

Field activity

You'll be taken on a series of ‘hydrological walks’ in the Newcastle area and the North East. You'll be able to see:

  • hydrological processes
  • field methods
  • water management issues and practices

You'll also be able to see how natural hydrological behaviour interacts with, and is modified by, built infrastructure, including:

  • water distribution and sewer networks and treatment centres
  • sustainable drainage systems
  • catchment scale engineering (working with natural systems)
  • reservoirs
  • groundwater boreholes
  • flood management features

These walks are supported by our local partners, including the EA, Northumbrian Water Ltd, and local councils.

In addition to seeing standard industry practise, many of these are based around our current research which is advancing the field. An example is the National Green Infrastructure Facility (NGIF), located on part of the campus in Newcastle city centre. Together with specific field activities such as river gauging, these walks build understanding that directly feeds into class-based modelling and assessment exercises.

Your future

Graduate destinations

Graduates on this MSc are in high demand from employers in the UK and internationally. Graduate destinations include:

  • Environment Agency of England and Wales
  • water companies
  • local government
  • major multi-disciplinary international consultancies and specialist consultancies in the water sector such as:
    • Arup
    • Mott MacDonald
    • Atkins
    • JBA

Our MSc also provides a route into further study at PhD level.

Networking opportunities

You'll benefit from our multidisciplinary approach to teaching. You'll have the opportunity to engage with fellow students from other engineering disciplines and courses. This includes international students from around the world on our ERASMUS Euroaquae MSc.

You'll be working alongside industry professional delegates taking modules as Continuing Professional Development. This provides a rich and diverse learning experience and a network allowing you to enhance your employability.

Our Careers Service

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Quality and ranking

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body


The School Engineering has an exceptional range of laboratories equipped with a wide range of analytical instrumentation. These support our research, teaching and contract research projects. These include:

Fees and funding

Tuition fees for 2024 entry (per year)

What you're paying for

Tuition fees include the costs of:

  • matriculation
  • registration
  • tuition (or supervision)
  • library access
  • examination
  • re-examination
  • graduation

Find out more about:

Search for funding

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Entry requirements

The entrance requirements below apply to 2024 entry.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Download our admissions policy (PDF: 201KB)
Other policies related to admissions

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course

How to apply

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Open days and events

You'll have a number of opportunities to meet us throughout the year including:

  • campus tours
  • on-campus open days
  • virtual open days
  • webinars

Find out about how you can visit Newcastle in person and virtually

Overseas events

We regularly travel overseas to meet with students interested in studying at Newcastle University.

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Get in touch

Questions about this course?

If you have specific questions about this course you can contact:

School of Engineering
School Admissions Team


For more general enquiries you could also complete our online enquiry form.

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