Water Engineering and Development Centre

Water Engineering for Development 
MSc/Diploma/PG Certificate

Establish your career in water engineering for developing countries. Study in the UK or by distance learning.

Starts next: September 2020. For the programme overview and to apply visit the online postgraduate prospectus. To study this programme by distance learning, visit the programme portal. Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate and professional development study options are also available. View the list of modules here.


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Aims of the programme

This programme is for graduate engineers and scientists who wish to develop careers in delivering water and environmental sanitation infrastructure for low- and middle-income countries. It aims to:

  • provide the multidisciplinary knowledge and skills to assess, design, implement and operate water and environmental sanitation infrastructure, with a focus on low- and middle-income countries; 
  • develop a critical approach to the global principles and local practice of sustainable public health infrastructure for all levels of consumers; 
  • equip students with appropriate expertise and skills for relevant work in water and sanitation engineering for low- and middle-income countries; and 
  • encourage critical analysis through in-depth study of one specialist topic


Knowledge and understanding

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • international and local initiatives and institutions that promote water and sanitation for all
  • the links between water and environmental sanitation infrastructure (including water resource management, water treatment and supply, excreta, wastewater, stormwater and solid waste treatment and disposal), hygiene behaviour, health and socio-economic development
  • the key issues in relation to environmental and social impact, equity, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and replicability in planning and managing sustainable water and environmental sanitation infrastructure
  • the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to the delivery of public health engineering and ways to integrate technical, social, economic and environmental considerations in project planning, design, implementation, operation, maintenance and evaluation
  • the planning, selection, design, construction and sustainable operation and maintenance of appropriate water and environmental sanitation technologies
  • the range of management, social, institutional, economic and environmental issues that ensure the sustainability of water and environmental sanitation infrastructure
  • effective qualitative and quantitative data collection, analysis and dissemination


Skills and other attributes

a. Subject-specific cognitive skills

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • critique past and current programmes to deliver water and environmental sanitation infrastructure to unserved populations globally
  • assess the needs of socially excluded groups and individuals within target populations
  • integrate and evaluate users’ water and environmental sanitation needs and demands based on conflicting and limited information
  • analyse institutional, social, economic, environmental and technical constraints and compare possible solutions
  • develop appropriate sustainable technical options to meet users’ needs and demands for different service levels of water and environmental sanitation infrastructure
  • investigate relevant emerging challenges facing the sector

b. Subject-specific practical skills

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • categorize different socio-economic contexts and physical/ natural contexts
  • select suitable laboratory tests and field surveys relating to the natural environment, social conditions, economic performance and physical condition of infrastructure
  • choose appropriate methods to review, validate, analyse, interpret and communicate dissimilar data sets using appropriate methods
  • calculate key design parameters for various elements of appropriate water and environmental sanitation infrastructure

c. Generic skills

On successful completion of this programme, students should be able to:

  • find and evaluate a variety of existing sources of data, information and knowledge where the quality and quantity of publications is limited
  • listen to and record a range of views, especially from socially excluded or vulnerable groups
  • distinguish the strengths and weaknesses of working both as a member or leader of a team and as an individual
  • communicate effectively in writing, verbally and visually to disseminate quantitative and qualitative information and propose solutions
  • demonstrate flexible working with the constraints of limited time, resources and information by initiating, planning, organising and prioritising activities in an ethical manner
  • demonstrate appropriate selection and use of IT

There are many ways to study with us. Make sure you visit Study options and how to apply to help you decide which programme and options will suit you best.

Why study with WEDC? Click on the link to find out why we think we can offer you a premier learning experience. But don't take it from us... see what our students think!

Compulsory modules for the MSc programme
  • Management of Water and Environmental Sanitation Infrastructure‌
  • Assessing Water Quality and Quantity‌
  • Rural Water Supply Engineering‌
  • Assessing, Monitoring and Evaluation for Research‌
  • Household and Communal Sanitation Engineering‌
  • Appropriate Water Treatment and Distribution‌
  • Appropriate Sewerage and Sewage Treatment‌

  • Research Skills (for the Loughborough-based programme) or
  • Data Collection, Analysis and Research (for the distance learning programme)

  • Research Dissertation

 Optional modules (choose 1 of these two modules)

  • Disaster Risk Management
  • Humanitarian Water, Sanitation and Hygiene


Programme regulations

The programme regulations are governed by Loughborough University and apply to all postgraduate programmes. The regulations are set out in the Student Handbook which you should also read carefully and refer to if, or when, necessary.

In particular, we refer you to the following sections:

PDF versions of the procedures and regulations will be available on your USB pen drive. However, note that these may change from time to time. If in doubt about any of the regulations contact the Administration Team. 

Direct entry

Open this link to find out what the admissions requirements are for this programme.



Loughborough-based study Study by Distance learning
     UK/EU: £10,650      UK/EU: £8,950
     International: £22,500      International: £18,250
     UK/EU: £887      UK/EU: £746
     International: £1,875      International: £1521 
      UK/EU: £3,554      UK/EU: £2,984
      International: £7,500      International: £6,082*


Certificate programmes

If you do not have the qualifications necessary for direct entry onto one of our MSc or Diploma programmes, with relevant work experience you may still be eligible for entry onto one of our Certificate programmes. After successful completion you can normally upgrade your programme level, retaining the credits gained from your study on the Certificate programme.

* We regularly secure scholarships and bursaries in support of our students. 

Please note that fees can change from time to time. Consult the University's website for confirmation.

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