Postgraduate Courses in Flood and Coastal Risk Management

NEW for 2014/15 Postgraduate Courses in Flood and Coastal Risk Management

As the UK recovers from the impacts of flooding and coastal storms following the wettest winter in almost 250 years, society is recognising the importance of understanding and managing these risks to our environment, particularly in the face of challenges such as climate change and the increased frequency of extreme weather. 

This topical and unique new course provides flexible and accessible postgraduate training which is focused on the practical application of skills and best practice industry standard techniques in the context of the latest legislation, guidance and policy.

The course modules reflect the integrated nature of flood and coastal risk management.  Delegates can choose to study a diverse range of topics, from 2D flood modelling and hydraulic processes to sustainable catchment systems and SuDS design.  The concepts of risk and uncertainty, in particular their interpretation and impact on decision making in real world situations, are a central theme of each module.

Delegates will benefit from industry leading technical expertise as the course will be delivered in partnership with JBA Consulting, a specialist water environment and flood risk management consultancy.

Module Summary (PDF)

  • Modules are focused on practical application of skills and best practice techniques for modelling, understanding and managing risk
  • Flexible delivery enables students to continue working whilst studying
  • Delivered by practitioners who are experts in their field
  • Enables students to apply directly relevant technical skills and knowledge to a wide range of roles and disciplines in the water, environment and flood risk management sector.
  • Leads to a Postgraduate Certificate with options to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc

Who is it for?

The course will provide essential practical skills for a wide range of professionals and organisations including:

  • Local Authorities (in particular those with new flood risk management responsibilities)
  • Infrastructure, network utilities and asset owners
  • The water and flood risk management industry and the private sector
  • Catchment managers, Rivers Trusts and environmental NGOs
  • National agencies such as the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales, Rivers Agency Northern Ireland and the Office of Public Works in Ireland.

Course details

The course is designed to be flexible and can be taken part-time over a maximum of five years.  Delivery can be tailored to individual needs to provide accessible training and allow the course to be taken whilst working.

Delegates can select from the following core modules, each of which are worth 15 credits.

  • Catchment Hydrology and Assessment
  • River Hydraulics: Processes, Structures and Modelling
  • Coastal Erosion and Flood Risk Management
  • Forecasting and Extreme Event Response
  • Integrated Systems for Sustainable Surface Water Management
  • Sustainable Floodplain Management and Restoration

For a Postgraduate Certificate students must achieve 60 credits by completing four of the modules.   Students also have the option to select one module from the Sustainable Water Management MSc course in place of one of the modules listed above.

For a Postgraduate Diploma students must achieve 120 credits by completing all six of the modules listed above plus two modules from the Sustainable Water Management MSc course

Each module comprises five days of teaching which will be delivered in blocks of two or three days. This includes seminars, workshops, practical demonstrations, case studies and site visits and is focussed on the practical application of skills and techniques. Background reading and learning resources will be provided to allow you to complete pre and post-course learning in your own time.


We also offer these modules individually as short courses which can be taken with or without the assessment component (depending on whether you would like to gain credits).

Links with industry

The course material will be delivered in partnership with industry leading specialists at JBA Consulting who have extensive experience of delivering training and education, particularly to enable practical application in a professional context.


The completion of a case study at the end of the courses will enable you to apply the skills and techniques you have learnt and will form the majority of the assessment.


On successful completion of four modules you will be awarded a Lancaster University Postgraduate Certificate in Flood and Coastal Risk Management.  If you wish you can then progress to a Postgraduate Diploma or an MSc.


The majority of modules will be delivered at the Lancaster Environment Centre and where field trips are part of the course, transport will be provided.  Depending on demand, modules can be delivered nationwide.

For group bookings of individual modules for more than six people the training location is entirely flexible, we can come to you or provide a training venue near to where you are based.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees include:

  • assessment and award of credits by Lancaster University
  • lunch and refreshments during the day
  • transport to and from field study sites
  • all training material and resources
  • access to University facilities (library and social spaces) and online course materials

To take the Postgraduate Certificate the tuition fees are £3,720

To take the Postgraduate Diploma the tuition fees are £5,580

For an individual module taken as a short course, the tuition fees for one module are £1,275

Entry requirements

We recognise prior learning and experience; there are no formal entry requirements and you don’t necessarily need a degree to apply.

How to Apply?

If you would like to apply for the PgDip or PgCert Flood and Coastal Risk Management programme, you need to use the University’s online ‘My Applications’ website.

You need to submit the follow three items to the online admissions website:

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) containing full details of your experience pertinent to the PgDip / PgCert Flood and Coastal Risk Management programme.
  • Names and email address of two referees.
  • Personal Statement stating why you wish to study for a PgDip / PgCert Flood and Coastal Risk Management.

Pertinent certificates and/or degree transcripts may be included. Please note that these requirements differ from those of the MSc programmes within LEC as stated on the general LEC Postgraduate webpages.  

To submit an application, simply create an account on the My Applications website and then select ‘Create a new application’ from your homepage once you are logged-in. Using your account on the My Applications website, you are then able to submit applications for the PgDip or PgCert Flood and Coastal Risk Management programme, upload supporting documentation and provide us with information about referees.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the course in more detail, please contact the Director of Studies, Dr Nick A Chappell ( )