Flooding in York in 2015

Flood and Coastal Risk Management

CIWEM accredited training for water and environmental industry practitioners.


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

In partnership with JBA Consulting, a specialist water environment and flood risk management consultancy, we have developed flexible and accessible training for water and environmental practitioners focused on the application of technical skills and best practice techniques.

Flexible and accessible postgraduate training that works around you

  • Flexible delivery enables you to continue working whilst studying.
  • Gain technical skills and knowledge that can be directly applied to a wide range of roles and disciplines in the water, environment and flood risk management sector.
  • Start at any time throughout the year.
  • Delivered by practitioners who are experts in their field.
  • Leads to a Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) with options to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) or an MSc (180 credits).
  • Single core modules can also be taken as unassessed CPD.

Who is it for?

The course provides essential practical skills for practitioners 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.

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.

Applications for Graduate School for the Environment courses must go through the Lancaster University Postgraduate Applications portal.

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A course developed with industry

Lancaster University's Dr Nick Chappell and JBA Consultant Dr Mark Lawless explain how the Flood and Coastal Risk Management MSc works with leading industry figures to provide you with a recognised qualification with real-world application.


The course is designed to be flexible and is designed to be taken part-time. You may choose to undertake the PgCert FCRM programme over two or three years part-time. The PgDip and MSc FCRM part-time programmes you may request to undertake over a minimum of two years and up to 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 choose from the following core and optional modules, each of which is worth 15 credits:

Modules Accordion Accordion

Each module comprises five days of teaching that will be delivered at Lancaster Environment Centre in blocks of two or three days; the exceptions are optional module LEC.467 delivered over five contiguous days, LEC.466 over 5 weeks and optional LEC.402 delivered over 10 weeks. Modules include seminars, workshops, practical demonstrations, case studies and/or site visits and is focused 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.

Levels of Study

Please get in touch with the Director of Studies, Dr Nick A Chappell if you would like to discuss any of these options in more detail.

Postgraduate Certificate

For a Postgraduate Certificate, delegates must achieve 60 credits by completing four of the core modules (LEC.444-449 - see above). The 2023/24 fee for each module (except LEC.505) is £1,400 (and for 2024/5 will be £1,510); you pay the fees for the modules you undertake in the specific academic year. The module fee is set each academic year. As an example, if all four modules were taken in 2023/24, the programme fee would be £5,600. This programme is only available to UK/EU applicants.

JBA Trust bursaries will be available for 2024/5 entry

Postgraduate Diploma

For a Postgraduate Diploma, delegates must achieve 120 credits by completing eight of modules (LEC.444-449 plus LEC.466, 467). Choose two of the three optional modules. You may request to transfer your credits from the PgCert FCRM programme to the PgDip FCRM programme and add four additional modules. The 2023/4 fee for each module (except LEC.505) is £1,400 (and for 2024/5 will be £1,510); you pay the fees for the modules you undertake in the specific academic year. The module fee is set each academic year. As an example, if all eight modules were taken in 2023/4, the programme fee would be £11,200. This programme is only available to UK/EU applicants.


A new MSc Flood and Coastal Risk Management programme was developed for 2017/8 entry onwards. The programme comprises eight core modules (LEC.444-449 and LEC.466, 467) plus a 60-credit dissertation project (LEC.505). This project may be undertaken with your current employer in the water/environmental sector, with another organisation in the water sector or as part of one of Lancaster's research teams. You may request to transfer your credits from the PgCert/PgDip FCRM programme to the MSc FCRM programme and add the 60-credit dissertation project. The fee for the LEC.505 project in 2023/4 is £3,840 (and will be £4,150 in 2024/5). This programme is only available to UK/EU applicants.

CPD (Continuing Professional Development)

We also offer LEC.444-449 modules individually as short courses without the assessment component. Dates of the next delivery of each module as CPD is shown by selecting the module on this website. The 2023/4 fee for each CPD module is £1,400. Modules taken as CPD are unassessed and so are not credit-bearing. You will received a Certificate of Attendance on completion of the taught part of the module. If you are a UK/EU national and would like your module to count towards a CIWEM-accredited qualification, please consider applying to the Postgraduate Certificate programme and so undertake FOUR modules part-time over several years.

Course Details


The completion of two assessed exercises at the end of each module will enable you to apply the skills and techniques you have learnt and will form the majority of the assessment for modules in the LEC.444-449 series. Other modules e.g., LEC.466 and LEC.467 have different forms of assessment.


On successful completion of the modules that comprise your programme, you will be awarded (following the Annual Postgraduate Examination Board) a Lancaster University Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma or Master's in Flood and Coastal Risk Management, depending on the programme you choose. All three qualifications are CIWEM Accredited.


The majority of modules will be delivered at the Lancaster Environment Centre (primarily in our LEC Training Rooms) and where field trips are part of the course, transport will be provided. Refreshments will be provided during the teaching days. Those registered on the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc also gain access to online course materials, and access to other University facilities (library, support services and social spaces).

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

Entry requirements

UK/EU applicants to the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc FCRM programmes require either an upper second class degree in a relevant science or engineering subject, OR for those without a degree, evidence of formal in-work training courses in topics pertinent to flood and/or coastal risk management or related science/engineering (presented in your detailed CV submitted via the application portal). Additionally, two references (academic or in-work) should be submitted with the application.

Those who wish to attend a module as unassessed CPD should submit a CV to LEC Postgraduate Office at least 8 weeks before the start of the module and highlight which module you wish to attend.