11 August 2014

A new postgraduate course for industry professionals aims to help stem the tide of flood devastation.

From September, Lancaster Environment Centre is collaborating with environmental consultancy, JBA Consulting, to provide flexible learning for industry professionals hoping to achieve a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

With memories of the UK's wettest winter in almost 250 years still fresh, the demand for specialist flood risk management skills continues to grow as Lead Local Flood Authorities and other agencies strive to meet their flood risk responsibilities.

The courses will focus on the practical application of skills and industry standard techniques in the context of the latest legislation, guidance and policy.

Course modules will reflect the integrated nature of flood and coastal risk management. Students 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.
Designed to be flexible, the course can be completed part-time over a maximum of five years. Students can select from the following core modules to work towards a Postgraduate Certificate with options to progress to a Postgraduate Diploma:

  • Catchment Hydrology and Assessment
  • River Hydraulics: Processes, Structure 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

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 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.

The majority of modules will be delivered at LEC by professional staff from JBA Consulting. Individual modules can also be delivered off-site as short courses to support Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Nick Chappell, Director of Studies at Lancaster University, said: "We are delighted to be able to build on our successful relationships with the UK water sector by offering this exciting new course.
"JBA and LEC have a long history of working together at the forefront of water research. This partnership will enable students to learn from industry-leading experts in flood risk management within a world class teaching environment."