What Will You Study

With a strong emphasis on practical study, you will be taught by both University academics and industry professionals, and will gain the key skills and professional training required for a rewarding career as a practitioner or researcher.

Our programme is unique in that it is taught jointly by University academics and professionals from leading environmental consultancy JBA Consulting, the Environment Agency and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, which has a one of its major research facilities based at Lancaster. Graduates gain the skills and knowledge to progress careers with a water consultancy, water regulator, water company or research organisation.

You will study six modules and complete a dissertation project. The jointly-taught core modules have been professionally accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management and will provide you with the key skills of a water professional by addressing the principles of catchment hydrology, sustainable surface water management, groundwater assessment, methods of catchment protection, principles of lake ecology, managing coastal flooding, flood forecasting, the design of river structures and the restoration of river channels. Optional modules covering wider environmental and social science skills are also available.

Practical work is an important component of the programme, with modules including challenging fieldwork in Cumbrian and Lancashire catchments, and laboratory work involving the use of flumes, water quality analyses and computer models.

We encourage you to undertake your dissertation research project with an external partner in the water sector or as an integral part of our ongoing research activities in water resources. Each year we offer a large selection of possible projects with external partnership or internship opportunities including JBA Consulting, the Environment Agency, United Utilities and many other organisations. We also welcome projects that strengthen your existing partnerships. You will be supervised by one of our active researchers with relevant expertise.

Examples of recent dissertation topics are:

  • Assessing the effects of recent afforestation on saturated hydraulic conductivity and soil moisture content, with implications for natural flood management
  • Phytobenthos within the Eden catchment: an avenue for citizen engagement in the WFD?
  • Quantifying the physical, hydrological and agronomic impacts of mitigating grassland soil compaction
  • Analysis of surface water flow to propose flood alleviation measures: a GIS based case study at The Pastures, Egremont
  • An investigation into groundwater-surface water interactions during storm events on the River Leith
  • How does riparian vegetation influence groundwater-surface water interaction?
  • Flood forecasting and warning systems: using data-based mechanistic modelling and probabilistic flood information for Galgate community
  • New method for the optimisation of the UK river flow gauging station network