MSc in Water and Environmental Management

This programme addresses the complex issue of water and environmental security in a changing world. It will help you become a high-level practitioner in water and environmental management and gain advanced skills and knowledge in the fundamental engineering principles that underpin this field.

Our experts

Over the duration of the programme you'll be taught by academics in the field of water and environmental management, such as:


Field trips

Students and lecturer on a field tripTeaching is augmented by field trips, subject to public health requirements. They illustrate key concepts and build observational skills and understanding in a practical way. Many of our field trips are hosted by water and catchment management organisations, exposing students to day to day activities that potential employers carry out.

Our industry experts

A large part of the programme is taught by leading practitioners in the field, regular experts have been:

Our students' projects

Research projects provide students with the opportunity to work alongside researchers from the UK's number 1 ranked* water research group. Students can choose from a range of qualitative and quantitative topics, or develop a topic of interest to them. Each year, some topics are also put up by partner organisations such as Environment Agency and charities such as Avon Needs Trees.

Hydrological processes leading to variability in river flow

Daniel Heins (2019 Prize for Highest Mark in Taught Component)

A good understanding of variability in river flow is very important for water resource planning. Daniel analysed data from 671 catchments, representing most of the continental USA. He found that about 25% of the study catchments had unusual patterns of flow variability, which couldn't be described by a standard method (the slope of the flow duration curve). Daniel identified that these unusual catchments each had a distinctive combination of climate, geography and hydrological processes. His work resulted in guidance for how to identify places where it is reasonable to use the standard method, and what to expect in places where the standard method doesn't apply.

Driver-pressure-state-impact-response model in informing decision-making and management responses for catchment management

Jingyi Liu (2019 Dissertation Prize)

‌Jingyi developed and tested the DPSIR model as a catchment management tool. Using the Bristol Frome as an case study, she found the DPSIR model useful for representing multiple pressures from a mixed land use catchment. She found that the management regime was generally responding well to current pressures, but that further measures would be needed to address both increased urban development and the pressures of climate change.

Sanitation in less economic developed countries

Student supervised by: John Henry Looney

Wherever the Need (WTN), a UK charity that focuses on providing sanitation in the poorest part of India, Serra Leone and Kenya, claims that sanitation is the first step out of poverty and to achieve a long-term sustainable solution, the concept of Ecological Sanitation (EcoSan) has been adopted. This project analyses these offerings with a view to suggesting improvements.

*Shanghai rankings

The Programme Director is Dr Claire Gronow from the Department of Civil Engineering.

The programme is accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) meaning our curriculum and facilities meet the demanding standards held by this profession. This also links you directly to continued professional development once in the workplace.

I knew it was a highly recognised university in terms of academic studies on water resources. I wanted to be in that academic environment.


Completing the WEM MSc at Bristol gave me both the knowledge and skills to obtain a job as a hydrology engineer at Stantec, one of the top 10 design engineering consultancy globally.

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