MSc Water and Environmental Management - Programme Specification Section 1: Summary information


Nov 9, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)


MSc Water and Environmental Management

Programme Specification

Section 1: Summary information

Awarding body

University of Brighton

Location of Study

Moulsecoomb Campus

School of Study

School of




Faculty of Science


Professional accreditation

currently being sought

Award and titles



Final award


Water and Environmental

Intermediate award

Postgraduate Diploma

Water and Environmental

Intermediate award

Intermediate award

Course codes


QAA Subject Group

Geography & Geology

Subject Benchmark

Geography & Geology

Programme regulations

Maximum Period of Study

1 year Full Time

6 years Part Time

Mode of Study



Credit ratings


180 credits

PG Dip

120 credits

Programme Specification
approved at:

July 200


Dr H Taylor

Section 2: Aims and objectives


The aims of the programme are:

The course aims to develop technical and
managerial skills relating to the
understanding of water resources management and related environmental
issues, recognising the complex inter
relationships inherent within the
discipline area.

his aim is amplified and implemented through a number of
rching objectives and learning outcomes (see below).


Objective 1

To be able to provide feasible solutions to complex technical
problems faced by water/environment managers

Learning Outcome

The ability to apply known mathematical analy
techniques to water resource problems with a range of identified input
parameters (WEM01,WEM02,WEM03,WEM04,

Objective 2
To communicate confidently using appropriate terminology at M
level within water and environmental management with others fr
om a similar
discipline background in industry

Learning Outcome
The ability to discuss critically management strategies
relating to water resource issues (WEM01,

Objective 3
To have acquired the management skills necessary in the
environmental/water industry

Learning Outcome
The ability to manage own research project and appreciate
the technical, commercial and managerial aspects of technical water
problems (

Objective 4
To understand and be able to design for the
complex interaction
between different users of the water and natural environment, incorporating
considerations relating to water quality and water quantity issues

Learning Outcome
The ability to assess critically the different constraints
faced by water m
anagers in different water/environment scenarios and
propose solutions appropriate to the needs of all (WEM01,WEM02,WEM03)

Objective 5
To be able to undertake analysis necessary to face unfamiliar and
as yet undefined water/environmental challenges, and
to appreciate the need
for research and development within the wider industry

Learning Outcome
The ability to use effectively available laboratory analysis
techniques and software, including modelling and data analysis tools, to
obtain solutions to problem
s, and to devise new approaches to problems as
they arise (WEM01,WEM02,WEM04,WEM05)

Objective 6

To secure an understanding of the purpose and practical
implications of current water/environmental practice, including the EU water
framework directive and
its effect on managing sustainability in
water/environmental issues

Learning Outcome
The ability to research, interpret and work successfully
within a given legal framework and advise others accordingly

Section 3

Teaching, Learning
and Assessment

Teaching and

Teaching methods for the modules will vary according to the subject.
Generally, however, there will be both theoretical and applied components.
Laboratory work, computer modelling and fieldwork will form significant
parts of the modules.

The teaching team recognises that it is unlikely that any one student will
have the academic or professional expertise necessary to provide a
foundation for every syllabus component. The individual modules have
been designed to incor
porate sufficient material relating to basic concepts
and methodologies to provide an appropriate foundation for students with
limited previous experience in a particular subject area. Following the
provision of these basic concepts, the content will rapid
ly progress to the
understanding and evaluation which it is envisaged will be novel for all
students in most modules.

The course team anticipates that diversity of experience within the student
body will be an important strength of the M.Sc. programme. Th
e course
participants will bring different, but complementary, expertise to the course
from various backgrounds, resulting in useful and profitable interaction
between students. Group work activities and presentations will enhance

The scope of the c
ourse structure is outlined in the next section. The
content will demand a diversity of teaching and learning strategies,
dependent on the nature of the material being taught. Lecture sessions will
be employed to introduce much of the conceptual and method
material, but group studies and practical exercises will also play a key role.
Applications to practical situations, and case studies, will be included,
particularly those relating to research being undertaken by the School.
Information and Commun
ication Technology (ICT) relating to water and
environmental management will be used extensively throughout the course
by reference to internal (University of Brighton) and external web sites.

The students’ individual projects will play a key part in deve
loping and
testing the students’ abilities in the area of broad project management and
primary research. Other key skills, including research techniques, data
handling and critical analysis of source material, will also be developed
and assessed in the pro
ject dissertation.


A variety of forms of assessment are used in the programme to
demonstrate ability in a range of skills.

Examination/Test (including open book, seen and unseen

demonstration of knowledge, understanding, an
skill and ability to apply knowledge.


a demonstration of understanding and analytical and written
communication skills .

Project (including individual, group work and Level 3 project):
demonstration of independent research skills and written communication

Report (including laboratory reports and field reports):
demonstration of reporting and written communication skills. Laboratory
reports additionally demonstrate laborator
y skills whilst field reports
demonstrate field and group research skills.

A number of transferable skills, such as self
motivation and
communication, are embedded within the primary modes of delivery of
learning and are not necessarily separately assesse
d. However,
satisfactory achievement of the learning outcomes requires that such skills
are developed to an appropriate level.


Indicative criteria used for the assessment are given here, mapped against
award classification (as identified within the University of Brighton General
Examination and Assessment Regulations). More information can be
found in the Course Handbook.

In ord
er to be eligible for the award of Master of Science in
Water and
Management the candidate must attain a minimum of 180
CATS points with a minimum of 150 CATS points at M level, including 60
CATS points for the dissertation.

A distinction wi
ll be awarded if the student has achieved an average mark
of 70% or above.

A Merit pass will be awarded if the student has achieved an average mark
of between 60

A Pass will be awarded if the student has achieved an average mark of
between 50

The award of Postgraduate Certificate Water and Environmental
Management (PGCert)

In order to be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Certificate in
Environmental Assessment and Management, the candidate must obtain a
minimum of 60 CATs points and have s
uccessfully completed 3 Core

The award of Postg
raduate Diploma in Water and Environmental
Management (PGDip)

n order to be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in
Water and
Environmental Management, the candidate must obtain a minimum
of 120
CATs points, having successfully completed 4 Core modules (80 CATS)
and 2 option modules (40 CATS).

The award of Master of Science in Water and Environmental
Management (MSc)

In order to be eligible for the award of Master of Science in Environment
Assessment and Management, the candidate must attain a minimum of
180 CATs points (150 CATS points at M level) including 60 CATs points
for the project and having successfully completed the 4 Core modules (80
CATS) and appropriate option modules (40 CAT


The course regulations are in accordance with the University's General
Examination and Assessment Regulations (available from the school office
or the Registry).

The pass mark for MSc modules is 50% with an assessment component
threshold of 40%.

Specific course regulations allow a referral ofGBM01, the dissertation
module, however, a fail and repeat decision will not be allowed.

Section 4

Programme structure,

level, modules, and credit and award

This section summarises the structure of the award, and gives a brief indication of the
course structure.

The content and structure of the course is based around core modules relating to water
resource management,

supported by additional, optional modules supporting this. Modules
within the M.Sc. programme are classified into 6 core modules (5 plus the M.Sc. project) and
2 option modules taken from existing Master’s level programmes from within the School of

& Technology
. The proposed structure of the course, including definitive listings
of core and option modules, is shown in Table 2. While the optional modules listed in Table 2
are those that are intended to be taken as part of the course, it may be p
ossible for students
to take other optional modules from elsewhere within the School, subject to approval by the
course leader. Taken together, the core modules are worth 80 M
level CATS points, with the
project worth 60 M
level CATS points. The optional m
odules are worth a total of 40 CATS
points, making up a grand total of 180 CATS points for the course.

Core modules represent central knowledge and skills within water and environmental
management, while option modules seek to develop the students’ intere
st and ability in areas
of particular interest to them. In the early stages of the programme the option modules will
depend on what is available from other programmes within the School. However, it is
envisaged that further option modules will be accepted
for the M.Sc. as these become
available or as the course develops generally.

The framework of the course, including course delivery, length of modules and assessment
methods follow the guidelines as established in the University of Brighton GEAR (General

Examination and Assessment Regulations) documentation.

The course will be taught as a full time programme, but with opportunity for individual
modules to be studied in a part time mode. The minimum period of registration for the full time
mode is 12 mont
hs. The full time mode will operate from September to July, with opportunity
for examination of the project thesis in July or September.

Students may proceed through the programme at a slower pace but subject to a normally
maximum period of 72 months from

initial registration to completion of the final module(s) or
submission of the project. This is also subject to the requirement that normally at least two
modules should be studied in each academic year. However, and subject to the maximum
period of 72 mo
nths, it is desirable that students aim to submit their projects within
approximately 12 months from registration for the Project Module, either at the beginning of
January or the beginning of June.

The taught modules normally follow a conventional semes
ter framework. This pattern appears
to be that most appropriate to the needs of the market for this course. However, the possibility
of offering some course modules as week
long blocks, plus supporting work, to groups for
Continuing Professional Developmen
t (CPD) purposes and allowing MSc students to attend is
not discounted, and may be included in the future operation of the course.

Broadly an individual module will entail approximately 40 hours of class contact time, although
there will also be an emphas
is on appropriate student
centred learning outside the classroom.
Normally a minimum of three hours class contact per week will be anticipated, though this
may vary depending on the particular learning objectives of each module. It is also anticipated

part of the class contact will be visits to sites and other places of relevance. Student
workload for the MSc is estimated to be 1800 hours of which the Project comprises 600

Each module is free standing so that no order of study is specified fo
r the majority of modules
proposed. In future some modules may however specify pre
requisites which may dictate
some ordering of modules.

The project should represent a student’s individual and independent research or analysis
effort on a selected/desi
gnated topic. The value of the project will be 60 CATS points. The
aim of the project is to extend and unify the students’ understanding and awareness of Water
and Environmental Management as developed in the course modules and to facilitate the
student i
n devising or recommending creative and appropriate solutions to a specific problem.

On completion of the project the student should have fulfilled a variety of objectives which will

applying experiential learning, problem solving, analytical and

making skills to
real situations;

applying rigorously the appropriate methods and techniques for problem analysis and

applying appropriate techniques and interpreting the results with regard to a complex
problem within a realistic
organisational context;

devising, recommending or implementing innovative solutions to the problem under
investigation, and to be able to present these solutions effectively.

Each student will be allocated an academic supervisor who will advise the studen
t on
appropriate projects and their feasibility and aid the student in fulfilling the above objectives
through their own expertise and knowledge. An advisor may be appointed, who could be
from a relevant part of industry (e.g. student’s employer), who wou
ld then act as an industrial
mentor. Identification of project title and its scope will begin early in the year, and introductory
and literature searches will be undertaken during the first semester.

The module structure of the course is shown below.



Module Title





Water Resource Management




Water Treatment Technology




Wastewater Treatment Technol




Water Quality Analysis




Quantitative Techniques for Water and
Environmental Management




Masters Project




Hydrogeology and Hydrology




Cost and Financial Management




Environmental Impact Assessment




Ecological Principles




Introduction to
Geographic Information




Other Approved M
level Module


*M = Mandatory C = Compulsory O = Optional Choice

Section 5 Learning Support

This section should summarise central and local learning support

Central support:

students benefit from:

University induction week programme (includes orientation and introduction to study and
library skills)

University Student Handbook (including general advice to students on regulations,
University policies, and advice and support fa

Extensive library facilities cent
red on the main Aldrich library

Six open access computer pool rooms on the Moulsecoomb site with over 200
workstations (and a further 450 network points for personal PCs in the library). All are
linked to the Un
iversity network and SuperJANET services and ha
ve daily user support
help desk

and internal E
mail and internet access, and may set up personal websites

Access to the Studentcentral intranet

Student services, including Welfare, Careers, Counsellin
g, Legal, Financial,
Accommodation, Childcare, Medical, Sexual Health and Chaplaincy support

Course specific:

In addition, students on this course benefit from the following:


Handbooks and Guidance Notes

MSc Courses handbook

Course specific guidance

Skills handbook

MSc dissertation handbook


Academic and Administrative Support

Course Leader who monitors academic and personal progress of students on the course

School of Environment
& Technology
Intranet that hosts supplementary learning

in support of modules as well as providing links to additional resources

School administrative support for module registration

Course Resources Officer who works with staff and students to enable access to paper
based and electronic resources

School of En
& Technology
Computing Officer who works with staff and
students to enable access to, and use of, Information Technology facilities

door policy of tutors during office hours where possible


Computing and Laboratory Facilities

Environment &
Public Health Laboratory, seating up to 10, equipped with bench top
spectrophotometers for basic water chemistry, membrane filtration equipment, balances,
incubators and sterilisation equipment for public health microbiology procedures

Hydraulics Laborator
y, with Armfield 10m x 0.4m recirculating flume for river and wave
simulation, 6m x 0.25m venturi flume, and 4m x 0.1m narrow flume with plate weir

GIS laboratory (c.60 terminals)


Field Visits organised by staff for students

Local water c

(drinking water and wastewater treatment facilities)

Pagham Harbour Nature Reserve

est Sussex County Council

recycling facilities

Section 6 Admissions criteria

This section shows the standard admissions criteria for the course

Typical entry

Entrants to the course will
normally be expected to possess a lower second class honours

or above

in an appropriate subject or an equivalent qualification. Exceptionally,
candidates without an honours degree but with relevant knowledge

and skills may be
admitted to the course.

Candidates with honours degrees in the civil and environmental engineering, geology,
physical geography and environmental science areas would represent those with the most
appropriate qualifications. A strong e
lement of mathematical ability should be evident in the
candidate’s background. Where candidates with honours degrees do not fall into these
categories the selection process will look for evidence of a strong commitment to some part of
the programme combin
ed with demonstrable scientific abilities. Such applicants might be
required to submit evidence of work that demonstrated these abilities.

In exceptional cases candidates without an honours degree may be considered for admission
to the course. Such candi
dates will be expected to possess either academic or work
experience relevant to Water and Environmental Management. Such candidates will be
required to demonstrate during the admissions process abilities broadly corresponding to
those of honours degree le

Normally candidates will be interviewed by the Course Leader or Admissions Tutor.
Depending upon the interview and other evidence a decision will be made about the need for
the candidates to provide further evidence of ability through written work
or other tests. In
relation to the pressures of part
time study the interviewing panel will need to be satisfied of
the broader suitability of the candidate for the course and counselling will play a part in the
enrolment process.

Applicants may be consi
dered by the Course Leader to register for an award with advanced
standing by claiming prior credit by virtue of previous qualifications or experience for modules
that are required by the award. Details of accreditation follow the guidelines given in the
niversity of Brighton GEAR.

In relation to registration of postgraduate awards, where a candidate registers for a Masters
award, credit can be given for up to 40 M
level CATS points. No credit can be claimed for
any Level M dissertation/projects required

by the award.

Section 7 Quality indicators

This section details external indicators of the quality of the provision


November 2005

Professional accreditation:

ICE and IStructE Joint Board of Moderators

National student awards:


Section 8 Additional information

This specification summarises the key elements of the provision, and the learning outcomes
achieved by the typical student. More detailed information can be found in a range of
documents, including:

University General
Examination and
Assessment Regulations for Taught Courses

University Teaching and Learning Policy