Water is vital. Drought, floods and water footprint are crucial topics.

The Water Management Option was one of the original options of our MSc Environmental Technology course first offered in 1977, and remains at the cutting edge today, with research into the balance between water treatment, energy use, climate change and legislation being the focus of intense interest.

Further information


The aim of the option is to produce graduates who understand the challenges posed by water supply and meet the demand profile of organisations concerned with the water environment and water technology. These include water companies, regulators, consultancies and research organisations. Major changes in these organisations mean there is an increasing emphasis on management, as well as the traditional emphasis of a broad foundation in the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment. As a result, the Water Management Option spotlights and develops management techniques, with two extended consultancy-style projects, one run in conjunction with Anglian Water plc. In addition to lectures and tutorials the students develop their research and presentation skills in a dynamic, cooperative and competitive environment.

At the end of the course, the student will understand the basic concepts of water technology and the water environment, and be able to:

  • apply this understanding to water management issues
  • select and use a range of appropriate management techniques
  • communicate effectively with others concerned with water management issues, (for example environmental engineers)
  • apply this knowledge and skill to water management issues in both the developed and developing world
  • work professionally within an organisation, cooperating with others and communicating ideas in oral and written form.


The option comprises a number of modules designed to introduce the student to the broad range of scientific, environmental and management issues relevant to man’s effects on the Earth’s most precious resource.

Module Aims and Learning Outcomes

Environment and Health

  • To give the student a foundation in science and policy basics to understand aspects of environmental management and technology and its impact on health.
  • Be able to explain the main chemical and biological processes important in the physical environment, the parameters that define environmental quality and its effect on health.

 Water Technology and Management

  • To introduce the student to the various unit processes used in water treatment, including underlying theory and technology.
  • Be able to describe the basic concepts of water treatment technology and the selection of unit treatment processes.

Environmental Policy and Resource Management

  • To provide students with an introduction to the legal, technical and practical issues involved in contaminated land and resources management.
  • Be able to appreciate the challenges for the management of contaminated land and be able to describe the basic concepts in relation to resources and waste management.

Environmental Decision Making and Tools

  • To introduce students to some of the most important policy tools and techniques to assist them in decision-making. Be able to select and use certain management techniques and policy tools to support decision- making in environmental and water management and policy.

Integrated Land and Water Management

  • To provide students with an overview of problems, potential remedies and possible outcomes involved in holistic management of the environment.
  • Be able to assess environmental problems and environmental relationships in order to propose holistic solutions that maximise overall benefits and minimise adverse impacts.

 Environmental Pollution and Assessment

  • To enhance students' understanding of the pollution pathways in the environment from source to receptor.
  • Be able to describe water recycling technologies and assess the physical and chemical processes involved in the progress of pollutants from source to receptor.

 In addition, a four-day programme of visits gives operational insight into many aspects taught on the option. Visits to sites concerned with water and environmental resource management and related environmental conservation projects are complemented by visits designed to give an understanding of the technology used for water and wastewater treatment.

Alumni and careers

It is an important feature of our course that the graduates have a very high success rate in achieving well paid employment. This is predominantly in environmental consultancies and to a lesser extent in water utility companies, or the Environment Agency. These high employment rates result from our active and numerous industrial contacts, which are co-ordinated by Professor Steve Kaye (Manager, Anglian Water, Innovation Team) and Professors Jan Gronow and Jane Plant. We also involve our alumni in the teaching and this serves to encourage further recruitment of our graduates.

A unique feature of the option is the range and number of leading practitioners from regulators, water companies, consultancies, research and other environmental organisations who provide lectures and offer points of contact and opportunities for industrial experience in the research project. In addition, the option includes a study tour, seminars and practical coursework assessments that provide experience of contaminated land remediation and strategic investment planning for water supply and wastewater treatment.

The career paths followed by students from the option include major water and wastewater companies, regulatory and legislative bodies and environmental and engineering consultancies both in the European Union and overseas. Graduates from the past three years have taken up positions and careers in the following companies:

  • Anglian Water
  • Arcadis Geraghty Miller
  • CH2M Hill
  • Dames and Moore
  • Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions
  • Environment Agency
  • ERM
  • Mott MacDonald
  • Parsons Engineering Science
  • Posford Duvivier
  • Thames Water

The majority of the graduates enter environmental consultancy both in the UK and abroad usually within the water teachnology areas, or work for water companies, though this is not an exhaustive list. A second path of graduates is to regulatory agencies/government bodies such as the Environment Agency of England & Wales and the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.

"The knowledge and skills gained through lectures, team work and the final project greatly aided obtaining a job in the environmental sector, particularly the water industry, and enabled a confident start to my career!” Emily Austin, Water Managment Option 2006-7, currently working at Thames Water.


Students undertake two assessed pieces of coursework. One piece of coursework is in collaboration with a water company, Anglian Water and involves a visit to their premises in East Anglia. The other piece of coursework is in collaboration with another of the MSc Options, Environmental Analysis & Assessment, and requires water and soil sampling on Hounslow Heath in London.

Anglian Water Placement

Applications are now invited from exceptional graduates for the 2018-2020 intake of the MSc Environmental Technology Part-Time Course over two years with a Placement in Anglian Water. We are looking to recruit a highly motivated candidate with the potential to develop a broad appreciation of all aspects of the management of people, engineering, science and policy in relation to water management and technology issues.

The successful candidate will attend the MSc Environmental Technology – Water Management Option for two semesters, followed by a period of 16 months, during which the student can work on their thesis (total effort of six months full-time equivalent) based at Anglian Water’s Innovation team (total duration two years). Anglian Water is the largest water and water recycling company in England and Wales by geographic area. As a technologist, the student is a full member of the team working on projects aimed at bringing innovation into the business. This will provide them not only with a highly competitive postgraduate degree but also crucial work experience working for the water industry - www.anglianwater.co.uk.

The programme provides suitably qualified candidates with an Anglian Water-financed bursary of £12,000 per annum plus the payment of tuition fees (at UK/EU rate).

If you are interested in applying, please send your CV and cover letter to Emily Langley (Email e.langley16@imperial.ac.uk) by 09:00 on 29th June 2018. The cover letter should explain why you are interested in this opportunity and why you are a suitable candidate. 

In addition you are required to formally apply to the MSc in Environmental Technology – Water Management separately. Information can be found via the following link: www.imperial.ac.uk/environmental-policy/msc/msc-environmental-technology/how-to-apply/Please appreciate that these are busy times for Registry, therefore please apply to the MSc programme at your earliest convenience.