Researcher working in the fluid mechanics section at Imperial.
  • Postgraduate taught
  • MSc

Hydrology and Water Resources Management

Discover the theoretical background and practical design considerations of hydrology and water resources management.

Explore the theoretical background and practical design considerations of hydrology and water resources management

Get industry recognition by achieving an accredited degree from the Joint Board of Moderators

Take part in informative field trips and study tours in the UK and abroad

Course key facts

Minimum entry standard

  • 2:1 in civil engineering, natural sciences, earth sciences or other numerate disciplines

View full entry requirements

Course overview

Understand the modern day challenges facing hydrologists on this one-year, multidisciplinary Master's course.

Hydrology explores the natural distribution of water in time and space. On this course, you'll evaluate the impact of manmade changes on the distribution and quality of this water.

While hydrology has traditionally been concerned with floods and water resources, experts are increasingly focused on the problems of pollutant transport, as well as wider issues such as climate change.

This course will deepen your theoretical and practical knowledge of hydrology, which encompasses the physical and life sciences, mathematical sciences, and systems analysis.

You'll also enhance your understanding of water resources management on a compulsory study tour, and carry out an individual research project in an area of your choice.


This page is updated regularly to reflect the latest version of the curriculum. However, this information is subject to change.

Find out more about potential course changes.

Please note: it may not always be possible to take specific combinations of modules due to timetabling conflicts. For confirmation, please check with the relevant department.

You’ll take all of these core modules.

Core modules

Work in a group on two practical hydrological problems where you'll apply concepts and theory previously covered on the course.

Undertake a specific piece of independent research in the form of a critical review, laboratory- or field-based experimental investigation, modelling/numerical analysis project, or a design-related project. 

Improve your technical, research and communication skills and produce a written research paper and a visual poster.

Professional accreditation

This MSc degree is accredited on behalf of the Engineering Council by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM), comprising:

  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Institution of Structural Engineers
  • Institute of Highway Engineers
  • Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation
  • Permanent Way Institution

This degree is recognised as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree**. 

Registering as a Chartered Engineer will improve your career prospects and provide higher earning potential. It will also help to demonstrate your commitment to professional standards, the engineering profession and sustainable development.

Our accreditation agreement with members of the Joint Board of Moderators is renewed every five years. The current accreditation agreement is due to be renewed in 2026.

**Candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited Bachelor's degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and learning methods

  • Person at lectern giving speech
  • Four students sitting in a tutorial
  • Seminars and workshops
  • Computing labs
  • A group of people interacting
    Group work
  • Design project blueprints
    Design projects
  • Books for research studies
    Individual research project
  • Blackboard virtual learning environment
    Virtual learning environment
  • Field data collection and overseas research
  • ID badge for site visit or facility tour
    Site visits

Balance of assessment


  • Coursework
  • Examinations

  • 49% Coursework
  • 51% Examinations

Assessment methods

  • Coursework
  • Group projects and presentations
  • Research dissertation
  • Poster project
    Research poster
  • Microscope for lab work
    Laboratory practicals
  • A person completing a written exam
    Written exams

Entry requirements

We consider all applicants on an individual basis, welcoming students from all over the world.

How to apply

Apply online

You can submit one application form per year of entry. You can choose up to two courses.

Application deadlines – Round 3 closes on Friday 24 May 2024

Tuition fees

Home fee

2024 entry


Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

Overseas fee

2024 entry


Fees are charged by year of entry to the College and not year of study.

How will studying at Imperial help my career?

Save the water

Gain transferable skills relevant to a career in hydrology and water resources management or similar fields.

Person in a bubble surrounded by 4 skills

Develop your communication, leadership, and interpersonal skills as well as your technical knowledge.

Graduate Cap above rolled Degree

Our graduates often pursue further study in master's programs or doctoral research.

Lightbulb with graduate cap inside

Apply your specialist knowledge to a career in academics or industry.

Matter for materials science

Common employment areas include hydrology, hydrogeology, and physics.

Man standing under a sign pointing different directions

Other potential career paths include statistics, systems engineering, business, consultancy and government.

Terms and conditions

There are some important pieces of information you should be aware of when applying to Imperial. These include key information about your tuition fees, funding, visas, accommodation and more.

Read our terms and conditions

You can find further information about your course, including degree classifications, regulations, progression and awards in the programme specification for your course.

Programme specifications