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Study information

Water Engineering (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Water Engineering

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

Drawing on the expertise of the Centre for Water Systems, this MSc Programme provides knowledge and key skills in the broad area of water engineering. Managing effectively water supply, sanitation and drainage systems is fundamental to the economic and social development of all urban communities. Reliable, environmentally friendly, sustainable and affordable water management systems form the key to enhancing the quality of life of billions of people throughout the world. Poor water supply, drainage and sanitation lead to ill-health, low economic growth and a polluted environment. Modules cover the essential aspects of engineering management in general and specifically the management of clean water supply (supply, treatment and distribution) and wastewater disposal (sewerage, treatment and flooding), providing an understanding of how these systems work and tools for simulating their performance.


3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The MSc degree programme is designed to deliver all of the required learning outcomes as set out in UK-SPEC for a Masters (Further Learning) degree and hence aims to contribute towards graduates becoming professionally qualified engineers in the UK, with international recognition. This programme is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng (Hons) undergraduate first degree. Graduates may apply for CEng registration through membership of an appropriate Professional Institution following an assessment of their subsequent professional development and experience.

•    To provide an advanced knowledge of classical and contemporary problems in engineering and management of urban water systems for the practising engineer.  It also offers gaining practical experience in using hydroinformatics tools over a wide range of application areas in urban water systems.

•    To generate an enthusiasm for the application of systems analysis, and an understanding of its role in modelling urban water problems, and to involve them in an intellectually stimulating and satisfying experience of learning and scholarship.

•    To develop research skills, personal skills and core academic skills which will prepare you for a wide range of employment opportunities.

•    To prepare you for further research in the area of urban water systems.

4. Programme Structure

Your MSc Water Engineering programme is a 1 year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level 7 (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into 1 ‘Stage’.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.  

Exit Awards

If you do not complete the programme you may be able to exit with a lower qualification.

Postgraduate Diploma: At least 120 credits of which 90 or more must be at NQF level 7.

Postgraduate Certificate: At least 60 credits of which 45 or more must be at NQF level 7.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take Option Modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site.

Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
ECMM110Water and Environmental Systems15YesNo
ECMM124Hydroinformatics Tools15YesNo
ECMM162Water Management in Developing Countries15YesNo
ECMM132Urban Drainage and Waste Water Management15YesNo
ECMM133Water Supply and Distribution Management15YesNo
ECMM134Environmental Processes15YesNo
ECMM163Sustainable Engineering15YesNo
ECMM164MSc Dissertation60YesYes
ECMM148Advanced CFD15YesNo

Full Time MSc students will take all modules.

For the Diploma (120 credits) you take all modules except ECMM164.

To be awarded the Postgraduate Certificate you must complete 60 credits, including ECMM124, ECMM132 and ECMM133 plus 15 credits form the above list, excluding ECMM164 Dissertation.

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

1.    Understand urban water system components, their characteristics and functioning of such systems

2.    Understand urban water engineering and management problems

3.    Make appropriate and critical use of urban water system modelling, engineering and management principles

4.    Gain familiarity with hydroinformatics methods and tools for application to a variety of urban water management problems

5.    Gain familiarity with sustainability and risk management related aspects.

Learning & Teaching Activities

The modules will be delivered by a mixture of formal lectures, tutorial classes and computer practical sessions. Example sheets and other assignments will be set and marked by the module leader. You will be expected to read the assigned texts. Assistance will be given during tutorials and office hours will be available to help overcome any difficulties.

Core modules will be used to develop and test skills (1)-(4) (3) (4)and (5).




Assessment Methods

Taught modules will be assessed by a combination of a written examination and/or coursework. The dissertation will be graded both by the supervisor and a second independent marker.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

6.    Ability to identify, formulate, analyse and solve a management problem in a given water system and propose alternative designs

7.    Organise tasks into a structured form

8.    Summarise and analyse data

9.    Integrate theory and applications

10.    Ability to critically assess research results

11.    Transfer knowledge and methods from one subject area to a different area

12.    Formulate useful models from verbal and written descriptions by authors from other than engineering disciplines

13.    Working knowledge of a range of computer/hydroinformatics packages for solving urban water engineering and management problems and for producing publication and presentation quality graphical output

Learning & Teaching Activities

(6-10), (13), The ability to formulate models, organise tasks into a structured form, and summarise and analyse data will be developed in all compulsory and the optional modules. The techniques required to solve the problems, develop models and produce publication and presentation quality output will be developed in ECMM132, ECMM133, ECMM124, ECMM162 and ECMM148.

The dissertation module ECMM164 will further develop skills (11)-(12).

Assessment Methods

These skills will be tested by the marking of coursework, by examination and by the marking of the dissertation.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

14.    Improve necessary skills for independent learning

15.    Enhance report and presentation skills

16.    Improve IT skills

17.    Ability to work as part of a team

18.    Ability to manage time effectively

19.    Ability to plan career and personal development

Learning & Teaching Activities

Learning & Teaching Activities
(14) and (15) Required for the dissertation
(16) This will be developed in Modules ECMM132, ECMM133, ECMM148 and ECMM124.
(17) will be developed in ECMM110 where as part of assessed coursework, students will be required to undertake a group activity.
(18) and (19) will be developed throughout the programme. All the modules require timely submission of coursework and encourage students to organise their independent study and ensure timely submission through effective time management.  We will encourage you to interact, as this will accelerate the learning process.You will have personal tutorial advice to achieve (18) and (19).
Additionally, you will be encouraged to attend water and environment series weekly seminars. The seminars are delivered by the speakers from water industry. This is envisaged to increase interaction with industry and provide a better insight into industrial practice and therefore enable you to make an informed career planning and development.

Assessment Methods

Assessed through the dissertation and the coursework of the modules.

7. Programme Regulations


The programme consists of 180 credits.  The pass mark for award of credit in an individual PG module is 50%.



This programme is accredited by a PSRB under licence from the Engineering Council. Therefore, the latest Engineering Council regulations on condonement apply to this programme. Please find further details in the TQA Manual here:


Assessment and Awards

The award will normally be based on at least 180 credits of which 150 or more must be at NQF level 7


The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following percentage marks:

Postgraduate Degrees

Distinction   70%+

Merit            60-69%

Pass            50-59%


Full details of  PGT programmes assessment regulations can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website.  Generic marking criteria are also published here.

Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.





8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

In accordance with University policy a system of personal tutors is in place for all students on this programme.  A University-wide statement on such provision is included in the University's TQA Manual.  As a student enrolled on this programme you will receive the personal and academic support of the Programme Coordinator and will have regular scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor; you may request additional meetings as and when required. The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information Technology (IT) Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Help may be obtained through the Helpdesk, and most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Additionally, the College has its own dedicated IT support staff, helpdesk and computer facilities which are linked to the wider network, but which also provide access to some specialised software packages.  Email is an important channel of communication between staff and students in the College and an extensive range of web-based information (see is maintained for the use of students, including a comprehensive and annually revised student handbook.

The Harrison Learning Resource Centre is generally open during building open hours. The Centre is available for quiet study, with four separate rooms that can be booked for meetings and group work. Amongst its facilities, the Learning Resource Centre has a number of desks, four meeting rooms with large LCD screens, and free use of a photocopier. Also available are core set texts from your module reading lists, and undergraduate and MSc projects from the past two years.

Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal (

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

10. Admission Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Entry requirements for this programme can be found on the Postgraduate Study Page.

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements and English Language requirements of the University of Exeter.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice.  See the University's TQA Manual for details.




12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

The MSc Water Engineering is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM)*.

The accredited MSc will meet, in part, the exemplifying academic benchmark requirements for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Accredited MSc graduates who also have a BEng (Hons) accredited for CEng will be able to show that they have satisfied the educational base for CEng registration.

It should be noted that graduates from an accredited MSc programme that do not also have an appropriately accredited Honours degree, will not be regarded as having the exemplifying qualification for professional registration as a Chartered Engineer with the Engineering Council; and will need to have their qualifications individually assessed through the Individual Case Procedure if the wish to progress to CEng.

*JBM incorporates the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT), and the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE).

14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
16 Partner College / Institution
17 Programme accredited/validated by
18 Final Award(s) MSc
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) M107
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 7
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 180 credits (90 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Engineering
23 Origin Date February 8th 2023 Last Date of Revision: April 24th 2023