Water and Sanitation for Development MSc

Cranfield University Master of Science

Target Audience

The Water and Wastewater Engineering course is ideal for individuals who want to make a real difference to delivering reliable water supplies, or to maintaining and enhancing river and ground water quality.


The Water and Sanitation for Development MSc provides the essential skills and knowledge required to plan and implement water supply and sanitation projects and programmes in any part of the world, particularly in low and middle income countries. The course is a balance of engineering, environmental science, public health and social science. Taught by research active academics you will learn by blending theory, practice and fieldwork to help solve global 21st century water challenges. A key part of the MSc is the opportunity to conduct your thesis on a real-life WASH project in a developing country.

Course Structure

The course comprises a taught programme of four assessed modules (MSc: 40%, PgDip 66.6%), a group project (MSc: 20%, PgDiP: 33.3%) and an individual project (MSc: 40%). The four compulsory modules include:

  • Public Health, Hygiene and Sanitation
  • Water, Society and Development
  • Water Resource Engineering
  • Resilience, Shocks and Emergncies

Please note that to keep the courses relevant and up-to-date, modules are subject to change – please see the webpage for the latest information.

Key Information

  • Qualification: MSc, PgDip, PgCert.
  • Duration: MSc: one year full-time, two to three years part-time; PgDip, PgCert: one year full-time, two years part-time.
  • Start date: Full-time: October. Part-time: October.

Fees applied to the course are different depend on what qualification and duration you choose. Please see details on the course page.

Funding Opportunities

To help students in finding and securing appropriate funding we have created a funding finder where you can search for suitable sources of funding by filtering the results to suit your needs.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a 1st or 2nd class UK honours degree in a relevant discipline such as engineering, environmental science, geography, development studies, earth science or related subjects, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications.

English Language

To study for a formal award at Cranfield you will need to demonstrate that you can communicate effectively in English in an academic environment. Full details of how you can meet this requirement can be found on English language requirements page.

Course Objectives

Through innovative teaching, which blends theory, application and practice, you will leave with the knowledge needed for the planning, implementation and management of sustainable water supply, sanitation and hygiene projects in low-income countries. You will also develop an advanced understanding of water and wastewater systems qualifying you to work in all areas of water and wastewater treatment and management, providing a valuable contribution to the UK and global water sector. In detail, graduates of this course will be able to:

  • Plan and design sanitation facilities and water sources in rural areas of lower-income countries;
  • Critically evaluate water, sanitation and hygiene programmes and water resource management methods;
  • Explain different management and finance models and evaluate how these might ensure access for the poorest;
  • Assess how water, sanitation and hygiene services might vary in different contexts, specifically rural, urban and emergencies