MSc Water and Wastewater Engineering

Application Dates
Course Overview
Masters (Coursework)
Tuition Fees
see website
Cranfield, United Kingdom
1 Year
Prior Study
Bachelor honours degree
Graduation Results
Not applicable
Study Field


Water is under increasing pressure from demographic and climatic changes. Treatment processes play a key role in delivering safe, reliable supplies of water to households, industry and agriculture, and in safeguarding the quality of water.

Who is it for?

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.

Well-educated, skilled and experienced graduates are required to operate and manage vital water and wastewater treatment services. The demand for such graduates is already high and will only increase over coming years as environmental standards for water quality increase, and pressures on our water supplies continue to grow.

Why this course?

The Water and Wastewater Engineering course aims to develop: 

Water and wastewater treatment scientists, technologists and engineers with the skills to solve practical problems, communicate effectively and work successfully both in teams and individually
High quality graduates trained and qualified to work in all areas of water and wastewater treatment and management enabling them to provide a valuable contribution to the UK and global water sectors
Understanding of water and wastewater systems through innovative teaching, achieved by blending theory, application and practice.

Demand for Cranfield graduates has grown steadily as the education provided has become recognised as excellent, producing graduates able to step into a range of positions and make an immediate and real contribution to the effectiveness of water sector businesses and organisations. Graduates from these programmes are highly sought after by industry and government.

Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. These include:

  • P A Consulting
  • Joint Research Centre, Ispra
  • Adas
  • Cresswell Associates
  • Chartered Institute of Waste Management
  • Geospatial Insight
  • Oakdene Hollins
  • Chartered Institute of Water and Environment Management
  • Health Protection Agency
  • Highview Power Storage
  • Nomura Code Securities
  • Astrium Geo-information Services
  • Environment Agency
  • Landscape Science Consultancy
  • ERM
  • GIGL
  • WRG
  • WRc PLC
  • Enviros
  • Golder
  • Unilever
  • Neales Waste
  • Natural England
  • National Trust
  • Trucost
  • SLR Consulting
  • FWAG
  • RSPB

Your teaching team

The Cranfield Water Sciences Institute is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for postgraduate courses. It is the UK's largest academic group specialising in process technologies, engineering and policy for water quality improvement, and is a member of British Water and the International Water Association. Industry practitioners teach alongside leading academics, ensuring you are exposed to cutting-edge tools, techniques and innovations.

  • Prof. Bruce Jefferson
  • Dr. Peter Jarvis
  • Dr. Ewan Mcadam
  • Dr. Ana Soares
  • Dr. Marc Pidou
  • Dr. Heather Smith.

External experts from industry, environmental agencies and the third sector are also invited throughout the course to share their experiences and knowledge.

  • Mohan Gunaratnam, MGML Ltd, UK (consultancy services) - WWTP, Hydraulics
  • Peter Pridham, Aeration and Mixing, UK, Hydraulics module
  • Ana Luis, EPAL, Portugal – Risk module
  • Bob Breach, independent water quality and environmental consultant, UK – Risk module
  • David Owen, Yorkshire Water, UK – Risk module
  • Pete Pearce, Farmiloe Fisher Environment Ltd, UK- Biological Processes
  • Adrian Oehmen, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal – Biological Processes
  • Robbert Kleerebenzem, Delft University, Netherlands – Biological Processes
  • Bob Markall, Consultant – Chemical Processes
  • Marie Raffin, Thames Water, UK – Water Reuse


These MSc, PgDip and PgCert degrees are accredited by the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM).

Course details

This course comprises eight taught modules, a group project and an individual project.  The modules included lectures and tutorials, and are assessed through practical work, written examinations, case studies, essays, presentations and tests.  These provide the 'tools' required for the group and individual projects.

Group project

The group project is an applied multidisciplinary team-based activity. It provides students with the opportunity, whilst working in teams under academic supervision, to apply principles taught during modules whilst taking responsibility for project tasks. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities, working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. Students submit project reports and present their findings to representatives from industry. This develops professional practice in communication skills for technical and business areas of process development. Part-time students complete a single design project individually in a field of their choice.

Individual project

Students select their individual project in consultation with their Course Director. This provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate independent research ability working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets. The project is sponsored by industry and usually includes a four month placement with the sponsoring company. Placements have been offered by all ten of the UK water utilities, the leading two French utilities, as well as multinational companies and SMEs operating in the water sector. Part-time students usually undertake their individual project with their employer.


Taught modules 40%, Group projects 20%, Individual project 40%.

Compulsory modules

All the modules in the following list need to be taken as part of this course:

  • Water and Wastewater Treatment Principles
  • Process Science and Engineering
  • Hydraulics and Pumping Systems
  • Risk Management and Reliability Engineering
  • Chemical Processes
  • Physical Processes
  • Biological Processes
  • Water Reuse and Resource Recovery

Entry requirements

A first or second class UK Honours degree in a relevant science, engineering or related discipline, or the international equivalent of these UK qualifications. Other relevant qualifications, together with significant experience, may be considered.

English Language

If you are an international student you will need to provide evidence that you have achieved a satisfactory test result in an English qualification. Our minimum requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS Academic - 6.5 overall
  • TOEFL - 92
  • Pearson PTE Academic - 65
  • Cambridge English Scale - 180
  • Cambridge English: Advanced - C
  • Cambridge English: Proficiency - C
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English III - minimum overall score of pass

In addition to these minimum scores you are also expected to achieve a balanced score across all elements of the test. We reserve the right to reject any test score if any one element of the test score is too low.

We can only accept tests taken within two years of your registration date (with the exception of Cambridge English tests which have no expiry date).

Students requiring a Tier 4 (General) visa must ensure they can meet the English language requirements set out by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and we recommend booking a IELTS for UKVI test.

Applicants who do not already meet the English language entry requirement for their chosen Cranfield course can apply to attend one of our Presessional English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses. We offer Winter/Spring and Summer programmes each year to offer holders.

Your career

The Cranfield Water Sciences Institute's links to industry, underpinned by the reputation of its courses, enable successful students to secure positions and develop their careers in UK water companies, utilities across Europe, the major international engineering consultancies, major engineering and service contractors, and government agencies.  

The Centre is recognised internationally as a centre of excellence for postgraduate courses. It is the UK's largest academic group specialising in process technologies, engineering and policy for water quality improvement, and is a member of British Water.

Industry practitioners teach alongside a wide-range of subject specialists. In addition, group and individual thesis projects are supported by sponsoring companies, and prizes are awarded annually to recognise success. Graduates also go on to academic research.

Former students are invited to join the Centre's Alumni Association which offers excellent networking opportunities throughout the world.