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WEDC – Water, Engineering and Development Centre

Water and Environmental Management

(Loughborough-based or by Distance learning)

This programme is for you if you are a scientist or a professional intent on improving the delivery of water and environmental services in low-and middle-income countries. The programme will enable you to develop your knowledge, expertise and skills in many aspects of water, sanitation and environmental management. It focuses on the conditions and aspirations of low-income communities.

  • Plan and manage work in the water and sanitation sector, especially in low- and middle-income countries
  • Improve your understanding of water resources, water supply, sanitation and related issues from an international perspective
  • Develop expertise in water and environmental management for the public good
  • Study flexibly with full-time or distance learning options

Complete this programme and you will be able to:

  • manage a multi-disciplined approach to water supply, sanitation delivery and environmental planning;
  • understand the key issues in water resources management;
  • describe major international developments and initiatives relating to management of the water cycle and environmental planning; and
  • deliver sustainable water and sanitation services and minimize environmental impact by combining social and institutional issues
Download a pdf of this page

To view the information about this course as a printable PDF, please click the icon on the right.

To find out more about distance learning options click here or download the PDF.

Direct entry

Lower second class degree (2.2) or above

IELTS overall 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in the individual Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking tests

Certificate programmes

If you do not have the qualifications necessary for direct entry onto one of our MSc or Diploma programmes, with relevant work experience you may still be eligible for entry onto one of our Certificate programmes. After successful completion you can normally upgrade your programme level, retaining the credits gained from your study on the Certificate programme.

Study at Loughborough Study by Distance Learning

Core modules

Optional modules (choose 2)

Core modules

Optional modules (choose 2)


Loughborough-based programmes

For most modules, participants are assessed by one item of coursework (two items for foundation modules) and an in-class test.

For MSc and Diploma participants there is a group project and, for the MSc only, a research dissertation. The group project is assessed on the basis of written documents and spoken presentations, including an individual component for the module mark. The research dissertation is assessed on the basis of a written dissertation and an oral examination, when the participant has the opportunity to discuss their submitted dissertation with two examiners – their supervisor and a second member of staff.

Distance learning programmes

For most modules, participants are assessed by two written assessments (three items for foundation modules).

The Case Study module relates to a given scenario for which the participant has to produce a pre-feasibility and feasibility report.

The Research Dissertation (for MSc participants only) is assessed on the basis of written work, and includes an oral examination. For most, who cannot visit the UK, this takes place by Skype.

Click here to download a PDF showing all the modules WEDC offers, and how they are combined in the various courses at different levels.

First of all ...

From the range of programmes on offer, decide which is best suited to your educational and training needs, experience and qualifications, which level you would like to study at and whether you want to study at Loughborough or by distance learning (or a mixture of both, which is called 'blended learning').

Our programmes can be studied at three levels:

Master of Science (MSc): comprises 8 modules and a Research Dissertation
Postgraduate Diploma: comprises 8 modules
Postgraduate Certificate: comprises 4 modules

You may choose to begin your study by registering for a Postgraduate Certificate, or even a single module (see 'Modules for professional development' below). Credits can be accumulated towards a Diploma or MSc over time.

If you are unsure which programme or options to choose, do contact us and we will guide you in your choice. For contact details, see the 'Any questions?' section below.

Now apply!

Application to either a full-time Loughborough-based or a distance learning programme is made using the online university application form, along with supporting documentation.

The online application process allows the university to give a good service by processing applications quickly. Your application must be supported by documentary evidence of entry qualifications (including English language where appropriate) and academic transcripts. You are strongly advised to send your documents, including transcripts, as soon as you make your online application as we may not be able to make a decision about your application until we receive them.

For more information, visit the university website:

Modules for professional development

If you wish to study one or more modules for Professional Development rather than as part of a university programme, there is no application form to complete, and no particular qualifications are required. Instead, please complete and return the Professional Development Module Booking form by the booking deadline. Forms can be downloaded from the Module booking forms page.

What happens after I've applied for a programme?

Following submission of the above, the normal sequence of events is as follows:

If your application is deemed appropriate, then you will receive an official offer package from The Postgraduate Taught Admissions Office (PGT).

t: +44 (0)1509 222496
e: (for general enquiries prior to your making an application)
e: (use this if you have already submitted an application)

If your offer is 'Unconditional'

You will be invited to accept or decline your offer via the application portal: Please then complete the financial confirmation form and return it to The Postgraduate Taught Admissions Office (address as provided therein or see Please note the financial confirmation form is not required for distance learning students because they have to pay in advance of studying each module.

If your offer is 'Conditional'

You must fulfil all requirements of the ‘conditional offer’ and then proceed as above. Please note the financial confirmation form is not required for distance learning students because they have to pay in advance of studying each module.


Registration is completed online and opens six weeks before the start date of your course. Student registry send instructions via email to all students who have accepted their offer. If your email doesn't arrive, please contact the Admissions Officer (

Booking modules

No pre-booking of modules is required for Loughborough-based programmes.

All distance learning students need to complete and return the appropriate Module Booking Form by the stated booking deadline. Forms can be downloaded from the Module booking forms page.

Any questions?

Further information and frequently asked questions and answers regarding the application process are available on the university website:

If you have any questions about the application process that you would like answering in person, our staff are only too willing to assist.

For questions about applying for either Loughborough-based or distance learning courses, please email Helena Geary, ring +44 (0)1509 222641 or contact the admissions team by Skype: wedcadmissions13.

WEDC is based at a leading UK University

Loughborough University is currently ranked in the top 15 UK universities in the poll of all UK national newspapers.

WEDC was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 1998. Loughborough University now has 7 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes, only Oxford University has more.

High quality specialist courses

WEDC courses are both externally accredited and highly regarded by sector employers. The structure of the programmes suits the needs of international students, or those who may be returning to study. There are introductory modules, and continuous and varied means of assessment enable students to monitor their progress.

The Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) have accredited all WEDC's postgraduate MSc, Diploma and Certificate programmes. Participants registered on one of these programmes are eligible for free student membership of CIWEM.

The Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) have accredited all WEDC MSc degrees as meeting requirements for Further Learning. See for further information.

Our in house staff resource

The WEDC team includes sixteen expert academic staff, and covers a wide range of disciplines. Staff are readily accessible to support students during their studies. All WEDC teaching staff have extensive experience working in low- and middle-income countries. They draw upon their field experience to explain how current theoretical approaches can be practically and realistically applied to address the challenges in relevant low- and middle-income working contexts.

Unique and bespoke facilities

Loughborough-based programmes

Complementing the University's Pilkington Library, WEDC has a unique sector Resource Centre managed by a dedicated and skilled information officer. Over 19,000 items can be searched on a customized database allowing ready access to this collection of books, series, country files, student projects, videos, journals, maps, and manufacturers' catalogues. The Resource Centre also provides a dedicated quiet study space for WEDC students. Many items, including all WEDC publications and over 2500 papers presented at 37 WEDC International Conferences, are available in the open-access sector knowledge base.

The School of Civil and Building Engineering has excellent laboratory facilities which include equipment for field sampling and analysis of water and wastewater, and some of the largest hydraulics equipment in the UK. Three dedicated water laboratory staff are specialists in pollutant analysis, hydraulics and continuous trials.

Other practical outdoor facilities include the largest single site collection of handpumps used for maintenance training; facilities for latrine slab construction; flow measurements; and water quality sampling and analysis.

Field visits are made to relevant UK facilities.

Distance learning programmes

If you are a participant of one of our distance learning programmes and studying from home, you are always welcome to visit the Loughborough campus. You can make remote use of the University Library's electronic search facilities, and remotely access the WEDC Knowledge Base which has links to many sources of useful and relevant information, free of charge.

Many of the Distance Learning modules have web-based discussion forums, where Distance Learners can choose to interact with each other and Module Tutors.

The method of delivery for the learning materials is mainly portable and paper-based, to suit students who are living or working in areas of the world with poor internet connectivity, or those who travel frequently.

We also arrange webinars which are recorded for students who are unable to participate.

During the programme students build up an excellent library of well-produced bound module notes, additional resources and relevant text books. In addition to the printed version we are developing and planning to provide e-reader versions of some module notes to enhance portability.

A vibrant alumni network

Graduates will join a respected global community of WEDC alumni which numbers more than 1000 from over 70 countries. Alumni networks help to facilitate professional contacts for working in a wide range of country contexts. Many WEDC alumni work for international NGOs (MSF, Oxfam, SCF, GOAL, WaterAid, etc.) and agencies (such as UNICEF), or national governments.

Employment opportunities

Many employers routinely present to the participants of our programmes details of their range of employment opportunities, as well as opportunities for field-based research to support their ongoing work.

Distance learning students can also participate in these sessions by webinar. Webinars are recorded and available for listening to later.


Loughborough-based programmes

Bursaries are available for self-funding international students. Click here for further details.

The university also offers a limited number of scholarships that are not specific to a particular programme. See the Scholarships and Bursaries for International Taught Postgraduate Students page of the University website:

Distance learning programmes

From time to time specific full-fee and partial-fee scholarships are available for study by distance learning. Click here for more information.

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

You might also find it helpful to refer to The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online. This contains many alternative sources of funding - especially charities - which can make awards to any student regardless of subject, or nationality.

A great learning environment

Loughborough University has one of the largest campuses in the UK with excellent sports facilities which match our reputation as the leading UK university for sport. Loughborough is a small market town, with a pleasant environment, where the cost of living is competitive. Loughborough has a lively and active social scene, and it is only an hour and a half by train to London.

Study at Loughborough:
Prospectus Specification Fees

Study by Distance Learning:
Prospectus Specification Fees


Key facts

Contact us

For enquiries about WEDC, email:

Postal address:
School of Civil and Building Engineering
The John Pickford Building
Loughborough University
Leicestershire LE11 3TU
United Kingdom

How to find us »

t: +44 (0)1509 222885
Skype: wedcadmissions13

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