Postgraduate courses in Water Engineering

We are back with another engineering discipline! Water engineers ensure that water is delivered safely for the purpose of irrigation and human consumption. 

You know the water you brush your hair with? The water you drink? That is fit for your own use thanks to those behind the scenes!

If this area is an area of your interest you’d like to specialise in then we hope to lead you on the right path to looking at courses that might be suited to you. 

What does a water engineer do?

As a water engineer, you may be expected to work long and unsocial hours at times in order to reach deadlines. You may also have to travel and shift work is not uncommon. The main role of a water engineer is to manage and maintain clean water and sewage/waste water services and prevent damage as a result of flooding. Your typical day to day duties may include:

  • Manage water and sewerage infrastructure 
  • Maintain the standard of these operations
  • Write full plans of water treatment, sewerage 
  • Produce designs and plans of flood defense structures
  • Write reports and documents
  • Manage projects and their budgets
  • Manage contracts 
  • Be aware and up to date on regulations and guidelines 
  • Work with clients, government agencies and local authorities 
  • Carry out research and present findings to colleagues
  • Keep and eye and monitor flood levels
  • Supervise staff 
  • Meet deadlines and make sure projects are within budgets and on time
  • Keep up to date on environmental issues 
  • Use computer software


There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. There are courses available in this area across a number of colleges and are very similar. Courses include:

Water Engineering

These courses are mostly catered towards those who have a degree in engineering and wish to study water engineering at an advanced level. Those who take a course in water engineering will gain skills and knowledge in urban water engineering and management in order to be able to solve modern day engineering problems. Modules may include water supply and distribution management, water management in developing countries, water and environmental systems, urban drainage and waste water management, among many others. Specific course content may differ from course to course. 

Water Management for Development

Postgraduate courses in Water Management for Development will give students the opportunity to gain a multidisciplinary knowledge and skills in order to coordinate, plan, manage and monitor water and environmental sanitation services. There is a focus on low and middle-income countries. Students will also gain experience and knowledge in operating water management technologies. There is an opportunity to complete this degree in one year through distance learning. 

There are also courses available in Coastal Engineering, Hydrology and Water Management, Water and Environmental Management and Water and Environmental Engineering to name just a few. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in a relevant engineering subject.


Your salary in this area can differ depending on your exact employment as well as your experience in the field. Starting out, your salary can range between £20,000-£30,000 and rise with experience. At senior level, your wage could be around £45,000. It is believed the average salary for water engineers in the UK is around £28,500. All figures are intended to be used as a guide only. 

Typical Employers

Typical employers of water engineers include:

  • Regulatory bodies
  • Water companies – private and public
  • Private contractors 
  • Charities 
  • The Environment Agency 
  • British Waterways

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:

  • Strong communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • IT skills
  • Problem solver
  • TIme management skills
  • Organisation skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to work well with others
  • An interest in water industry 
  • Good writing skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Commercial awareness

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