This course will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of how to deliver effective modern water supply, sanitation and other public health interventions in urban and rural areas in low-income and transitional economies.
The MSc is particularly aimed at consultants, and working professionals in national and local government, non-government organisations, international development organisations and public health agencies. It has a strong focus on developing practical and policy skills and addresses the critical future challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanisation. You’ll develop your understanding of technical interventions in water supply, sanitation and solid waste management.
Run in conjunction with the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, one of the UK’s preeminent public health research centres, and informed by the work in our Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering Group, this programme will give you the knowledge and skills to identify and deliver investments that will have major benefits for health and development.
Water, Public Health and Environmental Engineering Group
Our research considers pollutants and microorganisms in air, waste, land and water with a strong emphasis on the interrelationships between energy, sustainability, public health and environmental impact. Our work is truly interdisciplinary, bringing together a diverse group of international researchers considering engineering aspects alongside societal and economic factors.
Staff teaching on this course have close working links with a number of key institutions in the field of international development, including UNICEF, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, WaterAid, the Menstrual Health Hub, World Vision, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the African Development Bank.
You’ll also benefit from using our specialist facilities, such as our public health labs, with have separate areas for solid waste, water and wastewater, and a class II microbiology lab and clean room. We have all of the specialist software you’ll need for your programme.
This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators (JBM) comprising of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Institute of Highway Engineers, and the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.* See www.jbm.org.uk for further information.
*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.
This course is also accredited by EUR-ACE, the European quality label for engineering degree programmes at Bachelor and Master level.
A series of compulsory modules will develop your knowledge and skills in a range of areas. You’ll gain an understanding of the wider issues surrounding public health around the world and how they impact on policy and practice, as well as current debates around the complex topics of health, equity and development understand how health policy is shaped and planned.
At the same time, you’ll be introduced to the principles and practice of public health engineering to bridge the gap between theory, policy and practice, and explore key technologies in water supply, sanitation, wastewater and solid waste management. You’ll also consider engineering responses to complex emergencies, especially regarding the provision of water supply, sanitary services and shelter.
You’ll build your knowledge of technical issues in water resources and solid waste management, as well as natural wastewater treatment, and undertake an independent research project. Working with your supervisor, you’ll complete this research or design-based project during the summer months at the end of the programme to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
Our ground-breaking research feeds directly into teaching, and you’ll have regular contact with staff who are at the forefront of their disciplines. You’ll have regular contact with them through lectures, seminars, tutorials, small group work and project meetings.
Independent study is also important to the programme, as you develop your problem-solving and research skills as well as your subject knowledge.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
You’ll be assessed using a range of techniques including case studies, technical reports, presentations, in-class tests, assignments and exams. Optional modules may also use alternative assessment methods. The course involves many pieces of written work; it moves beyond engineering calculations to how Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering is embedded in policy and practice, and how it contributes to human wellbeing.
A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in an engineering, public health or international development-related subject.
We may also consider applicants with equivalent academic or professional qualifications in an engineering or natural science subject. Applicants without formal qualifications who have a proven track record in work may also be considered.
All applicants will need to have GCSE English Language at grade C or above, or an appropriate English language qualification.
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
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Additional cost information
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
This programme will equip you with a unique blend of civil engineering and public health policy skills.
As a result, you’ll be ideally placed to take up a senior position in public health ministries and public health departments in countries of the global south, or to work with international development agencies and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
Graduates have gone on to work for organisations such as CAFOD, IMC Worldwide, WaterAid Liberia/Sierra Leone, Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations, book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual STEM Careers Fair provides further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.
The University's Careers Centre also provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate.
The dissertation project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.