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Water Science, Policy and Management MPhil

University of Oxford

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Course options

  • Qualification

    MPhil - Master of Philosophy

  • Location

    University of Oxford

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    17-JAN-21, 25-APR-21

  • Duration

    2 years

Course summary

The MPhil in Water Science, Policy and Management aims to equip the next generation of water professionals with the blend of skills necessary to make a significant contribution to sustainable water management pathways across competing priorities of water for ecosystems, food, energy, economic growth and human consumption. The second year is devoted to researching and writing a thesis of 30,000 words.

The MPhil is a two-year course. In the first year you will take the coursework associated with the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management. The MSc course comprises eight core modules within three thematic areas – water science, water and society, and water management – and two elective modules. At the end of the first year you take the examinations associated with the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management. You must pass the examinations in order to proceed into the second year. In the first year there are two assessed essays linked to elective courses.

The water science theme develops knowledge and understanding in physical, chemical, ecological and epidemiological aspects of water science in temperate, tropical and semi-arid zones. It provides a foundation in basic processes in each key subject area, as well as interactions throughout the hydrological cycle, and the role of society in altering natural hydrological processes and function, and the impact this has on health.

The water and society theme explores how contested domains of power, interests and knowledge influence water decision-making, illustrated through institutional, socio-economic and policy analysis. This covers areas of water security and governance, law and regulation, trans-boundary water, water economics, water access, ownership and rights, water for development, and interactions between the state and civil society within dynamic and varied political, cultural, social and economic contexts.

The water management theme integrates the knowledge and understanding of water developed in the other thematic areas to better enable you to tackle the big water management challenges that we face. Geographic case studies are developed to compare the trade-offs that occur between science and society in these contexts. Interactions with experts with different perspectives and expertise will help you to understand the challenges faced by water managers.

Teaching takes place through lectures, seminars and workshops which provide in-depth exploration of key issues. The elective modules offer a tutorial-style teaching and discussion environment within smaller groups, based on a suite of contemporary research themes that reflect the specific interests of core faculty and visiting research associates. The teaching aim is to foster discussion and debate between academic staff and students to identify and explore theory, methods and practice in an academic space that encourages a critical dialogue.

There is a one-week field trip to the Ebro Basin in Spain during the Easter vacation and day field visits to a variety of destinations during the year.

The second year of the MPhil is devoted to researching and writing a thesis of 30,000 words. The research topic will be devised in your first year and, once approved, you will be allocated a specialist supervisor will be allocated to you. The thesis accounts for half the marks for the degree. In addition, in the second year you will take a further elective course, assessed by a submitted essay.

Tuition fees

Students living in United States
(international fees)

£ 24,910per year

Tuition fees shown are for indicative purposes and may vary. Please check with the institution for most up to date details.

University information

University of Oxford

  • University League Table

    2nd

  • Campus address

    University of Oxford, University Offices, Wellington Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1 2JD, England

Subject rankings

  • Subject ranking

    3rd out of 57

  • Entry standards

    / Max 241
    215 97%

    2nd

  • Graduate prospects

    / Max 100
    88 88%

    28th

  • Student satisfaction

    / Max 5
    3.97 79%

    36th

    8

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