Ebro River
Ranu Sinha

"The MSc course exposed me for the first time to critical frameworks, methods, literature and a new way of analysis and thinking that completely changed the way I work on water resources issues today."

Ranu Sinha, WSPM course alumna

What makes the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management unique?

  • It is the only interdisciplinary water MSc, taught by leading academics from across social and natural sciences, with cross-cutting themes in economics, climate and catchment processes, governance, water quality, water and health, water policy and management.
  • You will become part of a global network of water managers, policy makers and academics, striving to improve water security for all (see Student Reflections tab).
  • You have a choice of electives reflecting the research specialism of staff, allowing MSc students to explore wider themes in-depth and in small groups.
  • There are two fully-funded residential field trips to Dorset, UK, and the Ebro River basin in Spain, as well as numerous short field trips within the UK.
  • You are taught by world-leading, research-led and experienced experts in the water field.
  • Our alumni act as mentors to current students, providing support and advice.
  • Our students become part of the Oxford Water Network: a university-wide network of people interested in water and become part of a dynamic and friendly community of water practitioners and researchers from across the University and beyond.
  • You have access to world-class facilities at Oxford, including the Bodleian Libraries, which hold a vast collection of volumes, e-journals and e-resources, plus well-equipped labs for practicals and individual research projects.
  • As a postgraduate student at Oxford you also become a member of one of our colleges, which provide assistance with accommodation, pastoral support, health and welfare, as well as an additional social network.
  • Our alumni have a demonstrable ability to address cross-cutting policy challenges in an integrated way.

About the course

Our one-year full-time MSc course enables students to develop a theoretically sophisticated and empirically grounded understanding of sustainable water management. Find out more about the structure of the MSc course.

We also offer a two-year MPhil programme, which enables students to undertake a more extensive (15 month) research programme and potential conversion to a doctorate (DPhil).

Who should apply, and why

Candidates from a range of disciplinary backgrounds are encouraged to apply provided that they can demonstrate academic excellence and a passion for sustainable water management.

Find out more about how to apply for this course, funding and how to choose a college.

SoGE Alumni Network

The School of Geography and the Environment has an active alumni community. With over 5,000 former geography undergraduates as well as more than 1,500 Masters and DPhil graduates this network is a growing source of professional contacts, knowledge, and advice. Learn more about the SoGE Alumni Network.

Oxford Water Network

The Oxford Water Network (OWN) is a cross-divisional research and networking community which is part of the Oxford Networks for the Environment (ONE).

OWN drives innovation and generates new knowledge to transform how we understand and respond to water-related risk and management. The network organises a series of cutting-edge seminars throughout Michaelmas and Hilary Terms, and facilitates discussion groups led by invited academics or practitioners with WSPM students.

In 2019-20 we celebrate the 15th anniversary of the WSPM programme with the publication of a book - Water Science Policy and Management: The Global Challenge - and have launched a new anniversary fund! Find out more


Dr Jocelyne Hughes, Course Director

"Sustainable water management is a complex global challenge and policy priority. The MSc/MPhil in Water Science, Policy and Management equips the next generation of water professionals with the blend of skills needed to make a significant contribution to sustainable water management pathways across competing priorities of water for ecosystems, food, energy, economic growth and human consumption."

Dr Jocelyne Hughes, Course Director


Info for current students

Course information, timetables, and teaching materials for current students are provided through our Intranet and Canvas.

Please also see the main University of Oxford Student Gateway for more information.