WSPM students on a fieldtrip

“I remember frequenting the Water Science, Policy and Management (WSPM) website after completing my undergraduate degree in Water Engineering in Kenya. It was exactly what I was interested in pursuing for my MSc degree. Since I was not too sure how to go about applying, I shelved it for a while and decided to work for a few years in the Kenyan Water Sector. While working, I met two colleagues who had completed the WSPM Masters who encouraged me to apply for the course. I also had more confidence, having gathered practical expertise for three years in Kenya.

“Once I made the decision to apply, I gave myself ample time for preparation before the course and scholarship deadlines. I had six months to draft the 2000-word essay and the motivational statement required as part of the course application. The time also allowed me to thoroughly research the scholarships that I could apply to for funding. I recall having a folder with around six different scholarships and their respective deadlines. These included the Weidenfeld-Hoffmann Trust Scholarship Program, Chevening, the Commonwealth Shared Program, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Joint Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWBGSP) and the Rotary International Scholarship Fund.”


There are many funding opportunities open to home and international students from which current and past postgraduates at Oxford have benefited. These include:

  • Allen and Nesta Ferguson Scholarship
  • British Hydrological Society support for UK students
  • Chevening Fund Bursaries
  • Commonwealth Scholarships
  • Frost Scholarship Programme (Florida)
  • Frost Scholarship Programme (Israel)
  • Government of China, Ministry of Education
  • Karim Rida Said Foundation
  • Lloyd African/ DFID Shared Scholarship Scheme
  • Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld Scholarships
  • Oxford-Islamic Development Bank International Scholarships
  • Oxford Qatar Thatcher Scholarship
  • Oxford-Mary de Zouche Graduate Scholarship
  • Rhodes Scholarships
  • Rotary International
  • Water Conservators Scholarship

You can find an A to Z listing of graduate scholarships on the University's website.

Current Opportunities

  • Commonwealth Scholarships

    Applicants for the MSc in Water Science, Policy and Management from low and middle income Commonwealth countries may be eligible to apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. Applications must be submitted via the Commonwealth Scholarships online form by 16:00 on Monday 20 December 2021.

Please also see our main Fees and Scholarships webpage which provides details of many available schemes. Scholarships are awarded by the central University (e.g. Louis Dreyfus-Weidenfeld) as well as by individual colleges (e.g. Allen and Nesta Ferguson). There is a shared Commonwealth Scholarship that is awarded only to WSPM applicants from eligible countries.

Further information on funding and scholarships can also be found on the University of Oxford's Fees and Funding webpage.

Who should apply?

Candidates from a range of academic backgrounds are accepted, including:

  • Natural / environmental sciences,
  • Engineering and physical sciences,
  • Human and physical geography,
  • Economics,
  • Politics, law and the humanities.

For more information on making an application, please see the MSc/MPhil in Water Science, Policy and Management information on the University's admissions website.

You should also consult the University's Application Guide for information on entry requirements and selection criteria.

Alvar Closas

"Present and future generations of water professionals need to be equipped with the power of ideas and skills to change our planet’s future. Every year, as the network of water alumni grows, I am reminded of how this course contributes to achieve that."

Alvar Closas, WSPM course alumnus

Choosing a College

In order to obtain a graduate place at Oxford, as well as being accepted by the School of Geography and the Environment, a college must also accept you.

On the graduate application form, you may choose to either (i) indicate a college preference or (ii) indicate that you have no college preference, in which case a college will be selected on your behalf. You will not be able to amend your choice after submitting your application. Whether or not you state a college preference will not affect how your department assesses your application and ultimately whether or not they decide to make you an offer.

There are a wide range of colleges in Oxford. They range from the old, traditional colleges with a mix of undergraduates and postgraduates to newer, more informal colleges some of which are only for graduates. Some colleges are large with 300 or more graduate students; others are smaller with only 100 graduate students. Some colleges are located in the centre of Oxford within walking distance of School of Geography and the Environment, whilst others are a cycle-ride away.

Information on choosing a college can be found on the University's choosing a college webpage. However, we hope the following supplementary information will help students applying to study for a graduate degree with the School of Geography and the Environment find the college that is right for them.

Students must check the University admissions pages to find out whether a college is accepting students for their chosen course.

We suggest you consider the following questions when researching colleges:

  1. Would you prefer a college which retains old traditions (e.g. high-table, wearing gowns at mealtime) or a newer college with less formality?
  2. Would you prefer a graduate-only college or would you like to be part of a graduate community within a larger undergraduate group?
  3. Are you looking for a college that can provide accommodation within the college (rare), in a college-owned house, or do you require accommodation for you and your partner?
  4. Will you be looking for a small grant to help finance expenses associated with your dissertation research? (Not all colleges can offer this so it’s worth looking up which ones do.)
  5. Are you looking for a college with a strong sporting culture and facilities?