Image: kovgabor79 / Adobe Stock
Image: kovgabor79 / Adobe Stock

Frequently asked questions

1. Is my background appropriate for the course?

The MSc/MPhil in Water Science, Policy and Management accepts candidates from a range of backgrounds: these include natural/environmental, science, engineering and physical science, economics, politics, law and humanities. Please see our information on who should apply, and why for more detail.

2. What level of written and spoken English do I have to have?

To register for our course, you will be required to prove your written and spoken English language abilities. If you do not already have these qualifications, please see the University of Oxford's Graduate admission English language requirements for information on the minimum English scores accepted by the University.

3. What level of supervision can I expect?

The formal training programme is designed to provide in-depth knowledge over a wide range of topics related to water science, policy, and management, but a fundamental component of the Oxford educational system is students engaging in individual reading and study in order to broaden and deepen their knowledge of their chosen field. Simply, lectures and seminars are indicative of knowledge, not exhaustive, and much of the value of an Oxford degree lies in student initiative and effort in exploring literature and ideas on their own. Staff who teach the core modules and electives are available to advise students on reading, literature, and topics. Individual dissertation supervisors are available to assist students develop their research topics.

4. Are there any funding opportunities for the course?

There are a number of scholarships available at Oxford University, especially for overseas students. Details of funding opportunities available to you can be found on the University's Fees and funding webpage. More information is also provided on our main Graduate fees and funding webpage.

Please also see the WSPM Fees and Funding webpage which provides further information.

5. Is there further information on the course?

If you have only seen the information on the main Oxford University website, then there is plenty of additional information on our website.

For information on studying at the School of Geography and the Environment's International Graduate School, including our admission criteria, please see our International Graduate School webpages.

For more information on the MSc/MPhil in Water Science, Policy and Management, please look through these course webpages.

6. What sort of jobs will the course qualify me for?

The aim of the course is to train future decision makers, managers and policy makers in water policy and management. Thus, the course is aimed at providing a broad range of skills and knowledge that will enable graduates to ask informed questions of any expert (e.g. hydrologist, economist, or lawyer) who may be informing their management/policy decisions. Past graduates have gone on to obtain positions in a range of water-related jobs. Examples include policy positions in government department (e.g. Environment Canada, UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); Chinese Ministry of Works), environmental and engineering consultancies (Halcrow Group, Arup Partners), non-governmental organisations and international bodies (World Bank, UN). A significant number of students use the course as the launch pad for a PhD degree. See the WSPM student reflections to gain further information on what our graduates have gone on to do.

Clémentine Marie Stip

"The WSPM program allowed me space and resources to shape and articulate my own area of expertise, at the intersection of urban water resources management and sanitation solutions. I am now helping colleagues at the World Bank explore how we can better integrate resource recovery in our approaches to deliver safely managed services."
Clémentine Marie Stip