WSPM students on a fieldtrip
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, humanities. The cross-disciplinary nature of the programme means that some aspects of the course will be more challenging than others. For example, someone with an economics background will find the 'Water Quality' module quite challenging, but the 'Water Economics' module will be fairly familiar, with perhaps some new perspectives. The key criteria for selection are:

  1. academic excellence;
  2. a demonstrated interest in water, through one or more of previous professional work, education, volunteer activities, or other interests;
  3. a convincing, well-constructed personal statement submitted with the application.
2. What level of written and spoken English do I have to have?

To register for a course at Oxford University, 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 Graduate Studies Prospectus 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 these scholarships and how to apply can be found on the University of Oxford Graduate Studies Prospectus, under the section 'Fees and Funding'. There is also an A to Z listing of graduate scholarships.

Further, please see the School of Geography and the Environment's Fees and Funding information which provides details of many available schemes.

In addition, many colleges offer full or partial scholarships for graduate study. You may find the University's graduate fees, funding and scholarship search tool helpful to find these and other funding opportunities which may be relevant to you.

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

For detailed information on the MSc course, the current course handbook is available online.

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

Clementine 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