Through its global scoping exercise and bilateral discussions with the water and education sectors worldwide, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) GEMS/Water Capacity Development Centre (CDC) identified a need for a flexible, advanced course for individuals involved in water quality management. In addition, the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for water (SDG 6) has created a demand for knowledge, understanding and capacity in water quality monitoring and assessment. The MSc in Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Assessment builds on the existing Postgraduate Diploma and addresses these needs by enabling the development of expertise in countries through parttime, online learning. It has been specifically designed to suit people who wish to study while in employment or have other commitments that prevent full-time attendance on an educational course. Over the first two years, students study influences on the quality of water and ecological health of freshwater bodies and all aspects of water quality monitoring including: monitoring programme design, quality assurance, data analysis and presentation, monitoring and assessment of rivers, lakes and groundwater, and water quality monitoring with biological and ecological methods and with particulate material. There is also an optional field workshop during the second year of the programme. In the third year, students carry out an individual research project on a water quality topic and submit a dissertation for the MSc in Freshwater Quality Monitoring and Assessment. The programme aims to recruit highly-motivated, enthusiastic students who may be currently involved in water quality monitoring or seeking to specialise in water quality monitoring and assessment, and who wish to study on a flexible, part-time basis.


The MSc is a part-time programme taken over 36 months, starting in September every second year. Students may exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate after successfully completing Year 1, and a Postgraduate Diploma after competing Year 2. To be awarded the MSc, students must also complete and pass the Dissertation.

Teaching is entirely online, with the exception of module EV6004, which is an optional field-based module, and EV6010 which is the research dissertation. The research project may be carried out in the student’s place of work by agreement with the Programme Coordinator.

Year 1

Year 2

and any two from the following

Year 3

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