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Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management

Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management for 2018

Why study a Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management?

The Postgraduate Diploma in Water Management (PGDip in Water Management) is a one year qualification designed to strengthen and deepen professionals’ interdisciplinary skills and knowledge in water management.

This qualification will enable these professionals to appreciate the relatively new and unique interdisciplinary approach to managing water resources. Programme participants will be nurtured to become effective managers equipped to understand complex water challenges and to develop interdisciplinary, practical solutions to water and sanitation problems.

The qualification is targeted at water professionals in South Africa and the broader southern African region who are already working in lower to middle-level management positions as well as those who are working in related technical fields such as river basin management, groundwater management, water supply and sanitation, water resource planning, water resource economics, and water treatment. It will also provide an important starting point particularly for water professionals who have, or intend to, exercise managerial responsibilities in their respective work and places.

Programme Outline

The course comprises eight (8) core units of 15 credits each and no elective units (thus 120 total credits). Students wanting to complete fulltime will need to complete eight (8) units in a 12 month period, while those wanting to complete part time will need to complete eight (8) units in a 24 month period.

Unit 1: Project Management for Water Managers

This module introduces students to issues relating to water management project planning, design and management. Through this module students will understand the principles of project management in a water related context and learn the skills necessary to professionally design and manage water projects in development contexts. Key topics include: problem analysis and scoping; project design; capacity building; impact assessment; and participatory approaches, monitoring and evaluation.

Unit 2: Collaborative Water Planning

There is currently a consensus that water is in crisis, with the crisis appearing to be more a crisis of social organisation and political structures than a crisis of resources. The challenge facing water management practitioners is to be able to establish and maintain effective planning systems that are responsive to this crisis. In this module, students will be introduced to water planning frameworks at the global/international, national, regional/basin, transboundary and local levels. Students will consider current themes influencing water planning and policy including sustainable development, collaborative management, water rights and access, and equity for marginal groups. Water planning as a key governance mechanism at regional and basin levels will be explored in both developing and developed country contexts.

Unit 3: Urban Water Design

Cities are in transition. Global forces such as rapid urbanisation and population growth are transforming cities into water dependent areas. Cities are now viewed as a major component of the hydrological cycle. This module seeks to introduce an alternative paradigm for exploring the linkages between the hydrological cycle and the urban landscape. It provides students with deep insights into how these linkages support liveable, sustainable, productive and resilient cities. Students examine different ways in which societies can develop and nurture robust cities through modern technologies and urban designs to ensure water security.


1 Year: Full-time
2 Years: Part-time

Course code


Fees for 2019

R49,500 per year

* Note that fees are subject to an annual change.

Multiple Intakes

The programme will start on the following dates:

Intake 1: 3 February 2018
Intake 2: 10 March 2018
Intake 3: 21 April 2018
Intake 4: 26 May 2018
Intake 5: 14 July 2018
Intake 6: 18 August 2018
Intake 7: 29 September 2018
Intake 8: 3 November 2018

Each unit runs for five (5) weeks and begins with a scheduled contact session on campus followed by further continuous study and assignment submissions via the Learning Management System (LMS). Contact sessions will occur on Saturdays.

Course Introduction Dates

The programme has compulsory Course Introduction sessions. Students will be notified of the Course Introduction dates, which will take place either the week before or on the day the unit starts.

Application Closing Dates

MSA must receive your application at least two weeks before the start of that particular intake.

Find Out More

Telephone: +27 11 950 4009
Email: inquiries@monash.ac.za

Course Coordinator: Water Research Node

Ms Linda Downsborough
Telephone: +27 11 950 4130
Email: linda.downsborough @monash.edu

Contact us

011 950 4009 inquiries@monash.ac.za
From outside South Africa
+27 11 950 4009

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Unit 4: Water and Sanitation

This module provides students with an understanding of the engineering and socio-economic principles and tools for designing and operating domestic water supply and sanitation systems that are sustainable, appropriate and affordable for poor communities in developing countries. Key topics include the environmental health basis of work in this sector; key principles, approaches and technologies for environmental sanitation, including simplified sewerage and solid waste management techniques; principles of water supply including water quality, quantity affordability and sustainability; simple water treatment process technologies; water lifting and distribution; and operation and maintenance of water supply and sanitation infrastructure. Due attention is given to the non-engineering aspects of water supply and sanitation systems, including tools for demand creation and management and cost-benefit analysis of options.

Unit 5: Catchment and Aquatic Ecosystem Health

This module considers river catchments and aquatic ecosystems as complex systems. It applies appropriate theories and tools to the management of these complex systems. Students learn about the basic physical and chemical properties of water and the processes that affect these systems. The module introduces concepts that underlie the basic hydrology of catchments and the rationale for determining environmental flow requirements. It identifies and describes appropriate tools for water management by way of evaluating the interdependence of social and ecological resilience.

Unit 6: GIS and Water Resources Mapping

This module introduces Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as an integral component of water planning and management. It provides an overview of the basic principles, techniques and applications of GIS in the field of water management in developing and developed contexts. It examines and reviews specific applications where GIS is a useful tool. Subject areas covered include basics of GIS, spatial data sources, spatial data quality, spatial data analysis and decision support systems. It also includes the basic principles of remote sensing and the use of satellite imagery. Case studies and hands-on practices allow students to gain experience of the use of GIS and apply this to water management problems.

Unit 7: Community Water Development

Community participation has become a key concept in government and international agency policy on sustainability and water management. A critical perspective on participation in water management focuses on policies and processes of involving ‘the community’ in water management decision making. ‘Community’ and community organisations have been increasingly engaged by state agencies in processes of consultation, collaboration and environmental decision-making and management. This often is because communities represent the ‘local’ where people and groups experience the most tangible and direct relationship with the environment and environmental problems. This module argues that achieving sustainability in water management requires attention to inherently political processes of community engagement, participation and mobilization, dialogue and deliberation, social learning, networking, conflict management, poverty, livelihoods and gender.

Unit 8: Climate Change and Water Resources

This module introduces students to the science and politics of climate change. Students explore current global debates about the causes of climate change and the required policy and management interventions.

2018 Unit Schedule & Contact Sessions:

UnitSubjectDateContact Sessions
1Project Management for Water Managers3 February – 9 March 20183 February, 17 February, 3 March
2Collaborative Water Planning10 March – 13 April 201810 March, 24 March, 7 April
3Urban Water Design21 April – 25 May 201821 April, 5 May, 19 May
4Water and Sanitation26 May – 29 June 201826 May, 9 June, 23 June
5Catchment and Aquatic Ecosystem Health14 July – 17 August 201814 July, 28 July, 11 August
6GIS and Water Resource Mapping18 August – 21 September 201818 August, 1 September, 15 September
7Community Water Development29 September – 2 November 201829 September, 13 October, 27 October
8Climate Change and Water Resources3 November – 7 December 20183 November, 17 November, 1 December


Programme Information

Mode of Delivery

The PGDip in Water Management is designed for the working professional and uses flexible teaching methods. These include compulsory face-to-face contact sessions (three Saturday sessions per unit), extensive online learning using the Learning Management System (LMS), case studies and projects to apply learning into practice.


Continuous assessment is used, through challenging and innovative individual projects, case studies and assignments in each unit as well as online exercises to be completed in the LMS.

Site of Delivery

The PGDip in Water Management is offered at the Monash South Africa campus in Ruimsig, Johannesburg.

Admissions Criteria

Applicants must have successfully completed a relevant undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification (HEQSF level 7); and have relevant work experience. As English is the language of instruction and assessment, applicants must also meet Monash South Africa’s English requirements. Applicants should also be proficient in computer use, familiar with Microsoft Office and have access to a personal computer.

International Students

International students’ qualifications will be assessed on an individual basis. When applying, students should submit certified copies of one of the above mentioned qualifications as well as final grades in subjects undertaken.


The PGDip in Water Management is awarded by Monash South Africa as a registered private higher education institution in South Africa. This qualification is on HEQSF level 8.


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