Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management

Do you want to:

  • Become a water leader for the future?
  • Develop skills for integrated solutions in real-world contexts?
  • Learn from and with some of the leading experts in the field?
  • Network with local and international water professionals?
  • Work with classmates from diverse backgrounds?

There are very few local and international courses that have such an integrated approach to teaching and learning about water management.

Course information

Fresh water is arguably the most fundamental of all natural resources.  It affects every form of life on earth. One of the most pressing issues of our time is the fragile relationship between societal existence, human well-being and ecological systems. How should scientists respond? Scientists have an obligation to produce new knowledge and communicate new understanding to the public and policy makers. They must help society move towards a more sustainable biosphere. While fundamental research remains eminently important, new approaches are necessary for solving interdisciplinary problems at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Integrated Water Management (IWM) is a Monash South Africa certified Qualification. The degree comprises of four interdisciplinary coursework units and a research project. A combination of coursework and research sets this course apart from the normal research-based structure of a masters degree. While the research component in the form of a masters thesis will form the bulk of the degree weighting, the coursework component introduces and exposes students to some of the complex underlying concepts (biological, social and economic) affecting effective water management. The coursework is designed to properly equip and prepare students to plan and execute a high-quality and practically relevant research project. Successful completion of this programme leads to a Monash South Africa Qualification.

MPhil application form (pdf, 497Kb)

International Students 31 October 2017
South African Students 31 January 2018

Course snapshot

Course type: Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management

Duration: Full time over two years.
                 Part time over four years.
                 International students can only study on a full time basis

Location: Monash South Africa, Ruimsig, Johannesburg

Entry requirements:

An applicant must have,

  1. an honours qualification (NQF level 8) with a mark of 65% or above ; or
  2. an equivalent 4 year qualification with a significant individual research project in the 4th year with a mark of 65% or above and
  3. proficiency in written and spoken English.

It is essential that applicants have previous research experience or have submitted a mini dissertation in the honours year.

Course Details

The course aims to build the capacity of future leaders in water resource management, with an emphasis on professionals working in developing countries. The course takes a multi-disciplinary `whole-of-water-cycle' approach that equips students with practical tools and skills for adopting innovative solutions to local, regional, national and international water resource issues.

Students will develop the strategic, managerial and technical skills they need to advance in the water sector. They will;

  1. become familiar with fundamentals of integrated water resource management;
  2. be capable of providing water management expertise to help reduce poverty through equitable use of water;
  3. be skilled to provide technical and managerial input into planning, design and operation of water projects and facilities;
  4. understand the principles of managing water supply, wastewater treatment and urban infrastructure projects;
  5. recognise the socio-economic factors impacting on effective water solutions;
  6. and understand the governance and institutional frameworks underpinning water resource management.

The course focuses on building skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, statistics and data management, knowledge transfer and effective leadership.

Learning objectives

At the end of the course students will be able to:

  1. appraise freshwater ecosystems as complex social-ecological systems
  2. evaluate the imperative of sustainable development in relation to the planning and management of water resources
  3. design an integrated water resource management plan
  4. develop a research project proposal
  5. execute an integrated water management research project
  6. present their research findings
  7. prepare an academic paper ready for submission to a scientific

Practical and Applied components

The course builds on students’ professional experience to approach water-related problems holistically:
Lecture modules teach knowledge and skills across a wide range of disciplines
Team projects allow students to apply their knowledge to real case studies in Africa and overseas
Network building encourages students to establish links through the Water Research Node’s network of national and international specialists
Practical skills development supports integration and synthesis of technical concepts and writing
Research Skills prepare students to formulate and execute research questions and projects

Contact us

For enquiries regarding:

  • the Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management,
  • degree structure,
  • course content and
  • research proposals

Ms Linda Downsborough
Water Research Node

Tel: 011 950 4130
Email: linda.downsborough

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