Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management

Do you want to:

  • Become a water leader for the future?
  • Receive an internationally recognised degree endorsed by four leading Australian Universities?
  • Learn from and with some of the leading international experts in the field?
  • Gain skills through hands-on, problem based learning?
  • Work with classmates from diverse backgrounds?
  • Network with water professionals?

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 offered by Monash South Africa in collaboration with the International WaterCentre and four partner universities in Australia. The degree comprises an interdisciplinary coursework semester consisting of four compulsory 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.

An important aim of the M Phil (IWM) to equip students to play leadership roles in the critical interface between science, policy and management of water resources.

MPhil course advertisment (pdf, 551Kb)
MPhil application form (pdf, 217Kb)

Closing date for applications is 7 August 2014

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. qualified for a degree of bachelor with a minimum upper H2B (a mark of 65 or above) in an honours year in a relevant field, or its equivalent; or
  2. qualifications which in the opinion of the Graduate Research Committee are equivalent or a satisfactory substitute.
  3. proficiency in written and spoken English.

It is recommended that applicants have research experience and aptitude, an interest in multi-disciplinary water issues and relevant work experience.

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 IWC Africa 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 Details

For enquiries regarding the Master of Philosophy in Integrated Water Management, degree structure, course content and research proposals, contact Ms Linda Downsborough, Researcher, IWC Africa Water Research Node

Tel: 011 950 4130
Email: linda.downsborough
@monash.edu