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School of Civil Engineering

Water, Sanitation and Health Engineering MSc (Eng)

MSc International Public Health Engineering


This course will provide you with an in-depth knowledge of how to deliver effective modern water supply, sanitation and other public health interventions in urban and rural areas in low-income and transitional economies.

Aimed at consultants, professionals working in international development and public health workers, it has a strong focus on developing practical and policy skills and addresses the critical future challenges of climate change, population growth and urbanisation. You’ll develop your understanding of technical interventions in water supply, sanitation and solid waste management.

Run in conjunction with the Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development, one of the UK’s preeminent public health research centres, and informed by research undertaken by our Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering, this programme will give you the knowledge and skills to identify and deliver investments that will have major benefits for health and development.

Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering
Our Institute for Public Health and Environmental Engineering is renowned worldwide for its pioneering work in developing countries. The institute undertakes research in all aspects of the built environment in which the presence of pathogens influences design, including water treatment, solid waste and airborne transmission of disease.

Staff teaching on this course have close working links with a number of key institutions in the field of international development, including UNICEF, the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, WaterAid, World Vision, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the African Development Bank.

You’ll also benefit from using our specialist facilities, such as our public health labs with separate areas for solid waste, water and wastewater, and a class II microbiology lab and clean room. We have all the specialist software you’ll need for your programme, and you’ll have access to a dedicated study suite for Masters students.

Course duration: 12 months (full-time)
Start date: September
Course fees (full-time): UK/EU: £10,000; International: £19,000
Scholarships: Scholarships worth up to £5,000 available.
Accreditation: This degree is accredited by the Joint Board of Moderators as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.
See for further information.

Joint Board of Moderators logo

This course is also accredited by EUR-ACE, the European quality label for engineering degree programmes at Bachelor and Master level.



Course Content

A series of compulsory modules will develop your knowledge and skills in a range of areas. You’ll gain an understanding of the wider issues surrounding public health around the world and how they impact on policy and practice, as well as current debates around the complex topics of health, equity and development understand how health policy is shaped and planned.

At the same time, you’ll be introduced to the principles and practice of public health engineering to bridge the gap between theory, policy and practice and explore key technologies in water supply, sanitation, wastewater and solid waste management. You’ll also consider engineering responses to complex emergencies, especially regarding the provision of water supply, sanitary services and shelter.

You’ll build your knowledge of technical issues in water resource and sold waste management, as well as natural wastewater treatment, and undertake an independent research project. Working with your supervisor, you’ll complete this research or design-based project during the summer months at the end of the programme to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained.

Course structure
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

There are eight compulsory modules on this course.

Compulsory modules Credits
Engineering for Public Health 30
Natural Wastewater Treatment and Reuse 15
Water Resources Management and Supply 15
Solid Waste Management 15
Research Project/Dissertation 60
Engineering in Emergencies 15
Key Issues in International Health 15
Policy for Health and Development 15


This programme will equip you with a unique blend of civil engineering and public health policy skills.

As a result, you’ll be ideally placed to take up a senior position in public health ministries and public health departments in countries of the global south, or to work with international development agencies and international non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Graduates have gone on to work for organisations such as WaterAid Liberia/Sierra Leone, Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Careers support
You’ll have access to the wide range of engineering and computing careers resources held by our Employability team in our dedicated Employability Suite. You’ll have the chance to attend industry presentations book appointments with qualified careers consultants and take part in employability workshops. Our annual Engineering and Computing Careers Fairs provide further opportunities to explore your career options with some of the UK’s leading employers.

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:2 (hons) in an engineering, public health or international development-related subject.

We will also consider applicants with equivalent academic or professional qualifications in an engineering or natural science subject.

Applicants without formal qualifications who have a proven track record in work will also be considered.

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications.

English language requirement: GCSE English Language grade C (or above) or an equivalent recognised English Language qualification e.g. IELTS: 6.5 with not less than 6.0 in listening, reading, speaking and writing.

Our Language Centre provide a range of English for Academic Purposes Pre-sessional courses, which are designed to help international students develop their language and academic study skills.

How to apply

You can apply for our postgraduate courses online. This will allow you to track your application at each stage of the process. For assistance please view our postgraduate taught guidelines.

If you require any further information please contact our admissions team,
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 2302.