MBA Water Management


Royal Agricultural University Campus


1 year (full time) or 2+ years (part time)

Academic Year

Commences 30 September 2024

Access to clean, safe water resources is essential for sustainable development, integral to our ability to grow food and generate power. This course equips you with the leadership skills, knowledge, and competencies to lead and innovate across the water sector and related industries. 

Course overview

The UN goal to ensure safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires investments in critical infrastructure and sustainable technologies to manage the collection, storage, treatment and distribution of water and leaders with the skills and flexibility to respond to the challenge of climate change and related water threats.

Water Management is a multidisciplinary field that addresses the challenges and opportunities of managing water resources in a complex and uncertain world. This MBA in Water Management prepares students to become leaders and innovators in the water sector, with a focus on the Water-Food-Energy Nexus, business, environmental policies, and sustainable technology. Students will gain key managerial skills for the water and environmental sectors, through the development of responsible leadership skills and water management expertise.

You will study responsible leadership, sustainable business strategy, and financial decision making, which comprise the foundation of the MBA curriculum. Your specialist focus will be sustainable water management and water policy as well as modules on climate change and managing global soils.

The course aims to develop responsible leaders in water management with the knowledge and flexibility to successfully respond to complex problems within the integrated water, stormwater, and wastewater sectors. You can choose to focus on a specific challenge for your dissertation topic, which will be supported by a research skills module to equip you with the skills required to develop and execute your own research investigation.

“Water is the most vital natural resource on our planet. Today we are putting more pressure on water resources than ever before. Between rapidly growing populations and a shifting climate, water related stresses and risks are increasing rapidly. This MBA programme specialising in Water Management is vital for addressing worldwide pressing issues for the need of clean water resources, directly contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 6- addressing global water challenges. The unique structure of the MBA Water Management programme merges businesses and industry acumen with environmental stewardship, equipping leaders of tomorrow to drive sustainable change within the integrated water sector challenges through innovation and impactful solutions.”  

Professor Dr Kiran Tota-Maharaj, Professor of Water Resources Management & Infrastructure, Royal Agricultural University and Technical Director-Water, Wastewater and Environmental Engineering with the Water Research Centre Ltd (WRc Group).

UN Sustainable Development Goals: This programme has been designed to foster greater knowledge and awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals are mapped to our modules to ensure that at each stage of the programme we are identifying how these goals can be developed as part of business strategy and managed within a business.

Course content

You will study nine modules comprising a mix of business and sector-specific subjects over the autumn and spring semesters, concluding each module with a summative assessment. As you work through these modules you will develop your area of research interest, you will craft a research proposal and then undertake your research, submitting your dissertation by the end of the summer.

Learning on the MBA focuses on problem solving; you will draw on your own work experience, and that of your peers, as well as new learning from the modules to explore emerging challenges and to develop innovative solutions. You will question your own assumptions and develop new ways of thinking about your area of interest. The MBA in Water Management combines theoretical and practical learning, with industry case studies, guest lectures from relevant sectors, field trips and group projects. Students will have the opportunity to network with water professionals and stakeholders from various groups such as the Water Research Centre (WRc Group). Directed learning tasks will enable you to prepare well for class and to take an active part in discussion. Modules will be assessed through a variety of methods including business reports, presentations, case study analysis, decision-making exercises, and policy critiques, all of which are designed to blend management theory with professional practice.

In terms of workload, you should anticipate that the MBA is the equivalent of a full-time job. Part-time study over two years equates to approximately 50% of a full-time role. You will also find yourself occupied, should you choose to be, with the all the other opportunities that studying at the RAU offers, such as additional talks, student conferences and enterprise events.

Course structure

The course is studied full-time over a period of one year although you may also choose to study part-time over two or more years to fit around other commitments. The course is structured around eight core modules, followed by your choice of a research project which enables you to conduct an intensive study of an area of water management that interests you. We provide supervisory support for your research project (Dissertation) and discussions with your supervisor are often rewarding and motivating. The range of business and water management modules offered on the MBA have been informed by the requirements of a Master’s in Business Administration and by industry dialogue so you can be sure that you will have every opportunity to develop the leadership skills and specialist knowledge needed to succeed in the sector. 

Your future career

As a potential MBA student you may already be well-placed in your chosen career and wish to take this time to develop additional skills and knowledge to progress further within it. You may be taking a career break to re-think your future or planning to transition from your management role to a position in the water, stormwater, or wastewater sectors. Whatever your career intentions, you can use your MBA Dissertation research to help you to achieve them, tailoring your research to suit your aims. Moreover, the opportunities to engage in industry dialogue with our range of contacts and to learn from our enterprise team may prompt new career ideas.


  • 4413 Research skills: Develop research competencies related to data collection and analysis
  • 4414 Dissertation: Undertake an independent research project with guidance from a supervisor
  • 4722 Climate Change and Sustainability: Critically assess the causes and impacts of climate change
  • 4727 Managing Global Soils in a Changing Climate: Understand the fundamentals of soil processes key to protecting this precious resource
  • 4763 Responsible Leadership and People Skills:
  • 4764 Sustainable Strategies for Business Excellence:
  • 4766 Financial Decision-Making Skills:
  • 4767 Sustainable Water Management:
  • 4768 Water Policy and Governance:

* Optional additions to the course will incur additional charges

Disclaimer information

The University has established various rules and regulations that you must agree to and follow if you accept an offer to study with us. View our full disclaimer notice.

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Careers and graduate destinations

The MBA prepares students for senior leadership roles in water management, enabling you to take an existing career to a strategic leadership level, to work in government or environmental consultancy or to consider further research

Opportunities include:

  • Senior roles in the water charity sector
  • Corporate or government advisors
  • Environmental consultancies
  • Leadership role in international NGOs
  • Water security policy analysts
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Entry requirements

Students will be expected to have:

  • A minimum 2.2 honours degree from a UK university, or an equivalent academic qualification from a comparable international institution and a minimum of three years professional work experience at a management level (sector specific experience is not required)
  • Students whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 with no element below 5.5 or equivalent
  • International students will also need to achieve IELTS Academic or equivalent at the appropriate level for your programme of study. English language requirements for international students.
  • Mature applicants with lower qualifications but with extensive management experience may also be considered
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Tuition fees cover the cost of a student’s academic studies. This usually includes teaching costs, registration and examination fees (not repeat or trailing module fees or dissertation extensions).

2024-25 Applicants

For the academic year 2024-25 the tuition fees for this course are:  

  UK Overseas/EU
Full-time £16,000 per year £22,000 per year
Part-time Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage Fees are calculated on a pro-rata basis depending on the number of modules taken. Please refer to Tuition Fees webpage

Tuition fees may be subject to an inflationary increase each year as set out in our Access and Participation Plan 2019/20.

For full details, please visit the fees and funding webpage.

Please note: International students can study on a part-time basis only if they are in the UK with a different type of visa (other than Student Visa/Tier 4 General) that allows them to undertake part-time study and their visa does not expire prior to the end date of the proposed course of study.

Please contact before you apply to confirm your egibility.


The University offers a range of generous fee waivers and bursaries. To find out more about the scholarships, awards and bursaries available, please visit the scholarships webpage.

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