Water Technology and Desalination, M.Sc.

  • Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 24 months
  • English (schedule IELTS)
University rank #312 (QS) ,
Water resource management is a global issue that is becoming increasingly important. With a rapidly growing world population, greater urbanisation and a changing climate putting pressure on freshwater resources, water resource management and the technologies that support it, will play an increasingly large part in providing fresh water to meet basic human needs.


The aim of the Water Technology and Desalination programme is to provide a sound understanding of a range of technologies that can be developed to provide safe, accessible water supply from saline groundwater and seawater. In particular, there is a technical focus on the design parameters and processes underpinning their efficient performance and operation. Students will develop a critical awareness of the wider issues of resource management within the context of global change and the challenges presented by the need for desalination to be delivered on a technically robust and sustainable basis.

Programme Structure

  • Integrated Water Resource Management
  • Thermal and Hybrid Processes
  • Membrane Processes
  • Water Conservation
  • Intake, pre-treatment, post-treatment and Environmental Issues
  • Water and Wastewater Treatment
  • Desalination Economics and Management
  • Marine Water Discharges
  • Research Projects

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 24 months
    • Intensity Flexible
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

    StudyPortals Tip: The UK government has confirmed new English-language testing requirements for visa and immigration purposes. Learn more

Academic Requirements

The entry requirements for the MSc Water Technology and Desalination are a First or Upper Second-Class Honours degree from a UK University or equivalent Overseas qualification, in engineering, environmental, earth, chemical, physical, or mathematical sciences. Students with a Lower Second-Class Honours degree will be considered with relevant experience.
Candidates who do not meet the above entry requirements will be considered individually based on their CV and interview. Admission via this route will be at the discretion of the Director of Admissions and the number of successful applicants will be restricted.

Tuition Fee

Additional fee information

This programme consists of eight courses, four standard courses (£1050 per course) and four premium courses (£2100 per course). MSc students also complete two research projects (£750 per research project).

There are two different fees for the taught courses on the Water Technology and Desalination programme. The courses with the premium fees are jointly supported by Heriot-Watt University and the International Desalination Association (IDA) and include the provision of exam preparation seminars as part of the course delivery. The exam preparation seminars require attendance in person by the students as these courses are supported via a hybrid of distance learning and face to face delivery to enable the students to benefit from the combined industrial experience of the IDA and the academic expertise of Heriot-Watt University.

Living costs for Edinburgh

  • 725 - 1170 GBP/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


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