Master of Catchment Science

We have drastically changed the way our catchments operate, through land clearing, vegetation change and urbanisation. And in a changing climate, extreme weather events are exposing the fact that our catchments have lost or are losing significant components of their resilience.

The Master of Catchment Science (MCS) is the only catchment-dedicated postgraduate degree in the world. Hosted by the International WaterCentre and developed and delivered in collaboration with Griffith University, the degree is designed to meet the emerging needs of the global water management sector, to develop a new generation of water professionals who can understand and use a full range of bio-physical and economic process knowledge and skills to diagnose and solve catchment issues through designing effective protection and restoration projects and programs.

From 2021 the program will be delivered in blended and fully online modes for both domestic and international students. Blended delivery will involve a number of face to face field-trips and intensives in Australia complemented by online delivery. Fully online delivery will involve online classes complemented by individual and team-based learning support.

Also, from 2021 the program will be available for both domestic and international students to study either full-time or part-time. Combined with the option to study via blended or fully online modes the MCS will be available for those who wish to learn by committing themselves fully to study or to learn whilst they work from wherever they live.

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This Masters degree is hosted by the International WaterCentre and developed and delivered in collaboration with Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute (ARI), School of Engineering and Built Environment and School of Environment and Sciences.

Available on-campus and online, the degree draws on a range of expert academic lecturers, industry guest speakers, practical workshops and field trips, as well as ARI’s research expertise in areas of catchment processes and hydrology.

It also includes a significant work-based research project, so you can apply your learning and gain practical outcomes while you study, combined with individual mentoring meetings to help you succeed academically and professionally.

Program overview

In this degree, you will develop:

  • a critical and applied understanding of catchment chemical, micro-biological, ecological, hydrological and morphological processes and their determinants, and inter-relationships across a range of scales
  • the ability to quantitatively and critically analyse, model, forecast and evaluate the consequences of changes in these processes, using a range of leading data management, analysis, modelling and visualisation techniques and software packages
  • an understanding of contemporary and emerging catchment management and restoration options, their operations, and relative suitability for different contexts
  • the ability to undertake and critically assess full environmental and project-based cost benefit analyses for catchment management options
  • the knowledge and skills to be able to scientifically and quantitatively diagnose catchment management issues on the basis of scientific evidence and to design whole-of-catchment, whole-of-water-cycle management solutions that achieve an appropriate balance and trade-off between costs and benefits from a range of human and environmental perspectives
  • the ability to work effectively individually and in teams to design and deliver catchment analysis and restoration projects.

A unique degree with flexible study options

The Master of Catchment Science is a uniquely designed degree blending together the development of knowledge and skills in physical and remote monitoring and measurement, with data science, computing, modelling and the key biophysical processes involved in catchment function.

We offer flexible and shorter study options for those interested in developing their catchment science skills and knowledge. Two different four-course Graduate Certificates are available – the Graduate Certificate in Catchment Hydrology, and the Graduate Certificate in Catchment Processes, along with an eight-course Graduate Diploma in Catchment Science are available both as qualifications in their own right and as early exit points from the full Master of Catchment Science, if needed.

The Graduate Certificates can be completed part-time over either two or three trimesters depending on their structure (see their pages for more detail). The Graduate Diploma can either be completed full-time over two trimesters (1 year duration) or part-time over four trimesters (2 years duration).

Study can be undertaken in either full-time or part-time modes, following either a blended delivery model (of field trips and intensives) accompanied by online delivery, or fully online delivery, studied from wherever you live and work.

Indicative annual tuition fee

The indicative annual tuition fee is calculated based on a standard full-time study load which is usually 80 credit points.

The indicative annual tuition fee is based on current conditions and available data and should only be used as a guide. These fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

Tuition fees

  • A fee-paying postgraduate student pays tuition fees.
  • Students are liable for tuition fees for the courses they are enrolled in as at the census date.
  • The tuition fee for students who commence their program prior to 2014 is charged according to the approved program fee for the trimester in which the student commenced the program.
  • The tuition fee for students who commence their program from 2014 onwards is charged according to the approved program fee for the trimester in which the student is enrolled.

Program fees for the Master of Catchment Science (5731)

$28,000 fee (80cp) – 2020 indicative annual fee

Visit the Griffith University website for complete fee information.

An International student is one who is not:

  • an Australian or New Zealand citizen or
  • a person who has Australian permanent resident status.
Indicative annual tuition fee

The indicative annual tuition fee is calculated based on a standard full-time study load which is usually 80 credit points (two full-time trimesters).

The indicative annual tuition fee is based on current conditions and available data and should only be used as a guide. These fees are reviewed annually and are subject to change.

Tuition fees
  • An International student pays tuition fees.
  • Students are liable for tuition fees for the courses they are enrolled in as at the census date.
  • The tuition fee for students who commence their program prior to 2014 is charged according to the approved program fee for the trimester in which the student commenced the program.
  • The tuition fee for students who commence their program from 2014 onwards is charged according to the approved program fee for the trimester in which the student is enrolled.

Program fees for the Master of Catchment Science (5731)

$28,000 fee (80cp) – 2020 indicative annual fee

Visit the Griffith University website for complete fee information.

It doesn’t matter where you’re joining us from, or where you are at in your career, a range of scholarships and other funding options are available for those interested in studying with the International WaterCentre.

See our scholarships page for more information.

Admission requirements

To be eligible for admission to the Master of Catchment Science, an applicant must have:

  • hold a related Bachelor degree (or higher) from a recognised University (or another tertiary institution of equivalent standing) with a minimum GPA of 4.0 (using a 7.0 scale) and at least 1 year of professional experience.
  • OR hold a Griffith Graduate Certificate in Catchment Hydrology.
  • OR hold a Griffith Graduate Certificate in Catchment Processes.

Students admitted to the program with a Graduate Certificate in Catchment Hydrology or Graduate Certificate in Catchment Processes will be eligible for 40 credit points of advanced standing towards the program.

Language requirements

English language requirements apply to International applicants and other applicants whose previous study was undertaken in a language other than English. The minimum English language requirements for such applicants for entry to these programs are described on the Griffith website.

Full-time
Year 1 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

7301ESC

7003ESC

7001ESC

7002ESC

Introduction to Catchment Processes

Data and Computing Skills for Catchment Science

Catchment Ecology

GIS and Remote Sensing

Year 1 - Trimester 2
Course code
Course name

7418ENG

7209ENV

7921ENV

7304ESC

Engineering Hydrology

 

Environmental Chemistry

 

Economics for Water Resource Management

Soils and Geomorphology

Year 2 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

N/A

7303ESC

7302ESC

7415ENG

Listed elective (see Griffith website)

Catchment Monitoring and Measurement

River Catchment Management and Rehabilitation 

Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modelling

Year 2 - Trimester 2
Course code
Course name

7930ENV_P1

7930ENV_P2

7930ENV_P3

7930ENV_P4

Final Project

Final Project

Final Project

Final Project

Part-time
Year 1 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

7301ESC

7003ESC

Introduction to Catchment Processes

Data and Computing Skills for Catchment Science

Year 1 - Trimester 2
Course name
Course code

7418ENG

7304ESC

Engineering Hydrology

Soils and Geomorphology

Year 2 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

7001ESC

7002ESC

Catchment Ecology

Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing

Year 2 - Trimester 2
Course code
Course name

7209ENV

7921ENV

Environmental Chemistry

Economics for Water Resource Management

Year 3 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

7303ESC

7415ENG

Catchment Monitoring and Measurement

Hydrologic and Hydraulic Modelling

Year 3 - Trimester 2
Course code
Course name

7930ENV_P1

N/A

Final Project

Listed elective (see Griffith website)

Year 4 - Trimester 1
Course code
Course name

7930ENV_P2

7302ESC

Final Project

River Catchment Management and Rehabilitation

Year 4 - Trimester 2
Course code
Course name

7930ENV_P3

7930ENV_P4

Final Project

Final Project

Career outcomes

The knowledge and skills you will develop in the Master of Catchment Science are in demand across the world. Graduates will find work in water utilities and bulk water providers as well as local, state and federal government departments and agencies,  in consultancy, in donor agencies and in natural resource management and catchment or watershed management bodies.

What is a catchment?

A catchment area (also known as a river basin or watershed) bounded by natural features, such as hills or mountains from where all run-off water flows to a low point. This low point will be a dam, a location on a river, or the mouth of a river where the water enters a bay or the ocean. Catchment areas vary in size and make-up. Large catchment areas, such as those drained by the Burdekin and Fitzroy Rivers in Australia are bordered by mountain ranges and include major drainage networks of creeks and rivers. Large catchment areas are made up of hundreds of smaller ‘sub-catchment’ areas. These can be bordered by low hills and ridges and drained by only a small creek or gully.

Why are healthy catchments important?

We believe that ensuring our catchments are healthy, productive and resilient is the cornerstone to protecting our water sources and environment. Everything we do, no matter where we live, has the potential to impact our waterways downstream. Managing our waterways and natural assets at the catchment-level through integrated water management will improve catchment health, as well as support the environment, economy and health of our communities.

Find out more about managing healthy and productive catchments

Want to know more?

Watch the recent program webinar

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Scholarships now open

Each year we offer a range of full and partial-tuition scholarships for domestic and international students.

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Griffith University

International WaterCentre programs are enrolled through Griffith University and taught from the Nathan campus.

Griffith University was created to be a different kind of university—challenging conventions, creating bold new trends and pioneering solutions through innovative teaching and research. Its high-quality degrees are specifically designed to prepare students for the future and are developed in consultation with industry, based on cutting-edge research, and taught by Australia’s most awarded teachers. Since its beginning, Griffith has been deeply connected to the Asian region, environmentally aware, open to the community and industry focused. Always ahead of its time, Griffith introduced Australia’s first degrees in a range of important areas, including modern Asian studies and environmental science.

Ranking in the top 2% of universities worldwide, Griffith hosts 50,000 students across six campuses in South East Queensland including its Digital campus.  At Griffith, students benefit from an extensive network of industry partners to gain the skills and confidence that employers want.

The Nathan campus is situated in tranquil, native koala habitat on the edge of Toohey Forest, just 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD. Griffith’s foundation campus, Nathan offers degrees in aviation, business, government, engineering, information technology, environment, humanities, languages, law, nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and science. On-campus student accommodation is available.

Learn more

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