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July 19, 2011

New course tackles challenges of water security and international development

The challenges of water security and international development will be tackled through a new Masters degree launched by the University of East Anglia.

Starting in September, the innovative MSc Water Security and International Development looks at 'water security' in its broad political ecology and economy sense, with the hydrological cycle connected to critical global policy concerns – such as climate change, food trade and security, and energy security - and in turn the international co-operation that affects human, community, regional and state security.

Prof John Beddington, the UK Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser, has said the world faces a ‘perfect storm’ of problems arising from shortages of food, water and energy by 2030.

The MSc Water Security and International Development aims to prepare students for employment in a wide range of areas with different employers, including non-governmental organisations, government aid agencies, and scientific and multilateral institutions.

Course director Dr Mark Zeitoun said: “Inextricably linked to people's welfare and livelihoods, water is a resource of fundamental importance to environment and development concerns. With the pressures of increasing population, a changing climate, and heightened conflicts, water security is of increasing concern for policymakers and organisations across the world.”

He added: “This new programme provides students with the latest interdisciplinary theory and tools to address the challenges ahead. They’ll be encouraged to critically reflect on the practical and theoretical facets of the concept 'water security', with a view to develop a better foundation upon which to achieve developmental and environmental objectives. It is truly interdisciplinary, as this is the only approach we can take to tackle the challenges, and students will benefit from the expertise of world-class natural and social scientists.”

The MSc Water Security and International Development will be run by the School of International Development at UEA, through the Water Security Research Centre and in co-operation with the School of Environmental Sciences. It builds on the success of water security short courses launched by the centre for policymakers and practitioners. All tutors on the MSc programme are well known internationally for their work on water and climate change, irrigation, hydrogeology, catchment management, politics, conflict and allocation.

The MSc Water Security and International Development is offered over one year full-time or two years part-time.

For further details and to apply, visit

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