Australian Centre for Water
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The Urban Water Engineering field of study provides engineers with the integrated knowledge and skills required to grasp the whole urban water cycle and the linkages between its different aspects. Graduates will be equipped with the skills to design, optimise and manage the urban water infrastructure in the cities of the future.

Urban water systems are being challenged by the exponential global population growth, particularly in urban areas, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events. Rising water and wastewater flows, water scarcity and increasingly stricter water discharge limits impose an extremely high pressure on engineers to design, upgrade and manage effective sewer networks, and water and wastewater treatment processes. This Masters program provides all the necessary technical knowledge and skills, together with broader professional development, to address the complex and interdisciplinary challenges of urban water systems.

The program associates courses focused on leadership/process management to highly specialised technical courses in the field. The latter include classical and advanced methodologies for sewer, water and wastewater treatment processes, as well as an integrated management vision, and advanced electives in modelling, control and emerging issues in urban water.

For more information on admission criteria, program details, fees, and commencement dates see the Master of Engineering program page.

For Frequently Asked Questions click here.


The purpose of the scholarship is to assist meritorious students with the costs of tuition fees while studying in the field of Urban Water Engineering in the Master of Engineering at The University of Queensland.

The Scholarship is University approved with the value of the scholarship of $5,000 per annum towards their tuition fees for the program.  Please note that applicants for the scholarship should applied to The University of Queensland to undertake coursework postgraduates studies for the Masters of Urban Water Engineering and have accepted an offer or received an unconditional offer to commence study for the Master of Engineering in the field of Urban Water Engineering. 

Established in 2019 and maintained by an annual gift from Aquatec Maxcon.

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Industry Linkage

  • Industry placements 
  • Engineering projects linked to industry
  • Guest lectures from industry partners
  • Site visits
  • Real case studies and real data
  • Industry funded scholarships
  • Industry Advisory Panel

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Employability and Student Support

Having a wide range of employability skills is key to being successful in a competitive graduate employment market.

The EAIT Student Employability Team understands that the goal for students is to find a career that puts all their years of hard work and study to good use. Our specialised team of employability advisors have backgrounds in human resources and recruitment and are here to assist you in building your employability skills.

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Find accommodation and advice on renting in Brisbane, strengthen your study skills and abilities, Student Advisers can hep you manage your finances and find support for overcoming the unique challenges of studying in a foreign country.

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Indicative Study Plan


Year 1

Semester 1

Professional Engineering and the Business Enviro: Global Practice

Impact and Risk in the Process Industries

Drinking Water Supply: Source, Treatment and Distribution

Urban Hydrology

Semester 2

Engineering Innovation and Leadership

Sewer Networks – Design, Operation and Maintenance

Advanced Wastewater and Biosolids Treatment

Wastewater Modelling and Control


Year 2

Semester 1

Engineering Project or Placement*

Advanced Unit Operations in Water Management 

Integrated Urban Water Management

Semester 2

Emerging Issues in the Urban Water Cycle and Public Health

Decision Making and Reporting for Sustainability

This study plan is an example of the selection of courses you could choose, for a full course list go to the Course list for the Urban Water Engineering Field of Study.
*Industry Placement is 6 calendar months.

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  1. What is Urban Water Engineering?

Urban Water Engineering is a branch of Environmental Engineering with focus on water, covering the whole urban water cycle (from catchment for potable consumption, distribution, sewer collection, treatment and valorisation/discharge). The program covers engineering and management solutions for public health and environmental protection applications.

  1. Do I get chance to do research in the lab?

Yes. The Master of Urban Water Engineering offers the opportunity to do a 1-year research project in the field (Engineering Project).

  1. How does Engineering project work?

The Engineering Project takes place in one of the UQ labs with UQ academics, but are likely associated to an industry projects as most of the projects in our centre involve applied research. One of the program’s signature features is to promote linkage opportunities with industry as much as possible.

The project has the duration of 2 semesters and it’s worth 8 units (equivalent to 4 regular courses).

  1. How does the industry placement work?

The Industry Placement takes place during 6 calendar months (an extended semester) at full time (also equivalent to 8 units). The students can list a choice of up to three placements, and submit their preferences 5 months earlier. Then the industry partners analyse the submissions and interview the candidates to select the best match for that position. If by any chance a student doesn’t get placed, they can still make a placement at UQ in an industry relevant topic. Currently there are more placements offered than applicants.

  1. What is the main difference between the engineering project and the industry placement?

The Project works as a thesis, where students have the opportunity to explore a specific area of research in depth. In the placement, students get to experience how it is to work in an industry. Both can enhance interesting skills in preparation for the workforce.

  1. Career outcomes for ME Urban Water graduates especially if they decide to go to industry. Any information about what kind of job they can get both in Australia and overseas?

Any engineering job in the water/environmental industry such as process engineer, planner, operations manager, consultant, project manager and commissioner, in either private companies, urban utilities or municipalities.

Water/Wastewater Engineer in Australia has an average starting salary of over AUD 70000 (

  1. Any scholarship?

There is a scholarship for this specific program (ME Urban Water): the Aquatec Maxcon Scholarship. Applications are now open for Sem 1, 2020, closing in early December:

There are also other scholarships available in UQ that also cover ME Urban Water:

  1. What’s the difference between Master of Urban Water Engineering and Master of Urban Water Engineering Science?

Master of Engineering is a 2-year program that prepares graduates for more senior, leadership roles. This program is a pathway for accreditation by Engineer Australia, where an accredited program is one that meets Australian and global benchmarks.

The Master of Engineering Science is a 1-year program, which aims to prepare specialist experts in Urban Water Engineering. It is ideal to complete previous background in the area, and suits e.g. bachelors of an accredited Engineering program.

  1. I studied environmental science. Am I eligible to apply?

Yes. There is the possibility to enrol from non-engineering backgrounds, where the applicant may be asked to complete additional 0-16 units of complementary studies, depending on the match between their previous academic transcripts and the pre-requisites of the program.

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