.Representation

Status: Complete

MSc Water Resources Management should be under an engineering faculty again

Hello, 

The MSc Water Resources Management refers to water scientists or water engineers, as stated in the MSc page: https://www.southampton.ac.uk/geography/postgraduate/taught_courses/msc-water-resources-management.page. I have applied to this program (which was under the Engineering and the Environment faculty) as an engineer, with the vision to pursue a career in water engineering. After discussing the matter with a couple of my colleagues, we concluded that the change in the faculty was unreasonable as it was made after we had started the program. I kindly request this MSc to be under an engineering faculty again, due to the presence of many engineering-related modules. 

Thank you in advance.

Submitted on Sunday 12th May 2019

Hello again! 

I am pleased to say that the Faculty has replied to me with their response: 

Dear Student, 

Thank you for raising your views regarding the home for the MSc in Water Resources Management. Your concerns have come to me as the Associate Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Life Sciences, and I have taken some time to consult with colleagues in the School of Geography and Environmental Science about the issue that you raise.

At the outset, I am sorry that you are unhappy with the location of your MSc within the University Structure.  You are right in that this MSc used to sit within the Faculty of Engineering and the Environment, and I realise that this meant that you moved Faculties along with your programme through no fault of your own.  As such, I completely understand that your move from an Engineering Faculty to the FELS Faculty has been unsettling and raises potential concerns regarding its impact on your career.  This is something of an unknown, but it is a legitimate worry. I don’t want to dismiss this at all, but it may help to have a different perspective which I hope might provide some reassurance. I try to offer that here.

So, the recent University restructure has provided an opportunity for the Environmental Science team to join a vibrant and like-minded set of colleagues within the former School of Geography and the Environment, and this enabled all things environmental to come under one umbrella in both an academic sense and in a practical sense such as through the sharing of labs and resources. As a discipline, Environmental Science has natural synergies with Ocean and Earth Sciences, Biological Sciences, and Geography within the new Faculty, whilst retaining all its former links with Engineering. The manner of delivery, and the construction of your programme has not changed, and we hope that it may actually benefit from this expanded set of working links.

In this sense, we hope that an MSc which flags Environmental Science from an Academic School and Faculty which also flags Environmental Science, may give your programme greater currency and value within the employment market. It is a unique programme, combining environmental and engineering modules, as you note, and that combination has been carefully designed to enable graduates towards careers that span engineering, conservation, environmental sustainability and more. I had the opportunity to learn much more about your programme at its recent review, and I know that the programme team strive to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of the marketplace. The strong employer feedback suggests that the reputation of the University, and the title of the award, are the things that work for you in the employment market rather than the Faculty that you sit in. In some senses you could actually boast the best of both worlds– the engineering influence, and the strong environmental grounding – making you highly marketable. I think an employer would recognise that.

I hope that this explanation may perhaps provide some reassurance regarding the impact of a Faculty change on your career plans. I would also like to wish you well in your ambitions.

With best wishes,

Sarah Stevenage

Hopefully the above helps to explain just why this change was made, and provides some clarity as to the benefits of the new setup. I'm going to mark this question as Complete for now, but if you have any further queries or would like some clarificaiton pelase don't hesitate to get in contact with me using the details below. 

Thanks for your submission to You Make Change, and all the best,

Sam Dedman (SUSU VP Education 2017-19, vpeducation@susu.org) 

Thursday 30th May 2019 11:57am