Integrated Water Catchment Management

Water catchments are under increasing threat due to climate change and fluctuating weather conditions and professionals with skills in their management are in high demand.

Coordinator: Professor Ian Rutherfurd


With global climate change and other extreme weather conditions, water catchments have never been under more pressure than ever. Professionals with skills in their management are in high demand.

Catchment management involves the integration of sound biophysical information with social and economic analysis. This is used to achieve the best outcomes for a catchment’s natural resources and the people who live and work there.

Students studying this specialisation will look into the functioning of catchments and the constraints to improving catchment management, with a particular focus on how these constraints can be eased.

  • Designed for

    Professionals working in soil and water regulation, land management, and conservation, either in private or public sectors. It is suitable for students with a degree in physical science, life science, social science, engineering, forestry, horticulture or agriculture. Professional geologists and natural resource scientists and managers who wish to gain advanced knowledge of catchment management strategies in urban and rural environments will also benefit from studies in this field.

  • Career outcomes

    Graduates of this stream can expect to find employment in regulatory agencies, local and state government authorities, environmental consulting companies, and industries concerned with land development, recreation and tourism.

    Example roles:

    • Environmental Consultant
    • Environmental Planner
    • Planning Officer
    • Environmental Policy Developer

View full list of Integrated Water Catchment Management subjects in the Handbook

Study plan (100 point pathway)

Year 1

Semester 1

Environmental Sustainability

Forests and Water

Water Law and Natural Resource Management

Integrated River and Catchment Management

Semester 2

Partnerships for Sustainable Futures

Water and Waste Management

Environmental Law

Monitoring Environmental Impacts

Kate Matthews,
Planning Officer

"I chose to focus on integrated water catchment management because understanding water is fundamental to creating sustainable cities and landscapes. Having worked as a town planner for the past 5 years, I thought I had a good general understanding of the topic, but through the course I have developed a detailed, practical understanding of the physical processes which underpin water and environmental cycles. Whilst studying is very different the second time around, it has been an invaluable experience and helped me secure my role as a Planning Officer, Growth Areas Development Assessment, Whittlesea Council"