Soil protection or improvement and the reclamation of degraded land must be managed for a given environment from a base understanding of fundamental properties of soil and water, including basic hydrology, hydraulics and geotechnics. 

This enables land managers and engineers to classify land according to capability and allows for appraising the risks posed to the landscape. Appropriate land and water management can be achieved through interventions such as drainage and irrigation. It is the basis also for management of projects involving land forming, reclamation or protection which require selection, design and engineering of appropriate structures.

At a glance

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Estimate crop water requirements and soil water deficits in different environments,
  • Calculate leaching requirements for saline and sodic soil conditions,
  • Calculate run off and yield for catchment,
  • Design channels/ waterways and simple hydraulic structures,
  • Explain the concept of land capability and carry out land capability classification,
  • Calculate the stability of slopes and design of simple support,
  • Design, specify, handling soil and set out earthworks for landforming, landscaping and water storage,
  • Design appropriate water table control systems for drainage and sub irrigation,
  • Specify appropriate machinery and mechanisation for drainage installation and maintenance.

Core content

  • Managing plant and soil water status through estimates of crop water requirements; development of field water budget. Evapotranspiration, drainage, runoff, seepage, soil water storage, and capillary rise,
  • Crop responses to salinity and sodicity; management of saline and sodic soils; the leaching process,
  • Hydrology; peak and catchment yield, design of run off,
  • Hydraulics calculation of channel discharge capacity using Manning’s Equation (and others). The design of channels, waterways weirs, spillways, culverts and control structures,
  • Slope stability; mechanisms of slope failure. The stability of shallow slope failures, Taylor’s stability numbers,
  • Landscape design, land forming, earth moving and landscape modification. Top and sub soil management and vegetation establishment. Design of earth embankment storage dams,
  • Concept of land capability and land quality, criteria used for assessing land capability and its classification. USDA scheme, Canadian Land Inventory,
  • Drainage; drainage machinery selection and performance, types of drainage problems and their recognition. Design for water table control: use of Hooghoudt and Glover Dumm equations and the Ernst equation for sub irrigation design; the Miers approach; practical issues of drainage design: selection of materials, drainage maintenance, pipe surround, backfill and pipe sizing.

Who should attend

Land managers and engineers


20% discount for Cranfield alumni, 10% discount for colleagues of alumni

£1,340 - Professional/trade association discount

£1,280 - Multiple bookings*

* Minimum of five delegates


Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.