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With the ever increasing need to deliver sustainable solutions for water and land management worldwide, being able to assess potential nature based solutions (NBS) in different contexts will become a key skill for all designers, regulators, consultants, academics, and NGOs involved in environmental studies.

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This short course will illustrate how nature based solutions can contribute to deliver sustainable land and water management. You will acquire the skills to identify, evaluate, and perform feasibility designs of different nature based water management approaches and technologies in urban and rural environments.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • Duration8 weeks of instruction + 8 weeks for final assignment
  • LocationOnline
  • Cost£850. This includes all course materials, live sessions and web portal access for six months. Concessions available

Course structure

The course is primarily delivered online and can be completed at your own pace. Estimated commitment is 4-5 hours per week, but you can do as much or as little as you wish. At the suggested commitment, you should be able to complete it within 2 months. Once you register, you will have access to the course private portal, where you can access learning materials, the online forum, and contact your instructors and fellow students as you progress. The course has a mixture of targeted lectures, live hands-on workshops and case studies in video and presentation format, tutorials on key techniques and expert knowledge from the field, live webinars, and a new, practical assignment every week. Your instructors will be available for live Q&A sessions every week, for the duration of the course.

What you will learn

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

  • Describe, contextualise and explain nature based solutions to technical and non-technical audiences,
  • Quantify benefits from an economic, social and environmental standpoint,
  • Recognise best practice and identify current limitations of nature based solutions,
  • Identify trade-offs of key nature based solutions examples.

Core content

  • Principles of ecological engineering,
  • Regulatory, social, environmental and economic drivers,
  • The importance of multipurpose designs,
  • Environmental and economic quantification of NBS benefits,
  • Ecosystem services accounting and life cycle analysis,
  • Treatment wetlands for wastewater treatment,
  • Technologies for urban and rural water management,
  • Sustainable urban drainage systems,
  • Green roofs and walls,
  • Industrial wastewater treatment with NBS,
  • Municipal wastewater treatment with NBS,
  • Natural flood management,
  • Ecosystem restoration,
  • Environmental connectivity and wildlife corridors,
  • Integrating NBS in the circular economy.

Who should attend

The course is open to delegates from a variety of backgrounds, including environmental scientists, biologists, civil and environmental engineers, and those interested in using ecological principles to solve environmental challenges in urban and rural settings.


This course is accredited by CIWEM

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Discounts are available for Cranfield staff and alumni (20%), IWA (20%), CIWEM, CWA and British Water members (10%).

Join the IWA to access the IWA registration discount.

IWA International Water Assosication 

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.