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Water Quality Engineering

The primary aim of the M(Eng) and MSc(Eng) specialising in Water Quality Engineering is to produce graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to engage effectively in theory, design, modelling and operation of biological and chemical wastewater and sludge treatment systems.

To protect surface water quality and prevent the de-oxygenation and eutrophication, municipal wastewater treatment is required. In South Africa (and many other countries in the world) the preferred technology for this is the biological nutrient (N&P) removal (BNR) activated sludge system.

The primary objective of the PGDip, M(Eng) and MSc(Eng) specialising in Water Quality Engineering is to produce engineers and scientists with high-level and in-depth knowledge and understanding of bioprocess engineering so that they can competently and effectively use steady state and dynamic simulation models for the design and operation of municipal wastewater treatment plants comprising primary treatment, BNR activated sludge, secondary settling tanks, flotation thickening and stabilisation of waste sludge by aerobic and/or anaerobic digestion unit operations in a plant wide integrated way.

The steady state and dynamic WWTP unit operation models are based on bioprocess engineering and mathematical modelling principles with supporting information from several scientific disciplines such as chemistry, microbiology and biochemistry. Upon completion of this curriculum the modern approach of modelling and simulation to wastewater treatment plant design and operation can be embraced with deeper insight, advanced knowledge and greater confidence.

Programme Convener: Prof. G.A. Ekama, BSc(Eng) PhD Cape Town, SFWISA FRSSAf FSAAE MASSAf MWEF MIWA


Master of Engineering specialising in Water Quality Engineering [EM017CIV002]

Core Courses (or approved equivalent)

Number Courses Credits
CIV5017Z Minor Dissertation 60
CIV5032Z Introduction to Wastewater Treatment 4
CIV5045Z The Activated Sludge System 10
CIV5046Z Sedimentation in Water Treatment 8
CIV5047Z Sewage Sludge Treatment 8
CIV5048Z Design of Biological Nutrient Removal Systems 20
CIV5050Z Integrated Wastewater Treatment Plant Design 20
  Pre-approved elective credits 50
  Total credits 180

All courses HEQSF Level 9


MSc in Engineering specialising in Water Quality Engineering [EM023CIV02]

Core Courses

Number Courses Credits
CIV5000W Dissertation 180
END5050X Master’s journal paper 0
  Total credits 180

All courses HEQSF Level 9


MSc in Engineering specialising in Water Quality Engineering [EM024CIV02]​

Core Courses (or approved equivalent)

Number Courses Credits
CIV5000Z Dissertation 120
CIV5032Z Introduction to Wastewater Treatment 4
CIV5045Z The Activated Sludge System 10
CIV5046Z Sedimentation in Water Treatment 8
CIV5047Z Sewage Sludge Treatment 8
CIV5048Z Design of Biological Nutrient Removal Systems 20
CIV5050Z Integrated Wastewater Treatment Plant Design 20
CIV5109Z Dissertation Preparation 0
END5050X Master’s journal paper 0
  Total credits 190

All courses HEQSF Level 9