The First Step Towards Building Your Professional Career

In UBC’s courses, students will become a part of enriched learning environments and participate in flexible, blended educational settings from world-class educators.

Required Courses (21 credits)

LWS 501 focuses on the integration of soil physics, chemistry, and biology in understanding essential soil processes.

LWS 510 is a weekly seminar series addressing current and emerging issues relevant within the general context of land and water systems, and the significance of professional credibility and exposure.

LWS 517 focuses on a “systems” approach to assessing and evaluating land and water resources. It provides guidance in critical reading, methods and approaches to assessing and interpreting information based on different values and governance systems. The aim is to provide students with the opportunity to develop processes and experiences by which they can facilitate their academic disciplinary experience into a more holistic framework.

(Note: A student can get credit for both LWS 515 and 517 towards the degree)

LWS 515 course presents a comprehensive overview of watershed science and the principles of integrated watershed management.

(Note: A student can get credit for both LWS 515 and 517 towards the degree)

LWS 550 is a weekly seminar series focused on communication strategies for natural resource management professionals, with an emphasis on written, oral and digital media communications in a multi-stakeholder context.

FRE 302 introduces students to the principles of business planning and management with an emphasis on the areas of finance, marketing, entrepreneurship, legal structure, risk and strategy within the context of small to medium businesses involved in the food and agribusiness sector. The course will emphasize both fundamental business planning concepts and the unique challenges facing food and agribusiness firms.

LWS 548 is the capstone course for the professional Master of Land and Water Systems (MLWS) program.

*If you have any questions, please email us at

Major Project

Each student will be required to register for LWS 548 (6 credits) and complete a “major project”. This may be conducted off-campus and may be co-supervised by a recognized professional (for example, a Professional Agrologist, Biologist, Geoscientist, etc.) and a UBC Faculty member.

Because this is a professional degree, a Master’s thesis is not required. Instead, students carry out a major project throughout the 12-month duration of the program under the co-supervision of a UBC Faculty Member and a Professional Advisor. There is no designated classroom time.

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Elective Courses (12 credits)

By offering elective courses, the Master of Land and Water Systems program provides flexibility in its curriculum, allowing you to develop specific expertise that is customized to your particular goals. These courses are offered in the Winter Session (Term 1 & 2).

  • LWS 516 (3) Urban Watershed Management (Term 1)
  • LWS 525 (3) Global Issues in Land and Water Systems (Term 2)

  • SOIL 502 (3) Advanced Sustainable Soil Management (Term 2)
  • SOIL 503 (3) Advanced Soil Sampling, Analysis and Data Interpretation (Term 1) (not offered in the 2023/2024 Winter Session)

  • CONS 340 (3) Introduction to Geographic Information Systems for Forestry and Conservation (Online, Term 1 or Term 2)
  • CONS 495 (3) Human Wildlife Conflict (Term 2)
  • CONS 505 (3) Ecological Restoration (Term 2)

  • EOSC 325 (3) Principles of Physical Hydrogeology (Term 1)
  • EOSC 330 (3) Principles of Geomorphology (Term 1)
  • EOSC 429 (3) Groundwater Contamination (Term 2)
  • EOSC 474 (3) Marine Pollution (Term 1)
  • EOSC 533 (3) Advanced Groundwater Hydrology (Term 1)

  • FRST 385 (3) Watershed Hydrology (Term 1)
  • FRST 443 (3) Remote Sensing for Ecosystem Management (Term 2)
  • FRST 495 (3) Biological Diversity and Forest Management (Term 2)
  • FRST 512 (3) Belowground Ecosystems (Term 2) (not offered in the 2023/2024 Winter Session)
  • FRST 551 (3) Landscape Planning for Sustainability (Term 2)
  • FRST 575/PLNT 590G (3) Indigenous Ecologies (Term 1)
  • FRST 588 (3) Fluvial Ecohydrology (Term 2) (not offered in the 2023/2024 Winter Session)
  • FRST 590 (3) Statistical Methods in Hydrology (Term 2) *If you are interested in this course, contact the instructor listed in SSC.

  • APBI 319 (3) Aquaculture and the Environment (Term 1)
  • APBI 342 (3) Soil Biology (Term 2)
  • APBI 405 (3) Plant-Water Relations for Sustainable Agriculture (Term 2)
  • APBI 444 (3) Agroforestry (Term 1)
  • APBI 490F (3) Soils and Landscapes (Term 1)

  • GEOS 370 (3) Advanced Geographic Information Science (Term 1 or Term 2) *If you don't have the prerequisite and would like to take GIS, try CONS 340, or contact
  • GEOS 373 (3) Introductory Remote Sensing (Term 2)
  • GEOS 406 (3) Watershed Geomorphology (Term 1)
  • GEOS 407 (3) Vegetation Dynamics: Disturbance, Climate and Human Impacts (Term 2)

  • FRE 385 (3) Quantitative Methods for Business and Resource Management (Term 2)

  • RES 500 B-J (3) Resource and Environmental Workshop (Term 2)
  • RES 520 (3) Climate Change: Science, Technology and Sustainable Development (Term 1) *If you are interested in this course, contact the instructor listed in SSC.

*Note: Not all elective courses listed below are offered every academic year. We try to keep our website up to date but double-check the UBC Course Calendar to see if the course is offered during the duration of your program. Check that you have course prerequisites or equivalents. Other courses may be substituted with the permission of the MLWS Academic Coordinator. To register for courses, visit the UBC Student Service Centre (SSC).

**Students can only register for ONE upper-level undergraduate elective course (3xx/4xx course code, 3 credits) in the MLWS program. Electives should primarily be graduate courses (5xx course code).

***If a student wishes to drop a course and register in an alternative course after the add/drop deadline, the student must contact the Instructor of the new course before requesting a change in course registration.  If the Instructor agrees, they will provide requirements for the late registration. Finally, before making any registration changes, the student must contact the Academic Coordinator or Director to be discussed and approved in advance. Please note that registering in a course after the add/drop deadline will result in a W standing entered on their academic transcript.