Water-soluble and amphiphilic polymers are of great interest to industry and academia, as they can be used in applications such as biomaterials and drug delivery. Whilst ring-opening metathesis polymerization (ROMP) is a fast and functional group tolerant methodology for the synthesis of a wide range of polymers, its full potential for the synthesis of water-soluble polymers has yet to be realized. To address this, we report a general strategy for the synthesis of block copolymers in aqueous milieu using a commercially available ROMP catalyst and a macroinitiator approach. This allows for excellent control in the preparation of block copolymers in water. If the second monomer is chosen such that it forms a water-insoluble polymer, polymerization-induced self-assembly (PISA) occurs and a variety of self-assembled nano-object morphologies can be accessed.