The Hydrology master's programme provides students with sound scientific knowledge of how water cycles through the Earth’s atmosphere, surface and groundwater systems and how water quantity and quality are modified due to natural processes or in response to human interference with the water cycle (e.g. pollution, land use change, etc.). How does the hydrological system function and how does it relate with climate, vegetation and society? How can we ensure there is enough water available for every person? Can we ensure water quality for agriculture, biodiversity and drinking water? How can we minimize the impact of extreme flood events in dense urban areas?

In the first year, the Hydrology MSc programme consists of a combination of lectures, computer workshops, laboratory and field courses in Luxembourg and the Netherlands. This period is used to teach you the basics of theoretical and experimental hydrology, methods to assess hydrological risk for society and you learn to apply knowledge of hydrological processes to real world water management issues.
The second year allows further specialisation in your area of interest, and is concluded by 6 months Master's thesis project.
During the final part of the study programme there is ample choice in Master’s thesis subjects, particularly related to process hydrology and water risks.


Level Master
Language English
Duration 2 years
Type Fulltime
Credits 120 EC
Faculty Faculty of Science
Hydrology year 1
The MSc Hydrology is a two year program. The first year of the program
consists completely of compulsory courses that are distributed over the
two teaching lines (1) Process Hydrology (2) Water Risk. Here the
students get acquainted with several key components of the hydrological
system (e.g. catchment hydrology, ecohydrology, groundwater etc.), as
well as their links to society (explicit in e.g. Water Economics and
Integrated Modelling in Hydrology courses). At the end of the year the
students learn how to perform measurements, and then apply these
themselves in a field study (including 3-4 week field trip) which is
aimed at teaching the students to collect data themselves, formulate and
find answers to hypothesis, and link the various subsystems in hydrology
and their ties to societal issues.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Catchment Response Analysis P1 6EC AM_450003
Ecohydrology P1 6EC AM_450014
Climate Hydrological Processes P2 6EC AM_1196
Water Quality P2 6EC AM_1166
Integrated Modeling in Hydrology P3 6EC AM_1165
Groundwater Processes P4 6EC AM_1164
Water Economics P4 6EC AM_1167
Measuring Techniques in Hydrology P5 6EC AM_1168
Field Course Hydrology P5+6 12EC AM_1169
Hydrology year 2
The second year of the MSc Hydrology programme is more open for the
student, where he/she can follow courses according to their own
interest. The only compulsary part is the thesis (36 ects), leaving 24
ects (4 full time courses) open on elective courses. These elective
options can be filled with advanced courses building on some courses
from the first year (Advance Groundwater Processes and Water Risks),
courses shared with other programs (such as Earth Sciences, ERM), or
even courses offered by partner universities (such as UvA). The planning
is flexible; the student works on a thesis research, and follows
elective courses whenever they are given. This means that the student
can already start with his/her thesis research directly at the start of
the academic year.
Hydrology year 2 elective courses
In the 2nd year of the MSc Hydrology, 24 ects should be spend on
elective courses. These can include advanced courses in Hydrology,
courses from related MSc programs (such as Earth Sciences and ERM), of
even courses offered at partner universities (such as UvA). In case you
are interested in following a course which is not listed here, you can
contact the coordinator after whose approval a request can be send to
the exam committee for the student to include that course in his/her
Course Name Period Credits Code
Advanced Groundwater Processes P1 6EC AM_1171
Climate Systems P1 6EC AM_1124
Water Risks P1 6EC AM_1210
Advanced Spatial Analyses P2 6EC AM_1197
Biological Oceanography P2 6EC AMU_0021
Geothermal Energy P2 6EC AM_450409
Scientific Writing in English P2, P5 3EC AM_471023
Climate Modelling P3 6EC AM_450004
Environmental Remote Sensing P3 6EC AM_450145
Project Environmental Impact Assessment P3 6EC AM_450406
Water Governance P3 6EC AM_1192
Global Biogeochemical Cycles P4 6EC AM_450332
Reflection Seismic for Geologists P4 6EC AM_450170
Hydrology year 2 compulsory courses
The only compulsary course in the 2nd year of the Hydrology MSc
programme is the Thesis Research (36 ects). The remaining 24 ects should
be filled with elective courses.
Course Name Period Credits Code
Master Thesis Hydrology Ac. Year (sept) 36EC AM_1170