Study programme

The courses below are for cohort 2024 onward. If you are already a student at UU and are looking for information about cohort 2023 or earlier, please check our student website. 

Water Science and Management is a two-year English-taught Master’s programme consisting of courses and projects, totalling 120 points in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). On this page you will find information concerning the curriculum, courses, educational methods, examinations and extracurricular opportunities.


The first year is devoted to basic knowledge and skills, which students acquire through courses. In the second year, the emphasis is on applying the acquired knowledge and skills in real-life situations in the professional field outside the University.


Below you can find an overview of the courses per period.

Year 1

Period 1

Sustainable Water Resources Management

Principles of Groundwater Flow

Period 2

Quantitative Water Management

Systems thinking, Scenarios & Indicators for SD
Unsaturated Zone Hydrology

Period 3

Water, Governance and Law

Water Quality Management

Period 4

Research in WSM 

Consultancy Project SUSD and WSM

Year 2

Period 1

Drinking Water and Sanitation

Land Surface Hydrology

Period 2-4

Master’s thesis (Internship) (30 EC)
and Electives (15 EC)
Master's thesis (Internship) (45 EC)


Besides the courses named above, you follow 15 EC of elective courses. You can find a list of recommended electives below. Recommended electives do not need to be approved by the programme leader but must still be approved before starting by the Board of Examiners. 

Educational Methods

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Consultancy project (work in a small group with students from different scientific backgrounds on a project assigned by a real-life client)
  • Master’s thesis and internship (includes a research assignment performed at a relevant organisation)


  • Final research papers
  • Short papers or written exams
  • In-class presentations
  • Active participation and concluding reports
  • Thesis

Master’s thesis and internship

During your Master’s thesis, you will work on an individual research project. You may perform this research as an internship to obtain insight into the demands and constraints of doing research within the day-to-day practice of the professional water manager. This includes reading relevant literature to formulate research questions and hypotheses, planning and performing the research, and presenting the work in a Master’s thesis and oral presentation.

Extra opportunities

Utrecht University offers several honours programmes for students looking for an extra challenge. Honours education is followed on top of your regular Master’s programme and goes beyond the regular curriculum. Honours programmes are available at interdisciplinary level and allow you to go deeper into subjects or work on projects that transcend your own discipline.

Read more about the honours programmes