Do you want to contribute to sustainable water management? The two-year Water Science and Management Master’s programme will give you an in-depth understanding of modern water management techniques and water policies from a sustainable development perspective. You will gain an understanding of water’s role with regard to humanity and nature as well as the societal impact of interventions in the water cycle. 

Water management in a wider context

Trends such as sustainable development, stakeholder participation, and economic accountability increasingly complicate the tasks of water managers. This has given rise to a need for water managers with a broad societal focus on water management issues, operating next to and in cooperation with more traditional and technical water managers. The Water Science and Management programme therefore integrates knowledge from natural and social sciences as a response to emerging needs in the field. 

A natural sciences background, the ability to work well as part of a team, and a passion for water management will help you succeed in this programme. The Water Science and Management programme is an excellent choice for you if you are interested in both the scientific analysis of the water system, and the application of water science in integrated and complex societal problems that occur in contemporary water management.

What you will learn

Through scientific knowledge and real-life cases, you will learn about topics such as hydrological processes, climate change, water footprinting, cost reduction, health aspects, and water safety. You will also learn about technical developments such as membrane technology, water/energy combinations, and water cycle management. The majority of courses have a water focus, but there are also courses focussed on the sustainable development context in which modern water managers operate. A Research design course is provided as a necessary basis for performing the Master’s Thesis, as well as for executing academic water challenges on the job market. The programme combines academic knowledge of natural sciences and technical water management options with process and project skills, culminating in an optional research internship at a water management organisation.

Programme objective

The Water Science and Management programme trains you to be a water professional with both an understanding of the technical aspects of water management and the ability to implement this knowledge with an eye for societal needs. You will learn to view water management in light of sustainable development, taking into account the functions that water fulfils for humanity and nature, and you will consider technical innovations in view of societal costs and benefits. As a graduate of this programme, you will have a solid background in water science and the ability to apply this knowledge.

    This programme has brought me to better understand how we can face the challenges of the future in water from a technical and a managerial perspective.

    Daniel, student Water Science and Management

    Why in Utrecht

    Studying Water Science and Management at Utrecht University has several advantages and benefits.

    • You will gain exposure to a wide spectrum of disciplines within the earth sciences and environmental sciences. The programme has a strong multidisciplinary character, and the focus is on developing system knowledge and understanding. By drawing on our staff’s diverse expertise in topics such in hydrology, water systems, ecology, sustainability, innovation management, water legislation, and governance, Utrecht University can offer a unique range of disciplines within the natural and social sciences.
    • Utrecht University's research topics are part of a larger research effort to find innovative, sustainable solutions to the threats and opportunities posed by climate change. This results in relevant research and career opportunities.
    • There are many water sector companies and organisations in the Utrecht region, including DHV, Grontmij, ARCADIS, CSO, Deltares, and KWR. Utrecht University’s strong relationships with these organisations create opportunities for research and other projects and internships, thus providing an extensive network through which you can gain practical experience and get to know potential future employers.
    • Our lecturers are active researchers with excellent reputations and international standing, resulting in a high quality and challenging educational programme. They are also highly successful in the acquisition of grants from national and European funds

    Key facts

    Environmental Sciences (MSc)
    Language of instruction: 
    Mode of study: 
    Study duration: 
    2 years

    Dutch & EU/EEA students: 1 June

    Non-EU/EEA students: 1 April

    Tuition fees: 
    Dutch and other EU/EEA students (statutory fee, full-time) 2024-2025: € 2,530

    Non-EU/EEA students (institutional fee) 2024-2025: € 23,765

    More information about fees
    Croho code: 
    Accredited by the NVAO
    Graduate school: 
    School of Geosciences
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