Water is essential for life on Earth. As stated by the United Nations, water is at the core of sustainable development, being critical for socioeconomic progress, energy and food production, as well as climate regulation, ecosystems and for human survival. Too much, too little, or too dirty water can bring risks to society. Therefore water is also at the heart of adaptation to climate change and reducing global risks to natural hazards.
During our two-year Master’s Hydrology programme, you will learn theory, field measurements and computer modelling. You will discuss and analyse water challenges and develop risk-reducing management options. The programme focuses on international water challenges and processes, while also bringing in expertise from the renown Dutch experience in water management.
In the first year, the Hydrology programme combines lectures, computer workshops and laboratory work and field courses in both Luxembourg and the Netherlands. You will learn the basics of theoretical and experimental hydrology, and methods to assess water risk for society. Altogether this will allow you to apply knowledge of hydrological processes to real-world issues on water management and global change.
The second year allows you to specialize in your area of interest by choosing elective courses. We offer several streams, whilst also offering an “open” stream, in which there is maximum flexibility across our offered courses. The streams are: Water and Society, Water and Landscapes, Water and Climate, Water and Environmental Analysis, Water and Chemistry or you can choose the Fully Open stream.
All students conclude the programme with a Master’s thesis project. This could involve desk research (e.g. hydrological modelling) or research incorporating field measurements, for example at our permanent field sites in Luxembourg, Kenya and Siberia.
To name a few examples: you could investigate the impact of sea level rise on coastal areas, study how drought affects subsidence, or unravel how forest management affects river flow. Not only can you do your research at the VU Amsterdam; you can also collaborate with one of the many water-related institutions and organisations within the Netherlands and abroad. The teaching staff can help you find a topic tailored to your interests, as well as a suitable location in which to carry out your research. Potential international locations include tropical Amazonia, permafrost regions of Siberia, or highly urban areas like New York City and Jakarta.
For nearly 50 years, VU Amsterdam has taken pride in conducting research and teaching in hydrology and water sciences from an earth science perspective. Hydrology teaching and research at VU Amsterdam enjoy an excellent reputation, both within the Netherlands and abroad.
“Our program is designed to develop sustainable solutions to water-related problems.” – Philip Ward, Course Director.
You can find all course descriptions, the year schedule and the teaching and examination regulation in the Study guide.
The start date of this programme is September 1st.
Course Director: Ype van der Velde
Course coordinator: Sanne Muis