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Help solve global water challenges

Apply your skills to understand and manage our world’s most precious resource: water!

Hydrologists are needed everywhere. As safe and clean water is becoming increasingly scarce all over the world, there is a growing demand for scientifically trained and modern water experts. This means there is a lot of employment in the field for you with a broad variety of opportunities, both now and in the future. This Master helps you find possible careers that match your personal interest.

For example, the Hydrology Master’s programme prepares you well for a future in water, groundwater, drought, and/or flood management. You can also work in academia, work for an NGO or engineering company, do consultancy work or start your own business with an idea that helps solve water-related challenges.

Find three examples of where our students ended up below.

As a Hydrology graduate, you might get involved in:

  • Scientific aspects of water through a PhD study on a hydrological subject; 
  • Management of groundwater exploration;
  • Flood management, studying the effects of land management on discharge;
  • Erosion and sedimentation issues and how to solve them;
  • Quantifying the economic effects of hydrological risks: floods, droughts and pollution;
  • Using satellite imagery and GIS to work on global or regional hydrology;
  • Using your knowledge professionally to improve the management of water resources.

Professor Philip Ward, Chair of Global Water Risk Dynamics

Professor Philip Ward, Chair of Global Water Risk Dynamics

Dikes, we cannot live without them in the Netherlands. Yes, they are expensive and require maintenance. But we earn back the money... by the damage they prevent.

A group of scientists, led Philip Ward, have mapped out in which other areas the benefits of dikes also outweigh the costs in the context of climate change. The study was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. You can listen to a radio interview (in Dutch) with Philip Ward here.

Listen to the interview
Philip Ward

What can you do after your Master's degree?

Start working

Hydrologists are needed everywhere. After completing this Master’s programme, you will have a broad range of career opportunities. 

In your professional career, you could work at organisations such as:

- National and international consultancy companies; such as Royal Haskoning DHV, Arcadis, Fugro, Sweco, Tauw, Future Water
- Universities in the Netherlands or abroad
- National and provincial government bodies dealing with water such as Rijkswaterstaat
- Water supply companies; such as Vitens
- National and international institutes for applied research and policy support; such as Deltares, TNO, KNMI, Environmental Assessment Agency
- Water boards; such as Waternet, Waterschap Limburg
- NGO’s and think-tanks; such as Red Cross, the Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute, Wetlands International
- International institutions; such as the World Bank, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, World Food Program

Following a PhD programme

If you’d like to continue your academic career, you could also follow a PhD programme. In the Netherlands, PhD positions are usually paid roles (mostly for 3 or 4 years) for which you have to apply. You can carry out groundbreaking research on various hot topics, such as greenhouse gas emission and soil subsidence in peatlands, or global flood risk of coastal areas.

"At Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, our teaching will give you the right skills to tackle urgent matters. You learn to interpret high quality data sets, work with hydrological models and master measuring techniques to carry out your own research. During the process, we bring you to the cutting edge of science, enabling you to approach important environmental and societal issues."
- Jim Boonman, PhD student Hydrology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam 

Jim Boonman, PhD student Hydrology, tells about global climate warming and its effects

Where did our students end up?