MSc Hydrology


Master        English        2 years        Full time

What’s the master programme about?

Around one-fifth of the world’s population is currently facing a shortage of good quality water, and in many other places water is limiting economic activities. How can we ensure there is enough water available for everyone? How can we ensure water quality for agriculture, biodiversity and drinking water? How can we minimise the impact of extreme flood events in dense urban areas? In order to answer such questions, society needs hydrologists who understand the interactions between various hydrological processes and society. In the master’s programme Hydrology, you will study these processes and interactions to develop an integrated view on the hydrological system and its linkages to society. You will develop a range of skills to understand these processes and interactions, including fieldwork and modelling skills. And you will develop solutions to address challenges of water quantity, quality and associated risks, such as floods and droughts. 

In the videos, teachers explain important themes that will be covered in the programme.



  • First year: combination of lectures, computer workshops, laboratory and field courses in Luxembourg and the Netherlands; learn the essentials of theoretical and experimental hydrology, methods to assess hydrological risk for society, and how to apply knowledge of hydrological processes to real-world water-management issues.
  • Second year: allows further specialisation in your area of interest by choosing elective courses and carrying out a master’s research thesis
    Find more detailed information about the programme or specialisations in the Study guide.

Future prospects

As a graduate of this master’s programme, students will be able to work in/at: 

  • National and international consultancy companies
  • Universities
  • National and provincial government bodies dealing with water
  • Water supply companies
  • National and international institutes for applied research and policy support
  • Water boards

Contact information:

Course Director: Prof. Philip Ward
Course coordinators: Kim Naudts and Ype vander Velde

More information


Additional information:
The programme was awarded the ‘Top Programme’ status in the ‘Keuzegids master’. The master’s programme Hydrology is one of the six VU master’s programmes that deserve the designation ‘Top programme’. This is evident from the assessments of students and educational experts in the master’s 2019 selection guide. Our MSc Hydrology Master achieved the highest score nationwide in the ‘hydrology and climate’ category.