This specialization is intended for mid-career professionals in technical as well as management positions, with responsibilities or specific interests in water and environmental science and in maintaining environmental integrity in relation to human development.
Students who successfully complete this programme will receive a MSc degree in Environmental Science at UNESCO-IHE.
Start: 16 October 2016
Submission deadline: 01 August 2016
After successfully completing this specialization, graduates will be able to:
- Identify the water quality impacts of human activities on aquatic ecosystems, as well as alternative remedial actions, under different levels of environmental stress and in different socio-economic contexts;
- Explain principles, concepts and instruments of the main national and international water and environmental laws, and common and desired institutional and management arrangements;
- Successfully interpret, design and optimise water quality monitoring and assessment schemes in the watershed, for example, by using statistical and modelling tools;
- Critically analyse and evaluate alternative water quality management programmes in the watershed under different socio-economic and legal contexts, in a flexible way and often under data-poor conditions;
- Conduct - either independently or in a multidisciplinary team - appropriate research in the field of water quality management, including the formulation of research questions and hypotheses, the selection and application of adequate research methodologies and techniques, and the formulation of well-founded conclusions and recommendations.
Structure & contents
The programme starts with a foundation phase of 10 modules
October - SeptemberUNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands
- Introduction to Environmental Science 1 Required Learning Objectives
- Make a critical analysis of the global and national agendas and policies for "Water and Environment" in the context of sustainable development;
- Identify and describe the major global, regional and local environmental problems;
- Identify and describe the basic chemical, hydrological and socio-economic processes in relation to the environment;
- Analyse dynamic interactions between human development and environmental changes;
- Explain the concept of sustainable development;
- Explain basic environmental concepts, such as ecological footprint.
- Introduction to Environmental Science 2 Required Learning Objectives
- Fundamental Processes in Environmental Science Required Learning Objectives
- Identify and describe the basic natural processes in relation to the environment;
- Understand and explain the relations between physical, chemical and biological processes in the environment;
- Explain basic environmental concepts, such as feedback mechanisms, ecosystem dynamics, carrying capacity, nutrient cycling;
- Identify and describe the basic toxicological processes in relation to the environment;
- Apply the principles of the scientific method to the design and development of a research project and to develop and present the background, problem statement, research objectives and methodology for a research project;
- Analytical Tools in Environmental Science Elective Learning Objectives
- process scientific data in a statistically sound way by applying basic statistics;
- apply basic environmental tools, such as modelling.
- Groupwork Ecoland Elective Learning Objectives
- Solve complex environmental problems by integrating the content of the preceding modules;
- Make decisions on the basis of a limited amount of information;
- Work in a team to solve complex environmental problems
- MSc Proposal Elective Learning Objectives
- concisely define the intended research topic, state precise aims and objectives, describe the research methodology, argue expected relevance and justification, and identify boundary conditions and self- or externally imposed limitations;
- list available literature and replicate main arguments expounded in the literature on the specified research topic;
- demonstrate analytical problem-analysis skills and the ability to distil the strategic issues to be addressed in the research phase;
- plan the research process in weekly time-steps and indicate essential milestones, targets and indicators, required human, financial and other resources, deliverables and perceived threats and constraints at each stage of the research project;
- develop and formulate the research proposal in a clearly written, well argued and convincing report, submitted within a set deadline;
- develop and formulate the research proposal in a clearly written, well argued and convincing report, submitted within a set deadline; successfully present and defend individual work, cross-reference it to and critically evaluate it in light of contemporary thinking in a specific field of study.
- Water Quality Assessment Elective
- Describe the different water pollutant groups and their risks and fates
- Describe and apply the different criteria for succesful monitoring of lakes, rivers and groundwaters
- Describe and apply a number of water quality models as a tool in Water management
- Design sustainable water quality monitoring programmes for river and lake basins
- Wetlands for Water Quality Required
- assess the value of wetlands and explain the use of natural and constructed wetlands for the treatment of wastewater;
- describe the concept of wastewater treatment by wetlands;
- design and operate a wetland treatment system.
- Environmental Planning and Implementation Required Learning Objectives
- Explain the concept and importance of sustainable development into environmental planning and management
- Apply and discuss economic valuation methods and policy instruments for environmental policy
- Explain principles, processes and methods of environmental assessment (EIA-SEA) and be able to apply them in water related plans, programmes and projects
- Apply basic theories behind policy enforcement, monitoring and evaluation to master effective environmental policies
- Use environmental information systems to support planning and management
- Water and Environmental Law Required Learning Objectives
- Describe the fundamentals of national and international water and environmental law and legislation.
- Explain and apply accepted and desired legal and institutional arrangements for applying principles of Integrated Water Resources and Environmental Management.
- Describe and apply legal instruments for the application of IWRM with the emphasis on functional decentralization, river basin organizations, planning and decision-making through water allocation criteria, systems of water rights, water (effluent) permit systems etc.
- Explain and appraise concepts of customary water rights.
- Discuss the processes of international water allocation.
- Explain the concept of multi-level governance and the relationship between national and international legal and policy systems and to be able to persuasively argue a case for international water conflict resolution.
- Foreign Fieldtrip and Fieldwork Required Learning Objectives
- The international fieldtrip is an exposure tour to interesting sites in Europe and is aimed to become familiar with environment-related organisations and companies in Western Europe.
- After completion of the fieldwork participants will be able to conduct experimental fieldwork.
- Introduction to Environmental Science 1 Required
Tuition & fellowships
Tuition fee is the general tuition fee for Delft Based programmes, available here
The following fellowships are recommended for prospective students who wish to study Water Quality Management
Joint Japan Worldbank Graduate Scholarship Programme (JJ/WBGSP)
Participants from World Bank member countries can apply for a fellowship from the Joint Japan/World Bank Graduate Scholarship Programme (JJ/WBGSP).
more info: www.worldbank.org
Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)
The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) promote capacity building within organisations in 51 countries by providing training and education through fellowships for professionals.
The overall aim of the NFP is to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. You have to be nominated by your employer to be eligible for the fellowship. There also has to be a clear need for training within the context of your organisation.
Fellowship application procedure per modality:
- For more info about how to apply for a NFP fellowship for a MSc Specialization at UNESCO-IHE click here
- For more info about how to apply for a NFP fellowship for a Short Course at UNESCO-IHE visit the Short Course webpage.
more info: www.studyinholland.nl
Application & Admission
Academic admission to the Master programmes may be granted to applicants who provide evidence of having:
- a university level Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field for the specialization, which has been awarded by a university of recognised standing.
- a good command of the English language, if this is not the first language. All non-native English-speaking applicants must satisfy the English language requirements for all UNESCO-IHE's educational programmes.
Working experience in an environment related to the specialization is an asset. At least three years experience is in general preferred.
For admission to the programme please complete the online application form. The link is available at the top of this page. Collect the required documents and attach them to the online application form:
- Certified copies of degrees/diplomas.
- Certified copies of academic transcripts. Authenticated or certified copies are copies with an official stamp to verify that the copies are true copies of original documents. This official stamp may be from one of the following: a solicitor/notary, the educational institution from where the student gained the diplomas or the local council/local authority/local government office.
- Two reference letters, preferably one from a person that can judge students' professional abilities and one from a person that can judge his/her academic abilities. One recommendation letter has to come from the current employer (if available) and another one from the university the student graduated from. Letters have to be printed on company (logo) paper and signed.
- Motivation letter (maximum 500 words explanation why he/she applies for admission to the choosen programme).
- Copy of passport.
- Copy of results of English language test score (if required, see English language requirements).
Please note all documents are required to be in English, or officially translated into English.
Once academically accepted this admission remains valid for three consecutive years. In principle one can not apply for more than one programme per academic year. However, if a student applies for an Erasmus Mundus programme, he/she can also apply for another programme as long as it is not also an Erasmus Mundus programme. Academic admission to the programmes will be granted on the basis of a decision taken to that effect by the Academic Registrar, upon advice of the programme coordinator.
Further questions about the application procedure can be addressed to:
Ms Marlies Baburek
Admission and Fellowship Officer