MSc Earth and Environment: Hydrology and Water Resources Specialisation

General information

During the two-year master's programme, you become a well-rounded specialist in the fields of (a) hydrology and water resources; (b) meteorology and air quality; (c) biological and chemical aspects of soil and water; or (d) soil geography and earth surface dynamics. Furthermore, you also gain a broad view of the interactions in the critical zone where the different spheres meet. Subjects studied range from micro to global scale; they are closely related to the innovative research and applications of ten leading research groups.

The Earth’s traditional spheres (lithosphere, pedosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere) are increasingly being studied at their interfaces. Interdisciplinary research leads to new developments, that in turn give direction to further fundamental research. If you join the master's Earth and Environment programme, you learn to view the Earth as a coherent system, with intense and significant interactions between its compartments.

The total programme of the MSc Earth and Environment is 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). In the first year (60 ECTS), you take a number of compulsory courses (CS), restricted optional subjects (RO) and optional subjects (O). The second year (60 ECTS) consists of a MSc Thesis (36 ECTS) and an Internship (24 ECTS). 

Everyone starts the MSc Earth and Environment with two compulsory courses: ‘Interdisciplinary Topics in Earth and Environment’ and ‘Environmental Data Collection and Analysis’ (8 weeks). After this first period you will take courses from your chosen specialisation, free choice courses and choose one from three Academic Master Cluster courses. You decide on your personal programme together with your study adviser.

Hydrology and Water Resources 

This specialisation allows you to develop as a hydrologist and gain an in-depth understanding of catchment-scale hydrological processes and quantitative river basin water management. You take courses in the fields of catchment hydrology, hydrogeology, river flow and morphology, hydrometeorology and soil physics. Key elements are the use and understanding of advanced measurement, modelling and assimilation techniques in a wide range of hydro-climatic settings. Other topics are transport processes of water, sediment and solutes over and through soils, particularly in relation to land-use, land-use change and management practices and other human influences. You study how these processes affect soils, groundwater, crops, vegetation and related ecosystem services. Using (field) measurements and models, you examine these processes at a range of scales, from the plot scale, via the river basin scale, to the global scale.

By using advanced measurement and modelling techniques, you improve our understanding of these catchment-scale hydrological processes in order to improve management of water systems. In these models you integrate hydrological theory and experimental results with knowledge from other disciplines such as soil science, vegetation science and meteorology. These models can be used to provide solutions to issues like soil and groundwater pollution, salinization, and water availability for vegetation and crops, as well as for the analysis of urban hydrology issues and developing ground water management plans. See the course overview here

Study advisor: Monica Gorska (online contact form)

Learning outcome:

Future career

MSc Earth and Environment graduates can continue their academic training as PhD student or start a career as a scientific professional at a university, research institute or consultancy agency. Depending on their specialisation, graduates may take up positions as meteorologists, hydrologists, water quality scientists or soil scientist.


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0512 - Toxicology", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0588 - Scientific modelling


Venue: Wageningen University
Wageningen, Netherlands

Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708 PB Wageningen



There are two kinds of tuition fees, the statutory fee and the institutional fee. Which one is applicable to you depends your nationality and your obtained degree. Please find all the information below. For the estimated total costs of two years of academic study in Wageningen for students from the EU or Non-EU/EFTA go to Study Expenses.

All information on which fees you have to pay can be found here



If you would like to register for the master's Earth and Environment, you have to fulfil the general requirements for all master's programmes at Wageningen University & Research, and the specific conditions for the Earth and Environment programme.

General requirements MSc Programmes

Wageningen University & Research has general requirements which have to met before being admitted to an MSc Programme. These include:

  • a BSc degree (or equivalent) in a field of science relevant to the programme selected
  • a Grade Point Average for their BSc of at least 7 (or 70% of the maximum of the scale)
  • be fluent in English, both written and spoken

Find out more about the general admission requirements.

Specific requirements for Earth and Environment

Additional to the general requirements to enrol in a MSc programme at Wageningen University & Research, the MSc Earth and Environment has some specific requirements. 

Generally, students of universities (of applied sciences) with a bachelor's degree in Earth Science (Geoscience), Physical Geography, Environmental Sciences, Biology (Ecology), Chemistry, Physics or Engineering are appropriate for admission to this programme. Furthermore, we expect you to have a good working knowledge of calculus and statistics as well as proficiency in the use of information technology. 

The best to check if you are admissible to the programme is to start the enrolment process. If you do not meet the requirements you will get notified what is missing and how you can attain this. Take into account that depending on your pre-education you might have to do a pre-master's linkage programme. 

Read more about the Pre-master's Linkage programme

You may want to consider enrolling in a minor or specific courses during your bachelor's studies in order to prepare you better for the programme, or to avoid any pre-master's programmes. If you contact the programme admissions early on in the admissions process, we can either approve your admission or advise you on how to manage any deficiencies. In order to do so, we will review your academic background and your choice of master's specialisation.


Application Procedure:

You must complete the online application form and submit it with all necessary documents. Before you complete and submit the application form please make sure that you have the required application documents (bachelor degree; transcript of academic records; Sufficient English Language Proficiency Test result; a statement of motivation/purpose; CV or brief personal history) scanned as pdf files and ready to upload. After you have completed and submitted the application form you will be re-directed to a webpage to upload the application documents. 

Application deadlines

NL/EU/EFTA students: 1 July 2019

Non-EU/Non-EFTA students: 1 May 2019

Grant Opportunities:

With a scholarship, you can cover (a part of) the costs of your study at Wageningen University & Research. Before applying for a scholarship you need to be admitted to one of our master's programme. Also, you need to contact possible donors at a very early stage. 

There are three types of scholarships possible to finance your study in Wageningen:

Scholarships that invite students that are accepted

Scholarships you have to apply for yourself

Scholarships from other countries

Here you can find a overview of the scholarships for international students. If you want to qualify for a scholarship you need to be admitted to a master's programme of Wageningen University & Research.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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