MSc in Hydropower Development

General information

In future, renewable hydropower will remain the most important source of electricity production in Norway. Norway has developed competence at the highest international level within environmentally-friendly development and operation of hydropower plants. Old plants will be upgraded and made more efficient, and in years ahead investments will be made in the development of minor power plants.

The degree programme, MSc in Hydropower Development, known as the HPD programme, is a two-year long international Master’s programme in hydropower planning.

The first year consists of a series of 6 foundational courses and a larger group project where the students apply knowledge from the other courses by conducting a pre-study of the development alternatives in a Norwegian water system. This involves learning how to combine techniques, environment and economy to secure success. The final year consists of four compulsory advanced courses in the autumn, while the entire spring semester is dedicated to the master’s thesis. The lecturers have international experience and are recruited from NTNU and the international hydropower environment.

The study consists of a mix of lectures, projects, lab work, field work and excursions. Lectures are usually accompanied by exercises where theoretical concepts are exemplified in practical examples. Computers and computer models are used extensively and students have access to a computer lab with 25 computers for easy access to Web and E-mail. Every student is also expected to have a personal computer (laptop) where all relevant software can be installed, including word processor, spreadsheet, GIS-tools and software for hydropower planning. NTNU will provide free licences for all necessary software, and also subsidize the computer with help from external sponsors.

Regarding the master’s thesis, there are numerous options, and most students choose their topic within areas where NTNU offers special qualifications such as:

  • planning of a concrete project
  • hydrology
  • hydraulics
  • sediment transport
  • engineering geology
  • plant engineering

It is also possible to write the thesis in connection with projects abroad.

Learning outcome:

With a master’s degree in Hydropower Development you will have interesting engineering career prospects both in Norway and abroad with:

  • consulting engineering companies
  • contractors
  • water and energy authorities
  • developers
  • power and utilities companies
  • or institutions in development cooperation.

The hydropower industry and the authorities in Norway have an active recruitment policy towards new hydropower engineers as it is predicted that there will be a deficit of qualified engineers.

Contact Person: Oddbjørn Bruland (Professor in charge) (


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

0031 - Project management", "0712 - Environmental protection technology", "0713 - Offshore and renewable energy", "0715 - Machinery and operators


Venue: NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Trondheim, Norway


Open from
30 Sep 2016 to 1 Mar 2017


There are no tuition fees in public universities in Norway, however you need to pay a semester fee (NOK 510) each semester.


Application for admission to the M.Sc. programme in Hydropower Development is based upon:

  • Pre-requisite schooling: A Bachelor of Science degree in civil, hydraulic or water resources engineering or equivalent.
  • Mathematics/statistics requirements: In order to qualify for admission to one of NTNU’s 2-year Master of Science programmes in Technology, all applicants must have a minimum of 30 ECTS credits in mathematics and statistics in their Bachelor’s/undergraduate degree, equivalent to the NTNU courses Calculus I, II, III and Statistics.
  • English language requirements:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) with a minimum score of 90 points on the internet based test
    • IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) with a minimum overall band score of 6.5

All information for international applicants

The programme is suited for:

  • Project managers and team leaders in the multidisciplinary task of planning technical, economical, social and environmental feasible hydropower projects
  • Dam safety engineers (VTA)

Application Procedure:

Applicants with Norwegian or Nordic citizenship, or who hold a first degree from Norway or one of the other Nordic countries, are required to apply via NTNU's Søknadsweb. If you are are an international student, self-financed or Quota Scheme, you are required to complete a preliminary application by 1st of December. The preliminary applications will be processed after 1 December, and you may expect a reply in late December or early January. If your preliminary application is approved, you will receive a final application form by e-mail including necessary information about what docuements to submit. The final application form must be returned to us along with all the necessary documentation by 1st of February.

Application Deadlines

Non-EU/non-EEA students: 
1 December 2019

EU/EEA students: 
1 March 2020

Norwegian/Nordic students:
15 April 2020

The application portal will open mid-october

Grant Opportunities:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) welcomes applications from qualified students from around the world. There is a limited number of scholarships offered.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

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