MSc of Water Resources Engineering (IUPWARE)

General information


The Master’s programme provides multi-disciplinary and high-quality university education in the field of water resources engineering. Students will be trained with technical and managerial knowledge and skills to: (i) successfully plan, design, operate and manage water resources projects; and (ii) advise and support authorities in decision-making and policy-making that enhance the safe exploitation and re-use of wastewater and the equitable distribution and conservation of local, regional and global water resources. A strong focus is put on the use of state-of-the-art numerical simulation tools for integrated water management.

Water Resources Engineering deals with the methods and techniques applied in the study of: 

  • water needs for agriculture, industry, households, recreation, navigation, hydroelectric power generation
  • problems related to storm water drainage and flood damage mititgation
  • problems related to water quality in streams and aquifers, erosion, sedimentation, protection of ecosystems and other natural resources
  • integrated water management
  • instituional, socio-economic and policy issues related to water resources development and management

Through the choice of 3 elective courses and a specific topic for thesis research, you can tailor your study programme to fit your interests. 

Learning outcome:

A graduate (can)...

  1. Possesses technical and scientific knowledge and integration skills to advice and support authorities in decision making and the development of policies and regulations to manage water resources, meet the water needs and safeguard the availability for current and future generations.
  2. Possesses specialized knowledge in modelling tools and practical skills in running simulations for planning, designing, operating and managing specific water resources systems.
  3. Analyse and interpret hydrological data and spatial data for managing water resources and employ measurement techniques to monitor water resources.
  4. Understand and analyse institutional, socio-economic and policy issues related to water resources development and management. 
  5. Understand and analyse problems related to storm water and flood control, irrigation and drainage, groundwater, water treatment, water quality protection of ecosystems and other natural resources.
  6. Interact with other relevant science domains and integrate them to come up with sustainable solutions supporting the implementation of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) principles through an appropriate science-policy interface.
  7. Demonstrates critical consideration of and reflection on known and new theories, models or interpretations within the specialty.
  8. Plan and execute target oriented data collection or model simulations independently, and critically evaluate the results.
  9. Present personal research, thoughts, ideas, and opinions of proposals within professional activities in a suitable way, both written and orally, to peers and to a general public.
  10. Function in an interdisciplinary team.
Contact Person: Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (


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

0512 - Toxicology", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0542 - Statistics", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0712 - Environmental protection technology


Venue: Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Contact University)
Leuven, Belgium


Open from
1 Nov 2018 to 1 Mar 2019


The current tuition fee is € 922. The tuition fee for the 2019-2020 academic year will be determined in the spring of 2019. Please consult the website for the most recent information: 


General requirements

Applicants have obtained an above-average Bachelor degree in the domain of Bioscience Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Geology, Biology, Geography, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences or a related discipline. A strong background in mathematics and natural sciences is expected.

Applicants who have not obtained a previous diploma in an English-taught programme in Australia, English-speaking Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United Stated of America must submit a certificate of English proficiency: TOEFL (iBT minimum 79 pts) or IELTS (minimum 6.5 pts). If you still have to take the test by the time you want to submit your application file, upload a proof of registration for the TOEFL or IELTS test in the meantime. The proof of registration should mention the date when you will be taking the test.

Direct access

Applicants who have obtained a Bachelor degree in the Flemish community in one of the following disciplines can directly be admitted:

  • Bachelor in de ingenieurswetenschappen
  • Bachelor in de bio-ingenieurswetenschappen
  • Bachelor in de geografie
  • Bachelor in de geologie
  • Bachelor in de biologie
  • Master in de biowetenschappen
  • Master in de industriële wetenschappen

Abridged programme

Candidates who already hold a Master’s degree from a university in the European Economic Area (EEA) in agricultural, civil, environmental engineering or equivalent can apply for the abridged Master’s programme. They can be exempted of 60 ECTS of the regular 120 ECTS programme. Applicants should have gained an equivalent of 60 or more relevant ECTS in their previous training. The relevance refers to mathematical, statistical and/or chemical techniques, data processing tools, knowledge in one or more aspects of water resources engineering and Master thesis research. Applications are evaluated on an individual basis.

Application Procedure:

1 March 2019 (for non-EEA citizens) 
1 June 2019 (for EEA citizens) 

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via Students with a Flemish degree can consult

Grant Opportunities:

VLIR-UOS (the Flemish Interuniversity Council) awards generous scholarships to students from certain countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to participate in the IUPWARE programme. In 2016, the scholarship covered among others flight tickets, tuition fees, insurance, visa application support, and a generous monthly allowance amounting to around 15,000 EUR per academic year.

You can find more information about the scholarship on the VLIR-UOS website

Applications have to be done via the KU Leuven application system between 1 November and 1 February, carefully following the steps as listed.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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