2 years
Full time
Master's degree
Scholarships available

About this program


Understand the hydrological cycle and its impacts on society

Do you want to dive into global water challenges and find sustainable solutions?

Water is one of the Earth's most important and fascinating natural resources. We simply cannot do without it. However, safe and clean water is becoming increasingly scarce, and conflict over water is growing. So how can we make sure there is enough water available for everyone? Can we ensure good quality water for agriculture, ecosystems and people? And how can we minimise the impact of extreme flood events in dense urban areas?

Hydrologists are needed everywhere. The Netherlands is internationally known for its experts in the field of water management. Thus, where better to study hydrology than in Amsterdam? In our Master, you will investigate water challenges and processes from a systems perspective. The Master offers interdisciplinary perspectives, a personal teaching style, and has a hands-on, international and real-world approach.

During the programme you will gain skills, including modelling and fieldwork, that allow understanding the processes driving the water cycle, and enable you to address risks related to water quantity (such as floods and droughts) and water quality (such as pollution).

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Admission requirements

Are you fascinated by water? Do you want to dive deeper into the complex interaction between hydrological processes and society, climate and ecosystems? And do you want to find sustainable solutions to our global water challenges? Then the Master's in Hydrology is the right programme for you. Check whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Then the Master's in Hydrology is the programme for you. Check whether you meet the admission requirements and find out how to apply.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

1st year

  • Catchment Hydrology
  • Ecohydrology
  • Catchment Biogeochemistry
  • Climate Hydrological Processes
  • Integrated Modeling in Hydrology
  • Groundwater Processes
  • Water Economics
  • Measuring Techniques in Hydrology
  • Field Course Hydrology

2nd year

Water and Society

  1. Water Risks
  2. Water Politics and Governance
  3. Environmental Policy for Global Environmental Change and Policy
  4. Open elective course

Water and Landscapes

  1. Frontiers in Hydrology
  2. Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  3. Advanced Spatial Analysis
  4. Open elective course

Water and Climate

  1. Frontiers in Hydrology
  2. Climate Modelling
  3. Water Risks
  4. Open elective course

Water and Environmental Analysis

  1. Water Risks
  2. Environmental Remote Sensing
  3. Advanced Spatial Analysis
  4. Open elective course

Water and Chemistry

  1. Frontiers in Hydrology
  2. Global Biogeochemical Cycles
  3. Plastic and Chemical Pollution
  4. Open elective course

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


  • Tuition fee for EU: € 2,209
  • Tuition fee for NON-EU/EEA: € 15,500

Career paths

Apply your skills to understand and manage our world's most precious resource: water!

Hydrologists are needed everywhere. As safe and clean water is becoming increasingly scarce all over the world, there is a growing demand for scientifically trained and modern water experts. This means there is a lot of employment in the field for you with a broad variety of opportunities, both now and in the future. This Master helps you find possible careers that match your personal interest.

For example, the Hydrology Master's programme prepares you well for a future in water, groundwater, drought, and/or flood management. You can also work in academia, work for an NGO or engineering company, do consultancy work or start your own business with an idea that helps solve water-related challenges.

Find three examples of where our students ended up below.

As a Hydrology graduate, you might get involved in:

  • Scientific aspects of water through a PhD study on a hydrological subject;
  • Management of groundwater exploration;
  • Flood management, studying the effects of land management on discharge;
  • Erosion and sedimentation issues and how to solve them;
  • Quantifying the economic effects of hydrological risks: floods, droughts and pollution;
  • Using satellite imagery and GIS to work on global or regional hydrology;
  • Using your knowledge professionally to improve the management of water resources.

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About this institute

Welcome to Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (‘VU Amsterdam’) is an internationally renowned research university founded in 1880. The university offers over 175 English-taught programmes at Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD level to more than 26,000 students from all over the world. Students and staff...

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Why study at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

With more than 24,000 students, of which 4,088 are international, VU Amsterdam conducts cutting-edge research into problems of societal and scientific importance.

They distinguish themselves in research and education through four interdisciplinary themes:

  • Human Health and Life Sciences
  • Science for Sustainability
  • Connected World
  • Governance for Society

As a student this will help you to look beyond the boundaries of scientific disciplines, and to seek for tangible solutions for a better world.

In addition, VU Amsterdam regards diversity, whether in culture, conviction, nationality or prior education, as source of innovation and progress, and hence as special strength.

The Dutch higher education system has been ranked in the top 10 by Universitas 21. In the first Times Higher Education University Impact Ranking, VU Amsterdam is ranked 16th worldwide. In this ranking, universities are assessed based on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to measure the impact of the universities on society. In the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2018 (Shanghai Ranking) VU Amsterdam holds the 104th position. The international QS World University ranking 2021 places the Vrije Universiteit at number 236 in the world, which means the Vrije Universiteit belongs to the top 20% of the world.

At VU Amsterdam, the teaching style can be described as student-centred: they encourage students to develop their own opinions through independent and creative thinking. This means that teaching is mainly conducted in small tutorials, where interactivity is the norm rather than the exception. At every opportunity, students are encouraged to engage in constructive dialogue with their professors.

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Want to know more about Hydrology? Fill out the following form and we'll pass your details on to a representative from the school, who will respond to your enquiry.


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