You have a BSc degree in agricultural or civil engineering or a related field with a hydraulic background. You are eager to acquire practical skills and knowledge to address engineering, and water management or flood protection issues. A future career may be in government services, consultancy, or education and research institutes. Preferably you have worked for some years in professional practice or at a university or research establishment.
Students who successfully complete this programme will be awarded with an MSc degree in Water Science and Engineering by IHE Delft.
Start: 15 October 2020
Application deadline: 01 August 2020
After completing this specialization, you will be able to:
- explain the latest concepts and theories of irrigation, drainage, flood protection, land reclamation and consolidation technologies for sustainable development;
- identify the cross-sectoral linkages comprehending wider aspects of society, economy and the environment;
- apply the latest hydraulic engineering and hydrological methods in planning, design and implementation of irrigation, drainage and flood protection schemes, independently or in a multidisciplinary team;
- evaluate alternative land and water development options for areas under different land uses and assess their technical, economical, and environmental feasibility;
- support developers, system managers and water users in the participatory development and management of irrigation, drainage and flood protection schemes for their planning, design, implementation, operation and maintenance, financing and performance assessment;
- demonstrate knowledge and understanding of contemporary research issues in the field of land and water development.
Structure & contents
This specialization consists of 14 modules covering a total of 12 months, this is followed by a 6-month research and thesis phase. Graduates of the programme will be awarded 106 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits.
October - AprilIHE Delft, The Netherlands
- Introduction to Water for Development Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Reflect critically on water related interventions, formulate own standpoint and engage constructively in debates
- Place the specialized knowledge on own discipline into a broader understanding of water related issues, challenges, debates and developments
- Recognize and distinguish different ways of knowing and framing water questions and problems in order to appraise water challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective
- Familiarize with the educational environment and procedures of IHE Delft and collaborate in multidisciplinary and intercultural teams
- Introduction to Water Science and Engineering Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Understand the field of water science and engineering, identify its different specialisations and understand the structure of the programme at IHE
- Apply mathematical, statistical and frequency analysis concepts and techniques relevant to water science and engineering
- Describe geologic, geomorpholgical and anthropogenic processes at the surface of the Earth that form and sculpt landscapes
- Explain how to use different types of literature in scientific work in an ethical manner
- Hydrology and Hydraulics Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Describe the main concepts of steady/unsteady and uniform/non-uniform flow.
- Describe the principles and basic equations of water flow and to apply them to various practical situations.
- Explain the concepts of Geographical Information Systems and apply them in practical examples relevant to their specialization.
- Describe the main techniques of remote sensing and know when their use is appropriate or inappropriate.
- Carry out basic measurements in the wave and current flumes at the hydraulic laboratory.
- Describe and apply the concepts of hydrology needed for their specialisation.
- Principles and Practices of Land and Water Development Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Analyse the relevance, concept, elements and needs of irrigation and drainage.
- Assess and evaluate various types of flow and apply the hydraulic principles for uniform and non-uniform open channel flow, and flow in specific hydraulic structures in irrigation and drainage engineering.
- Analyse and evaluate the design and operational aspects of various surface irrigation systems.
- Explian commonalities and differences between traditional and improved agronomic practices and plan improved irrigation agronomy and field water management
- Analyse soil-water-crop yield relationships, management options under land or water scarcity and water saving techniques, and be able to determine crop water requirements
- Understand the unique characteristics and technical and practical conditions for optimum application of different irrigation methods.
- Design Aspects of Irrigation and Drainage Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Analyse, evaluate and apply the hydraulic principles for pipe flow in irrigation and drainage engineering.
- Make a preliminary layout and design of gravity irrigation and drainage networks.
- Determine the requirements for water table in irrigated area and design a subsurface drainage system
- Assess the need and implications of drainage
- Irrigation and Drainage Design Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Present, process and interpret results of hydraulic laboratory measurements in a technical report
- Prepare detailed irrigation and drainage system layout and design that leads to optimum field water distribution uniformity, optimum productivity, minimizes costs, mitigates conflicts and facilitates cooperation among beneficiaries.
- Analyse, evaluate and apply the hydraulic principles in irrigation and drainage engineering.
- Assess the need and implication of proper irrigation and drainage management for salinity control
- Management of Irrigation and Drainage Systems Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Demonstrate the role of property creation for the management and development of irrigation and drainage systems
- Assess the relevance and concepts of stakeholder participation in irrigation management
- Apply key concepts of irrigation performance assessment, including its role, types of assessment, criteria, indicators, benchmarking and targets, in addressing problems related to irrigation performance
- Use the IWMI water accounting framework to perform water accounting in irrigation schemes, interpret the results, provide situation analysis and formulate relevant recommendations for improvements.
- Explain the theory, key concepts, conceptual framework and merits of water accounting in irrigation schemes
- Evaluate objectives, tasks and types of irrigation management arrangements and its implications for irrigation peformance
- Discuss the importance of the social aspects that define the feasibility, implementation and continuation of land and water development projects
- Conveyance and Irrigation Structures Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Understand the sediment transport mechanism and how to control sediment transport in canal systems
- Select a suitable flow control system, the appurtenant flow control systems and to specify the operation rules of the hydraulic structures and social implications of applied irrigation techniques for different users.
- Select the appropriate type of structure for irrigation and drainage networks, to establish the boundary conditions and to prepare a preliminary hydraulic design;
- Assess the advantages and disadvantages of various numerical schemes for solving sets of equations in surface flow modelling and to select the appropriate models for stationary and non-stationary flow in open channels and in pipes and to evaluate the
- Apply DUFLOW for non-steady flow phenomena in open irrigation and drainage networks; to evaluate the results and to assess the advantages and disadvantages of the model for solving surface flow problems;
- Make simple unsteady flow computations for open channel systems;
- Elective module 8 WSE Elective
Choose one of the following modules:
- Dams and hydropower
- Food security, health and environment
- Urban flood management and disaster risk mitigation
- Climate change impacts and adaptation in deltas
- River flood analysis and modelling
- Groundwater in adaptation to global change impacts (only for Hydrology and Water Resources specialization)
- Integrated hydrological and river modelling (not for Hydroinformatics specialization)
- Fieldtrip and Fieldwork WSE Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Integrate quantitative measurements with qualitative terrain observations and prior information to evaluate and analyse the relevant predominant processes in a study area.
- Critically analyse field results, and identify/recognise possible areas of error or uncertainty.
- Apply this assimilation of data to engineering cases.
- Select and apply different, appropriate field instrumentation and measurement methods in practice and organise the measurements.
- Demonstrate a multidisciplinary overview of actual technical, research and organizational activities in the field of water management, hydraulic engineering and hydrology.
- Report detailed technical information received.
- Elective module 10 WSE Elective
Choose one of the following modules:
- Flood risk management
- Drought management and reservoir operations
- Geotechnical engineering and dredging
- Innovative water systems for agriculture
- Applied groundwater modeling (only for Hydrology and Water Resources specialization)
- Elective module 11 WSE Elective
Choose one of the following modules:
- Experimental methods in wastewater treatment
- Water sensitive cities
- Decentralised water supply and sanitation
- Remote sensing for agricultural water management
- Water resources planning under changing climate and environment
- Wetlands for livelihoods and conservation
- Sustainability and resilience of water organisations
- Solid waste management
- Advanced water transport and distribution
- Strategic planning for river basins and deltas
- Decision support systems in the water domain
- Summer course Required
Choose between eight one week summer courses. Topics include water diplomacy, water science communication, leadership, entrepreneurship, and serious gaming for the water sector.
- Groupwork WSE Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Present, argue and report the strategy as well as the corresponding programme of measures in an integrated and interdisciplinary manner.
- Develop inter- and multi-disciplinary project activities in integrated teams.
- Provide a diagnosis of the main challenges and interlinkages between those challenges for the case study area.
- Develop a shared strategy to answer the challenges based on a coherent programme of measures.
- Organize an integrated team including a division of roles, individual and shared responsibilities, a transparent decision-making process, and a monitoring and evaluating procedure of the produced outputs and deliverables
- Thesis Research Proposal Development for WSE Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- demonstrate analytical problem-analysis skills and the ability to distil the strategic issues to be addressed in the research phase
- plan, using the project management approach, 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 eac
- develop and formulate the research proposal in a clearly written, well argued and convincing report, submitted within a set deadline
- list available literature and replicate main arguments expounded in the literature on the specified research topic
- 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
- 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
- MSc research, thesis and defence Required Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
- Demonstrate academic attitude and learning skills (incl thinking in multidisciplinary dimensions & distinguishing main issues from minor ones), to enhance & keep up-to-date the acquired knowledge and application skills in a largely independent manner.
- Formulate well-founded conclusions and recommendations based on a comprehensive discussion of the results.
- Conduct research, independently or in a multidisciplinary team by selecting and applying appropriate research methodologies and techniques, collecting and analysing data.
- Communicate, debate and defend, clearly and systematically, findings and generated insights, and provide rational underpinning of these in oral and written presentations to a variety of audiences.
- Formulate research questions and hypotheses
- Explore the background of the research problem by critically reviewing scientific literature; Evaluate relevant theories and applying these theories to a relevant scientific problem; Assure adequate delineation and definition of the research topic
- Introduction to Water for Development Required
Tuition & fellowships
Information about tuition fees can be found here.
The following fellowships are recommended for prospective students who wish to study Irrigation Engineering and Management for Food Security
IHE Delft will provide water professionals from seven MENA countries (Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen) and Sudan with MSc level education in Delft on relevant topics for MENA region water scarcity.
To be considered for the MENA-CD fellowship for the October 2020 intake, you must apply for admission to an MSc programme before 15 July 2020 (deadline extended).
more info: www.un-ihe.org/mena-cd-fellowships
National Fellowships in Latin America
These fellowships are for nationals from the mentioned Latin American country. As IHE Delft is a UNESCO affiliated Institute and not a regular university, it may not appear in their website listings of eligible institutions. It is worth applying for funding once you have been academically accepted by IHE Delft, as these organisations will most likely consider your fellowship application. The name UNESCO-IHE (former name of IHE Delft) may appear in some application systems.
- COLFUTURO - Colombia
- CONICYT - Chile
- CONACYT - Mexico
- CONAPE - Costa Rica
- GUATEFUTURO - Guatemala
- HONDUFUTURO - Honduras
- ICETEX - Colombia
- IFARHU - Panama
- SENECYT - Ecuador
Your country might also offer individual fellowships for studies abroad, contact your national Ministry of Education or a similar organisation/agency for more information.
Orange Knowledge Programme
The Orange Knowledge Programme is a €195-m Dutch global development programme, available in 53 developing countries and managed by Nuffic, a Dutch non-profit organisation for internationalisation in education. Launched mid-2017, it aims to have provided tens of thousands with the possibility to change their future through education and training by mid-2022.
Rotary Scholarship for Water and Sanitation Professionals
The strategic partnership between The Rotary Foundation (TRF) and IHE Delft Institute for Water Education aims to tackle the world’s water and sanitation crisis by increasing the number of trained professionals to devise, plan, and implement solutions in developing and emerging countries. Through this partnership, a limited number of scholarships are awarded annually for graduate students at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education’s campus in the Netherlands. These scholarships are designed to promote long-term productive relationships between Rotarians and highly skilled water and sanitation professionals in their communities.
The SIDS programme is aimed at water professionals from small island developing states. To be considered for the SIDS fellowship for the October 2020 intake, you must apply for admission to an MSc programme before 15 July 2020 (deadline extended).
more info: www.un-ihe.org/sids-fellowships-1
Stuned Scholarship Programme
The Stuned Scholarship Programme is open for professionals from all over Indonesia who have completed a Bachelor study, in particular educators, government officials, ngo officials and journalists. Stuned aims at a balanced gender representation (minimum 50% women) and gives preference to candidates from less developed areas in Indonesia.
Submission deadline: 03 March 2020
more info: www.nesoindonesia.or.id
WMO is partnering with IHE Delft to jointly support two to three fellowships a year from developing and least developed countries to undertake an MSc in one of the agreed IHE Delft programmes.
To be considered for a fellowship for the academic year 2020-2022 under WMO / IHE Delft joint funding applicants must:
- have unconditional admission to one of the following IHE Delft MSc programmes: Hydrology and Water Resources; Hydraulic Engineering and River Basin Development; Land and Water Development for Food Security; Hydroinformatics - Modelling and Information Systems for Water Management; Coastal Engineering and Port Development; Water Management and Governance
- complete and submit a WMO Fellowship Nomination Form (FNF) to WMO by 1 March. The FNF MUST be submitted through, and approved by, the Permanent Representative (PR) of your country with WMO. You will find the contact of your country’s Permanent Representative in the WMO Country Profile Database: https://www.wmo.int/cpdb/. WMO can only consider your request for fellowship if your application is formally presented through the officially designated Permanent Representative of your Government with the Organization. This is usually the Director of National Meteorological and Hydrometeorological Service(s). Please note that the PR may give preference to personnel from the National Meteorological Service or National Hydrological Service of their country. The WMO Fellowship Nomination Forms (FNF) are available here.
- be medically fit (see WMO FNF for details).
For WMO to consider the fellowship nomination all of the above conditions must be met. Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified through the PR of their country by the end of July 2020. For further information email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
more info: www.wmo.int
Application & Admission
Academic admission to IHE Delft MSc Programmes may be granted to applicants who provide evidence of having:
- A university level Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field, which has been awarded by a university of recognised standing, comparable in level with a Bachelor degree from a research university in the Netherlands.
- 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 IHE Delft's educational programmes.
- A strong motivation to successfully complete the programme.
Several years of professional experience in an area of work related to the specialisation is an asset.
For admission to the programme please complete the online application, the link to the application section of our website is available at the top of this page.
You need to submit the following documents:
- 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 Recommendation letters which must be printed on official letterhead paper and need to be signed and dated. We do not accept recommendation letters which are older than 1 year nor which have copied and pasted signatures and/or letterheads. If you are employed, one of the recommendation letters should be from your current employer and not older than 3 months.
- Motivation letter; explain in maximum 500 words why you wish to be admitted to the chosen programme and how it will benefit you in the future. The letter must show that you understand what the chosen programme is about.
- Copy of passport.
- Copy of results of English language test score (if required, see English language requirements).
If any of the original documents is not in English we additionally need an official English translation by a sworn translator.
Multiple MSc applications (for the same academic year) are not allowed, unless there is a period of at least 3 months between the starting dates of the programmes of interest. If a student applies for an Erasmus Mundus programme for which Erasmus Mundus scholar ships are available, he/she can also apply for another programme. If the other programme is also an Erasmus Mundus programme, the applicant can submit up to 3 applications.
Further questions about the application procedure can be found at our FAQ page, or can be addressed to:
Ms Marlies Baburek
Admission and Fellowship Officer