Limnology and Wetland Management

You will learn about the structure and functioning of aquatic and wetland ecosystems for their management and wise use, and learn how to interact with stakeholders, managers and policy makers for the development of best practices.

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  • J

    What is Joint Programme

    Part of the programme is given at a partner institute, often in another country/continent. Joint programmes have varying start and end dates.

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Joint Programme, BOKU, Vienna, Austria; Egerton University, Kenya; Delft, The Netherlands18 months, starts in October

For whom?

This Masters Programme is intended for mid-career professionals with a background in biological or environmental sciences, and with a special interest in one of the following topics: aquatic ecology, limnology, wetland ecosystems, or aquatic resources management.


Students who successfully complete the programme will be awarded the Master degree in Limnology and Wetland Management. This degree will be awarded jointly by Egerton University, BOKU and IHE Delft.

Joint programme

This specialization is a joint programme given with BOKU: University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria, and Egerton University, Kenya.


Start: 02 October 2017
Application deadline: 15 June 2017

Learning objectives

After successfully completing this specialization, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate and apply an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological structure and associated processes of inland aquatic ecosystems;
  • Design sampling strategies for cost-effective effective monitoring of aquatic ecosystems, and to support clearly stated policy objectives;
  • Understand the relationship between pressures from catchment land use, invasive species and fisheries exploitation, and the ecology of lakes, rivers and wetlands;
  • Integrate potentially conflicting stakeholder objectives for the sustainable use of lakes, rivers and wetlands.

Structure & contents

The Limnology and Wetland Management Programme brings you to Vienna (Austria), Njoro (Kenya) and Delft (The Netherlands) under the joint responsibility of IHE Delft. The coursework part of the programme starts in Vienna in October, where you will attend basic modules (16 weeks).

  • October - January

    BOKU, Vienna, Austria
    • Basics in Limnology Required

      Course at BOKU 

    • Ecology of Aquatic Organisms Required

      Course at BOKU 

    • Basics in Applied Limnology Required

      Course at BOKU

    • Aquatic Ecosystem Management Required

      Course at BOKU 

In February you will travel to Egerton University in Kenya for the next four modules. In this part the emphasis will be on tropical limnology of lakes and rivers and you will have field visits to Lake Naivasha, Lake Victoria and Lake Nakuru.

  • February - May

    Egerton, Njoro, Kenya
    • Lake Ecology Required

      Course at Egerton

    • Stream and River Ecology Required

      Course at Egerton

    • Wetlands for Water Quality Required

      Course at Egerton

    • Fisheries and Aquaculture Required

      Course at Egerton

End of May you will depart for The Netherlands for the last four modules. Finally you will prepare a research proposal and you will finish with a research period of 6 months in The Netherlands, Austria, one of the East African countries or in your home country.

  • May - July

    IHE Delft, The Netherlands
    • Aquatic Ecosystems Processes and Applications Required
      Learning Objectives
      1. Conduct laboratory techniques used for basic limnological studies. Specifically, you will be able to measure physical-chemical properties, chlorophyll a concentration in seston and periphyton; measure and calculate primary production and community respiration, measure nutrient concentration and turbidity, calculate and measure ash free dry mass, and perform zooplankton counts.
      2. Develop a research question based on the experimental design.
      3. Analyze data using either statistical or modeling techniques to answer your research question.
      4. Produce a report in the format of a scientific article that presents your research question, the data supporting it, and a discussion of your results, including a review of relevant literature.
      5. Critically analyze your colleagues' work in the form of a professional peer review.
    • Data Analysis and Modelling for Aquatic Ecosystems Required

      Learning Objectives

      • Store and manipulate experimental data;
      • Perform exploratory data analysis using MS Excel and R;
      • Perform basic statistical procedures and analyses using R;
      • Understand and apply the principles of Bayesian statistics;
      • Construct a dynamic simulation model of an ecosystem using Stella;
      • Discuss the strengths, weaknesses of the analyses;
      • Communicate the methods, results and conclusions of a case study.
    • Wetlands for Livelihoods and Conservation Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. understand the concept of ecosystem functions and services, and means of assessing it;
      2. develop adaptive management for wetlands in response to climate change;
      3. analyse problems and formulate objectives according to the Objective Oriented Planning (OOP) method;
      4. analyse systematically the role that stakeholders have in wetland planning and management;
      5. develop and carry out stakeholder interviews and surveys;
      6. construct a wetland management plan based on the guidelines of the Ramsar Convention.
    • Groupwork ES Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Solve complex environmental problems by integrating the content of the preceding modules;
      2. Make decisions on the basis of a limited amount of information;
      3. Work in a team to solve complex environmental problems
    • MSc Research Proposal Development for ES Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. 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;
      2. list available literature and replicate main arguments expounded in the literature on the specified research topic;
      3. demonstrate analytical problem-analysis skills and the ability to distil the strategic issues to be addressed in the research phase;
      4. plan 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 each stage of the research project;
      5. develop and formulate the research proposal in a clearly written, well argued and convincing report, submitted within a set deadline;
      6. develop and formulate the research proposal in a clearly written, well argued and convincing report, submitted within a set deadline; 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.

Tuition & fellowships

Information about tuition fees can be found here.

The following fellowships are recommended for prospective students who wish to study Limnology and Wetland Management

  • Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP)

    The Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) promote capacity building within organisations in 51 countries by providing training and education through fellowships for professionals.

    The overall aim of the NFP is to help increase both the number and the competencies of skilled staff at a wide range of governmental and non-governmental organisations. You have to be nominated by your employer to be eligible for the fellowship. There also has to be a clear need for training within the context of your organisation. 

    Fellowship application procedure per modality: 

    • For more info about how to apply for a NFP fellowship for a MSc Specialization at IHE Delft click here
    • For more info about how to apply for a NFP fellowship for a Short Course at IHE Delft visit the Short Course webpage

    more info:


    Use the Nuffic Grantfinder to find a suitable fellowship

Application & Admission

Admission requirements

Academic admission to the Master programmes may be granted to applicants who provide evidence of having:

  • a university level Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field for the specialization, 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 all IHE Delft's educational programmes.

Working experience in an environment related to the specialization is an asset. At least three years experience is in general preferred.

Application procedure

The candidates for this joint programme are professionals with a bachelor’s degree preferably in Limnology, Environmental Science, or related fields. For this programme you have to apply for admission to both IHE Delft as well as to Boku University. You can apply with IHE Delft through the application button on this page. For your application with Boku University, you can apply via IPGL's admission office.