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 September

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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: 30 September 2020
Application deadline: 15 June 2020

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
    • Taught Part at BOKU Required
      • Basics in Limnology (LWM1) 
      • Ecology of Aquatic Organisms (LWM2) 
      • Basics in Applied Limnology (LWM3) 
      • Aquatic Ecosystem Management (LWM4) 
      • Scientific Methods (LWM5)

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
    • Taught Part at Egerton Required
      • Lake ecology (LWM6)
      • Ecology of streams & rivers (LWM7)
      • Wetlands for water quality (LWM8)
      • Fisheries and aquaculture (LWM9)
      • Fieldtrip on sustainable management and utilisation of coastal systems (LWM10)

End of May you will depart for The Netherlands for the final four modules and summer course. 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
    • Data Analysis and Modelling for Aquatic Ecosystems for LWM Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Construct a simple dynamic simulation model of an aquatic ecosystem using Stella.
      2. Perform basic statistical procedures and analyses using R (distribution tests and transfor-mations, t-tests, ANOVAs, non-parametric tests, simple and multiple regression, etc.)
      3. Store and manipulate experimental data efficiently in a simple database and perform exploratory data analysis using time series plots, scatter plots and descriptive statistics in MS Excel and R.
      4. Do multivariate statistical analyses, such as multiple regression analysis and factor analysis, using R; and understand the principles of some other advanced modelling applications for ecological data.
      5. Discuss critically the strengths, weaknesses, missing information, advantages and disadvantages of the analyses.
      6. Communicate effectively the methods, results and conclusions of a case study (presentation and written report).
    • Aquatic Ecosystems Processes and Applications for LWM Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Develop your own research question and specific objectives designed to answer it.
      2. 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 and calculate primary production and respiration.
      3. Critically analyze scientific literature, including interpretation of data in graphs and tables, and evaluation of methodology and conclusions.
      4. Develop writing skills 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. Communicate in verbal scientific discourse: articulate problems, data interpretation, and conclusions in presentations and informal discussions.
      6. Analyze data using either statistical or modeling techniques to answer your research question.
    • Wetlands for Livelihoods and Conservation for LWM Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. understand the framework of ecosystem functions and services, and means of assessing it
      2. conduct and communicate a research project.
      3. develop adaptive management for wetlands in response to change
      4. analyse the socioecological system by applying DPSIR and Agency Network Analysis
      5. develop and carry out stakeholder interviews and surveys
      6. assess the state of the wetland ecosystem on the basis of HydroGeoMorphological units and applying WETHealth
    • 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.

    • Applied Environmental Management for LWM Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Make decisions on the basis of a limited amount of information
      2. Work in a team to solve complex environmental problems
      3. Solve complex environmental problems by integrating the content of the preceding modules
    • Thesis Research Proposal Development for ES Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Develop a research proposal in a clearly written, well-argued and convincing document, submitting and successfully defending it within specific deadlines.
    • MSc research, thesis and defence for LWM Required
      Upon completion, the participant should be able to:
      1. Formulate well-founded conclusions and recommendations based on a comprehensive discussion of the results.
      2. Formulate research questions and hypotheses
      3. 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.
      4. 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
      5. Conduct research, independently or in a multidisciplinary team by selecting and applying appropriate research methodologies and techniques, collecting and analysing data.
      6. 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.

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

  • 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.

    More info:

    Orange Knowledge Scholarships for MSc Programmes

    Orange Knowledge Scholarships for Short Courses

Application & Admission

Admission requirements

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.

Application procedure

You have to apply for admission to this programme to both IHE Delft and to Boku University. For IHE Delft's admission to the programme please apply online, the link to the application section of our website is available at the top of this page. For your application with Boku University, you can apply via IPGL's admission office

You need to submit the following documents to IHE Delft:

  • 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 reference letters, preferably one from a person that can judge students' professional abilities and one from a person that can judge his/her academic abilities. One recommendation letter has to come from the current employer (if available) and another one from the university the student graduated from. Letters have to have an official letterhead and need to be signed.
  • 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).

Please note all documents are required to be in English, or officially translated into English.

One cannot apply for more than one programme per academic year, 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 fellowships 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.

More information

Further questions about the application procedure can be addressed to:

Ms Ineke Melis
Admission and Fellowship Officer



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