Master of Water Resources Engineering (Leuven)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

The Master of Water Resources Engineering addresses water-related issues in developed and developing countries. The general program objective is to educate professionals and scientists who contribute effectively to the development and management of water resources on both a local and global scale.

What is the program all about?

The Master’s program 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.

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 stormwater drainage and flood damage mitigation.
  • Problems related to water quality in streams and aquifers, erosion, sedimentation, protection of ecosystems and other natural resources.
  • Integrated water management.
  • Institutional, 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 program to fit your interests.

Is this the right program for me?

Candidates must hold a Bachelor's degree from a four-stage program in agricultural, civil or environmental engineering. Study results should reflect the equivalent of a 70% pass rating in Flanders. Students should have proven proficiency in English. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries should have a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the written test and 213 on the computer-based test or equivalent results on a similar language test.

Students from a 5-stage engineering or equivalent degree, including the prerequisites to the second stage courses, can be exempted from 60 ECTS. Applications are evaluated on an individual basis.


A graduate (can)

  1. Possesses technical and scientific knowledge and integration skills to advise 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 modeling tools and practical skills in running simulations for planning, designing, operating and managing specific water resources systems.
  3. Analyze and interpret hydrological data and spatial data for managing water resources and employ measurement techniques to monitor water resources.
  4. Understand and analyze institutional, socio-economic and policy issues related to water resources development and management.
  5. Understand and analyze problems related to stormwater 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 the general public.
  10. Function in an interdisciplinary team.

Career opportunities

Career prospects in the water sector are excellent. The water sector proves to be a stable employment environment with a continually rising need for highly educated professionals. Program graduates will deal with the exploitation and management of water resources and, to a lesser extent, with education and research. Graduates are therefore prepared to fulfill both a professional and academic role. The program's academic-level education not only prepares water sector professionals but also future lecturers and researchers, creating a multiplier effect that spreads across many countries.

Government agencies, drinking water companies, and other companies play a decisive role in the management of present and future aquifers and river basins. They need well-trained water professionals. Many graduates find employment with private companies, such as consultancy agencies and industrial firms. Others go on to careers in non-governmental organizations.

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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