The Master of Water Resources Engineering addresses water-related issues in developed and developing countries, with a focus on problems in the latter. 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 Master of Water Resources Engineering 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 the 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.

The IUPWARE program offers a good opportunity to form a solid foundation for anyone aspiring to pursue more advanced studies or a specialized career in the field of water resources engineering. One of the strengths of the program is its nice mix of theory and practice, giving students a complete insight into the topics addressed. IUPWARE also offers an excellent opportunity to meet a variety of people and learn different cultures.

Application deadline for 2020-2021

  • 1 March 2020 (for non-EEA citizens)
  • 1 June 2020 (for EEA citizens)

KU Leuven uses an online application system. You can download and submit your application form via Students with a Flemish degree can consult

Tuition Fee

The tuition fee for the 2019-2020 academic year is €938.8. Please consult the website for the most recent information:

This is an initial Master's program and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.

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 a 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.

Career Paths

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.


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 of modeling tools and practical skills in running simulations for planning, designing, operating and managing specific water resources systems.
  3. Analyse 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 a general public.
  10. Function in an interdisciplinary team.
Program taught in:
  • English

See 3 more programs offered by KU Leuven: Faculty of Bioscience Engineering »

Last updated December 6, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Sep 2020
2 years
939 EUR
Mar 1, 2020
1 March for non-EEA citizens; 1 June for EEA. citizens.
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Start Date
Sep 2020
End Date
Application deadline
Mar 1, 2020
1 March for non-EEA citizens; 1 June for EEA. citizens.

Sep 2020

Application deadline
Mar 1, 2020
1 March for non-EEA citizens; 1 June for EEA. citizens.
End Date