BSc minor Physical Hydrology and Meteorology

The BSc minor Physical Hydrology and Meteorology combines theory with field experiments, lab experiments and modelling techniques.

Continue to an overview of the minor


The motions of water and air shape the landscape, determine usability of our environment, affect liveability, and play an important role in (occurrence of and vulnerability to) natural hazards. Water and air flow take place across a large range of spatial and temporal scales, and in different parts of the Earth system (from groundwater and river flow to the jet stream in the upper atmosphere). Understanding these hydrological and meteorological processes starts with a fundamental knowledge of the underlying physical laws, supplemented by (inter)disciplinary applications.

The hydrology and meteorology education and research at Wageningen University combines theory with field experiments, lab experiments and modelling techniques. In this minor, you will learn about the fundamental processes in hydrology and meteorology and how to observe then using a range of experimental techniques. In addition, you will use models for groundwater, surface water and the (clear and cloudy) atmospheric boundary layer. A field practical in the Belgian Ardennes clarifies the effect of geology on groundwater flow, and practicals in the laboratory for water and sediment dynamics illustrate surface water flow. A visit to the Veenkampen meteorological station will introduce you to the measurements of radiation, surface energy balance and turbulence.

Finally, you will encounter practical applications of the knowledge by visiting a groundwater pumping station, using the surface water model that is actually employed by a Dutch water authority and attending weather briefings from meteorologists working in a forecast office.

This BSc minor is a programme minor. If you are aiming for the MSc programme 'Earth and Environment', please e-mail to If you are aiming for the MSc programme “Climate Studies”, please e-mail to 

Learning Outcomes

After successful completion of this minor students are expected to be able to:

  • explain and apply the governing equations for flow of groundwater, surface water and in the atmosphere;
  • design, carry out and analyse modelling, laboratory and field experiments for hydrologic and meteorological analyses;
  • recognize and interpret practical applications of physical processes in hydrology and meteorology.

Target group and Assumed Knowledge

This minor is interesting for WU-students of the programmes BIL and BES who enjoy physics and mathematics, and for non-WU-students of programmes with a considerable physics and/or mathematics component (such as Physics or Civil Engineering), who are interested in hands-on applications in earth science. 




First semester (period 1, 2 and 3)

Programme or thematic

Programme minor