Water Technology

Programme - Water Technology

The master's Water Technology is a two-year study programme and encompasses 120 credits. The programme starts annually in September. On this page you find information about the courses and the programme outline.

Academic year

The master's Water Technology has four teaching periods in the first year and differs from the other master's programmes in this aspect. The first, second and third periods last ten weeks each; the fourth one last eleven weeks. In a ten-week teaching period, students take three courses for eight weeks, followed by one week of independent study and one week for written and oral examinations. In the last period students take two courses, successively. In-between there is a week for re-examinations.

Programme outline

Year 1: Courses

There are eight compulsory courses for all MSc students in Water Technology:

Water Technologies in Global Context (5EC): This course introduces students to the demand for water process innovation in an international context. In order to achieve this goal, first students are presented with the current global challenges. State of the art technologies for the production of drinking water and treatment of wastewater are introduced in this course. Main characteristics of these technologies are presented such as influent quality requirements, energy demands, land use, chemical use among others. Furthermore, students are introduced to  the scientific research in an active way.

Chemical Reactor Design (5EC): Students acquire a critical understanding of the characteristics of chemical reactors and conversion processes and the ability to set up a reactor design by means of making and using mathematical models.

Colloid Chemistry (5EC): This course provides relevant knowledge and understanding of  scientific and technological aspects of (mainly) physico-chemical interactions between (bio)colloids and their effects on water treatment processes.

Multi-component mass transfer in membrane processes (5EC): This course provides a theoretical framework to describe multi-component mass transport and several applications to molecular separations problems, based on adsorption, absorption and membrane separations by means of computer simulation.  

Bioreactor Design (5EC): This course provides students with knowledge of the characteristics of applied bioreactors in (waste) water engineering and with a design approach for bioreactors by means of making and using mathematical models.

Biological Water Treatment and recovery technology (5EC): This course deals with the most important pollutants and resources in municipal and industrial wastewaters, microbiological technologies to remove and/or recover these pollutants and resources from the wastewater or convert them into energy, illustrated by design cases and by performing a lab-scale practical.

Computational Methods in Water technology (5EC): Water and waste water treatment processes and their reactor networks have to be optimised to run as sustainable as possible. To achieve this, computer models and simulations are made and improved. In this course the focus is on the mathematical performing of dynamic process simulations.

Business Case Design project (10EC): . In this course, students develop a business case (including a new process design) for a specific water project with the circular economy concept as its starting point. Students work in groups on the business case and write individually a brief review for the involved stakeholders.

Depending on prior education one or more of the following restricted optionals has to be chosen, in close consultation with the study adviser:

Year 2: Thesis, internship and free choice

The second year is divided into a thesis (40 ECTS), an internship (15 ECTS) and one free choice course (5EC). The topics of the thesis and internship should be within the scope of the mentioned main research areas.

Thesis Work

The research part of the master's programme consists of 28 weeks and aimed at preparing students to do research independently and to combine all acquired skills. It gives them the opportunity to become experts in the field of a topic that fits their personal interests and preferred future career in the area of water technology. Crucial to the thesis is that students show that they are able to critically analyse, discuss and summarise the topic concerned. For the thesis, students can participate in on-going research project at Wetsus or at the involved universities. A successful completed thesis is seen as a proof of the fact that the student achieved the learning outcomes of the joint degree. The thesis is an individual research project and is a mix of a learning activity and a test of competence of the student. Considering the character of the research projects in water technology, it is possible to do a thesis that involves more chair groups. 

The thesis work is conducted under supervision of a staff member of one of the involved chair groups/research institutes of the three responsible universities of this master's. Thesis work mainly takes place at Wetsus. Students decide about the topic of their research in consultation with the study advisor and a supervisor from one of the involved groups/institutes. The research is concluded with a written thesis, which is graded by the supervisor. The student also presents his/her results in a colloquium.

Main research areas within the field of Water Technology are:

  • Sustainable water supply
  • Waste water treatment and reuse
  • New water sources
  • Reuse of components and production of energy
  • Sensoring of micro/nano pollutants


The compulsory internship consists of 11 weeks of work at a company with activities in the field of water technology. Students apply knowledge and skills acquired during their study, and also acquire relevant new knowledge, insights and skills through work experience. Students learn to work independently and develop a feeling for the context of the organisation. The work has to be carried out at an academic level. Reflection on the practices of the organisation and on the student’s own functioning is an important component. Internships also offer students the opportunity to reflect on their career after completion of the studies and to get a sense of the areas of expertise and competences they further need to develop.

Students can do their internship in the Netherlands and/or abroad. There is a huge and diverse group of participating companies in water technology business and quite a number of this group is international-oriented (www.wetsus.nl/entrepreneurship). The internship and supervision are usually provided by a third party (company). Before students start their internship, the student, the internship provider, the internal supervisor and the examiner have to fill in and to sign an internship contract. The contract formalises the agreements about activities and learning outcomes made between the student and the supervisor.

To receive credits for your internship you must receive a satisfactory evaluation from your field supervisor and your supervisor from the university. You must also complete a satisfactory internship paper.

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