Master's Programme in Water Engineering

Academic year 2023/2024

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Access to clean water is a vitally important cornerstone of modern society, and the water engineer has a central role in the distribution, storage and purification of this water. As a student of the Master's Programme in Water Engineering, you will learn to use cutting-edge measurement, simulation and data analysis methods for the sustainable development of water resources in the built and natural environment.

Why this programme?

For us to live comfortably and safely, society has a large and constant need to distribute, store and purify water. Experts like water engineers are essential for keeping these systems functioning by, for example, determining the amount of available water, calculating flows in the main water grid, and simulating water run-off in residential areas. The production of drinking water and treatment of wastewater demand long-term solutions that require advanced technical know-how in measurement, simulation and data analysis (including machine learning and artificial intelligence).

Aside from drinking water preparation, stormwater management and water sanitation, water engineering also encompasses surface water hydrology and geohydrology as well as their applications in research and development.

The Master's Programme in Water Engineering at Uppsala University has a strong focus on digitalisation, which is expected to grow increasingly important for the water sector. As such, you will apply highly useful methods for collecting and interpreting digital data in the water industry.

As a student in the programme, you will acquire both theoretical and practical skills in water treatment, storage and conveyance. Digitalisation and machine learning are key concepts throughout, as much of the programme focuses on the analysis of large amounts of data, modelling/simulation and automation within the water sector.

The programme also offers several opportunities for students to participate in research seminars and lectures at the various departments that contribute to the programme. Students are encouraged to engage in faculty research through, for example, degree projects within ongoing research projects.


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Water Engineering as the main field of study.

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Read the interview
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Name: Amrith Kumar
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Why did you choose this programme?
I applied because I wanted to make a career change into the water treatment and management sector. Having previously had a career in the energy sector, I was looking for a programme where I could build on my foundational operations background while simultaneously learning about the water sector and gaining skills that would be applicable to the digital evolution currently taking place through all sectors.

Tell us about the programme. What do you do?
The programme imparts knowledge and skills that will be important for an engineer who would like to remain relevant in the digital transformation of the water sector. The programme provides a broad overview of different topics in the water sector that include fluid mechanics, hydrology, water treatment, computer programming, and data analysis. An interesting portion of the course for me has been the analysis of data to build models that can explain physical processes to some degree.

What do you like most about the programme?
A key part of the programme for me has been the statistical interpretation of data and the applications in building machine learning models within the various topics we've studied. I've also enjoyed learning extensively about automation and its applications as it relates to drinking and wastewater treatment plants.

What has been challenging?
My background in computer programming is very limited. Therefore, the learning curve has been quite steep in that respect. However, this has been alleviated by working together with my peers to find solutions to problems. The professors and TAs are also very approachable and are invested in helping you succeed.

How is the atmosphere in the programme?
The atmosphere is very friendly and open. The programme has given me a chance to meet people from all over the world with diverse backgrounds and perspectives. I have been lucky enough to have made some new friends to connect with in the future even if I'm in another part of the world.

How is the job market after graduating?
The water sector is a very crucial service in society. Having the competence to help organisations transform to digital operations safely and sustainably would be a sought-after skill. With water demand projected to increase, I foresee this career path having many opportunities to succeed after graduating. 

I think there are many opportunities for an international career, especially with an internationally recognised Swedish Master's degree from Uppsala University. I personally plan to return to Canada to continue my career there.

What are your goals and dreams?
I would like to be able to work in a career that has a positive impact on society and is rewarding for me. I think that working in the water treatment sector would allow me to contribute to society in a meaningful way. I would also like to use my abilities to improve conditions for communities that are impacted by water scarcity.

Ideally, I hope to be settled in my career as an engineer at a water treatment plant for a municipality. I also hope to be able to have the opportunity to mentor other young engineers entering the sector. Furthermore, I hope to be able to help communities in Canada through volunteer organisations or other means to have access to safe, reliable drinking water.

Two short questions
How do you like Uppsala? 
Uppsala is a clean and beautiful city with a lot of rich history. It's nice to see the old architecture and art throughout the city, yet it is also incorporated into modern design sensibilities. I like that the city is small enough where everything is accessible by bike, but also has a majority of the amenities that you may find in larger cities.

Do you have any good tips for new students?
The dollar store is amazing in Sweden. You can find great products at very reasonable prices. Also, you will need to bring or buy your own router if you want WiFi in your room (at least in Flogsta, where I live).

Spring 2022.

Register your interest


The programme begins with an introductory course that provides you with a firm footing in hydrology and fluid mechanics, both needed for the subsequent courses in the programme. The introductory course will also teach topics and skills that are pervasive throughout the programme, such as engineering ethics, sustainable technology and written and verbal communication. In addition, the first semester will include an introductory course in programming, as part of the focus on digitalisation.

The second semester will offer advanced courses that build upon those of the first semester, concluding with a course on measurement methods with a focus on sensors in the water sector.

The third semester will include the final course of the digitalisation profile, where digitalisation projects will be carried out together with students from another Master's programme (such as Data Science) using actual data from water systems.

Finally, the programme will conclude with a degree project in water engineering, in which you will be expected to apply the majority of the skills you have learned as part of your training.

Courses within the programme

See the outline for courses within the programme.

Learning experience

You are expected to participate and actively contribute to teaching sessions, while also assuming responsibility for your learning.

Instruction consists of lectures, practical assignments, seminars, projects and case studies. In a seminar, you present your ideas and discuss with your classmates a course book or other study material that you are required to read before the seminar; while the teacher usually only moderates the discussion. The aim is to develop critical thinking and collaborative skills. All the students are expected to be active participants in all forms of discussions.

A large part of the programme is spent studying on your own or in a study group outside the classroom, and as such, you must take a proactive role in structuring your own studies.

The programme is intimately tied to contemporary research, and the courses closely follow current developments in water engineering.

The language of instruction is English.


There is a strong and consistent demand for water engineers, both in Sweden and internationally. This includes developing countries, which often have rapidly growing requirements for safe and reliable water supply. Digitalisation is important for the effective use of water, particularly with the looming spectre of climate change, making this educational programme with a focus on digitalisation highly relevant for a career in water engineering.

Upon completion of the programme, you may go on to obtain employment with municipal water services, regional environmental authorities, governmental agencies, and consulting companies. Examples of potential positions include employment as a process engineer at a drinking water or a wastewater treatment plant, as a hydraulic engineer in industry, as a consultant dealing with water and the environment, and as a civil engineer at a hydropower plant.

If you so prefer, you may also elect to stay in academia, pursuing a PhD degree in a field related to hydrology and water engineering. With a skill set that includes modelling, measurement, digitalisation and automation, you will be an attractive candidate for a PhD in hydrology, geohydrology and environmental analysis at Uppsala University, as well as PhD studies at other Swedish universities or internationally.

Career support
During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what general documents you need to submit, check the application guide. Besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: an Application Summary Sheet (including your statement of purpose).

Master's Programme in Water Engineering

120 credits

Autumn 2023, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 16 January 2023

Application code: UU-M1865 Application

Language of instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is:

  • 90 credits in engineering;
  • 10 credits in physics;
  • 5 credits in chemistry;
  • 20 credits in mathematics.
Language requirements
Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose.


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources


If you have questions about your application and admission, contact our study counsellor

For admissions-related or general information, please contact: Our applicant support team:

If you have questions about the programme or courses within the programme, contact the Programme Director Ekaterina Sokolova

Department of Earth Sciences

Geocentrum, Villavägen 16 752 36 Uppsala

Villavägen 16, 752 36 UPPSALA

Last modified: 2022-10-27