Study options

Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering

Our WAT master’s programme combines a strong technical basis with a sound understanding of broader social contexts to educate future experts and game changers. The emphasis in the programme is on water-related aspects, including their relation to the environment. The ultimate aim of our programme is to ensure a sustainable and functioning society.
Students and teaching staff at the Aalto University Environmental Hydraulics Lab


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

1.12.2021 – 3.1.2022

Language of instruction:



2 years, full-time


Relevant Bachelor's degree

Field of study:

Technology and Engineering


120 ECTS

Organising school:

School of Engineering

Tuition fees:

For non-EU/EEA citizens, €15000/y (Master’s studies)

The application period has closed

Applying to master’s programmes

The Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering combines a strong technical basis with a sound understanding of broader social contexts to educate future change makers. The emphasis in the programme is on water-related aspects, including their relation to the environment.

The programme combines interactive study methods with high quality teaching in order to educate graduates with a variety of skills that correspond to our society’s future challenges. Water and Environmental Engineering graduates have: 

  • Multidisciplinary set of skills.Our master's programme provides you a broad view of our field, preparing you for your future career in water and environmental engineering. Our teaching combines theory with practice, including hands-on computational work, case studies and project work. Our teaching is structured around three main themes i.e. water supply and wastewater engineering; water resources management and environmental hydraulics; and water and development. You can pick courses from all these three themes, or focus just on some of them. 
  • Own specialization in our field. Our programme is student-centered and our flexible course structrure allows you to create your own specialisation. Our major includes 15 credits common courses as well as 45 credits of advanced courses. Through the elective courses and the Master’s Thesis you are able to further strengthen your desired expertise. Our course structure also allows you to do your elective studies in another university in Finland or abroad. Our personal learning portfolio process helps you to plan your studies and synthesise your learning with the help of your mentor and your peers.
  • Strong problem-solving skills. The engineering work of future requires both skills and desire to solve multisectoral problems.Our interactive study methods and group work activityies prepare you to solve the diverse societal challenges together with experts from other fields.
  • Sustainable approach. The ultimate aim of our programme is to ensure a sustainable and functioning society. To ensure this, we focus on what engineers do: apply theory to practice to solve critical sustainability of our society. Our programme equips you with skills, knowledge and professional identity required for this task.

Competences and related intended learning outcomes (ILOs) of the programme

Get to know us

Student Aino Ahvo works with the Baltic Sea pollution

Aino Ahvo considers that her master’s programme gives tools that can help to solve the Baltic Sea pollution problems.

Aino Ahvo

Maria Kosonen chose to study Water and Environmental Engineering as she was interested in environmental issues

During her studies Maria Kosonen has got international experiences from Australia and Kenya, and soon also from Spain.

Maria Kosonen

Student Artem Makarov found his dream job in industrial water treatment

Artem Makarov, who is originally from Russia, is now finalizing his studies and working full-time simultaneously.

Portrait of Artem Makarov

Water and Environmental Engineering

Water and Environmental Engineering research at Aalto University aims to find solutions to decrease resource scarcity and to support sustainability. Our research is divided into two strategic areas: global water issues and sustainable circular economy, which are further divided into four research entities.

Aalto Research groups

Study languages

The language of instruction is English. More information and guidelines on the languages of the degree and instruction available here.

Content of the studies

The major of the programme is water and environmental engineering, with emphasis on water. Major studies are divided into three themes, corresponding to the main research themes of the Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group: Water Resources Management and Environmental Hydraulics, Water and Wastewater Engineering and Water and Development.

Each themes has their own thematic and methodological focuses, and you can mix courses from different themes into your major studies.

Structure of studies

The WAT Master's Programme consists of 120 credits (ECTS), including following parts:

  • Major (60 credits), including 15 credits common courses and 45 credits advanced courses
  • Elective studies (30 credits): you can choose practically any combination of courses that supports your studies and suites your interests, from Aalto as well as other universities in Finland and abroad
  • Master's Thesis (30 credits): a piece of applied research conducted independently by the student, further strengthening your expertise.

The structure of the programme is designed so that you are able to complete your major studies during the first year. This leaves your second year for elective courses and the master's thesis. It also makes it easy for you to go for student exchange during the second year. Alternatively, you can further build your expertise by taking more of our advanced courses as elective courses.

For more information on the courses included in the programme, please visit the programme pages.

More information about Water and Environmental Research at Aalto University.

Career opportunities

The Master’s Programme in Water and Environmental prepares graduates for a variety of careers. The key employers of our graduates include companies, public sector organisations as well as research institutes.

Many of our students work with the experts from the field already during their studies, as we have good connections both to public and private sector through our research and teaching.

Our graduates work in numerous positions as e.g. planners, technical experts, and managers, and have good possibilities to advance in their career. As experts of water and environmental engineering, our graduates have good opportunities to promote sustainability and ensure the essential functions of the society through their work.

For more information on our field's career prospects and examples of career positions, see the summary of our Alumni Survey.


We strongly encourage you to go for study exchange during your studies to diversify your views and skills. To ensure this, we have planned our programme so that it is possible to leave for study exchange and still to graduate in two years. We are also happy to recommend you potential exchange universities.

Many of our own major courses have international focus, and one of them (SGT Studio course) even provides you a possibility to carry out an international student project in different parts of the world: recent SGT project locations have included e.g. Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Nepal. For more information, see 

Our Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group is international, with our staff members including experts around the world. We collaborate with various international universities, and many of our research topics are global, and include e.g. research on linkages between water and development (see We also collaborate with Aalto Global Impact regarding our research:

Furthermore, as a student of Aalto University you have many other opportunities to make your studies more international, such as:

  • by studying on a summer course or a school abroad
  • by completing an internship abroad
  • by studying new languages and intercultural communication
  • by acting as a international tutor (kv-ISO) for exchange students at Aalto University and by taking part in the AYY Student Guilds' international activities
  • by doing their thesis at a university abroad
  • by completing courses from the Unite! -alliance universities via virtual exchange ( Unite! - Opinnot - Into (

Webinar | Water and Environmental Engineering

Want to hear more about the Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering? In this webinar the programme representatives will introduce the programme and answer your questions regarding the studies in the programme.

Watch the webinar recording!
Students and teaching staff at the Aalto University Environmental Hydraulics Lab

Chat with Aalto students

Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto University? Or what student life is like at Aalto’s vibrant Otaniemi Campus or at the Mikkeli Unit? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto!

Chat with our students!
Group of students

Admission requirements

Aalto University's student selection process is competitive and paper-based. Applications that pass the eligibility check (administrative evaluation) conducted by Aalto University Admissions Services proceed to the school's programme-specific academic evaluation.

The following are used as criteria for academic evaluation in 2022:

Academic performance
What is evaluated: Grades of the previous degree/CGPA
Admission requirements: Grades need to mainly very good or excellent
Evaluated documents: Transcript of records
Criticality: Critical

Relevance of previous studies
What is evaluated: Content and quantity in relation to the applied study-option-specific requirements
What we look for in an applicant: Content suit very well or excellent to the study option
Evaluated documents: Transcript(s) of records, degree certificate(s)
Criticality: Critical

Recognition and quality of institution
What is evaluated: Recognition and quality of the applicant's previous institution
Admission requirements: Recognized for high quality of education and research
Method of demonstrating competence: International and national rankings of higher education institutions
Criticality: Not critical

What is evaluated: Applicant’s further applicability to the study option, motivation, and commitment for studies
What we look for in an applicant: Applicant's expertise is clearly connected to the study option, and s/he has a clear vision on the role that the study option has for her/his career.
Evaluated documents: Motivation letter
Criticality: Not critical

Other areas of competence
What is evaluated: Work experience and other acquired expertise as well as other relevant achievements such as publications and non-formal education
What we look for in an applicant: Applicant's expertise is well suitable for the study option
Evaluated documents: Curriculum vitae, other relevant documents
Criticality: Not critical

The water and environmental engineering field is diverse, and we therefore welcome students with diverse backgrounds to our programme. Being an engineering master’s programme, we expect our students to be skilled in mathematics and physics. However, an engineering background is not a precondition to apply.

Study option -specific documents requirements

The documents required from all applicants are listed on In addition, applicants to this programme are requested to provide the following study option-specific documents (if applicable):

Contact information

With questions regarding the application process: [email protected]

With questions regarding the content of the programme and studies: Planning officer [email protected]

Programme director

Marko Keskinen

Marko Keskinen

Associate Professor
T213 Built Environment

The application period has closed

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