Study options

Water and Environmental Engineering, Master of Science (Technology)

The impact of climate change on water bodies, sustainable management of water resources, and the recovery of nutrients from wastewater – the Water and Environmental Engineering Master’s Programme deals with some of the biggest challenges of our time. The programme gives you both a broad understanding of water-related issues and the ability to develop cutting-edge solutions to them.
Students doing a group work around a table


Master of Science (Technology)

Application period:

30 Nov 2023 – 2 Jan 2024

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) Read more

Applying to master’s programmes


Ensuring sustainable use of natural resources under changing climate is our planet’s biggest challenge. Water resources management plays a critical role in guaranteeing food security and is closely linked to land use changes, nutrient flows, and biodiversity conservation. Further, climate change is expected to bring more extreme droughts and floods – both to which societies need to adapt.

Creating functional and sustainable water supply networks is among the most vital tasks in our society. The goal is not only to guarantee clean water supply at all times, but also to reduce the environmental impact of our water use through a circular economy.

In the Water and Environmental Engineering (WAT) Master’s Programme, the focus is on water and water engineering solutions. Students learn the knowledge and skills to provide solutions to modern water-related challenges. The programme has a unique international focus and it combines a strong technical basis with a sound understanding of broader societal contexts.

Upon graduation, you are able to:

  • Recognise and analyse the main components of sustainable water-related planning, implementation, and management processes.
  • Understand the principles of the hydrological cycle and movements of water in natural and built environments.
  • Apply key computational methods as well as relevant experimental methods and data analysis approaches related to water and environmental engineering.
  • Define and differentiate the main sections of water services, with focus on the treatment of water and wastewater.
  • Identify the societal context relevant to water and the environment, and comprehend the different scales and key drivers applicable to water and environmental engineering.

Language of instruction

In the Water and Environmental Engineering Master’s Programme, the language of instruction is English.

More information and guidelines on the languages of the degree and instruction available in the university's website here.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Aalto University’s tuition fee for master’s programmes taught in English is 15 000 euros per academic year. Tuition fees apply to citizens of countries other than those of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland.

Aalto University has a scholarship programme to support non-EU/EEA citizens who study in a fee-charging degree programme. The scholarship may cover 100% or 50% of the tuition fee.

More information about tuition fees and scholarships at Aalto University is available here.

Structure of studies

The WAT Master’s Programme consists of 120 credits (ECTS):

  • Major studies (60 ECTS)
  • Elective studies (30 ECTS)
  • Master’s thesis (30 ECTS)

Students are able to complete their common and advanced studies during the first year. This leaves your second year for elective courses and the Master's thesis. You can choose practically any combination of elective courses – from Aalto as well as other universities in Finland and abroad – that supports your studies and suits your interests, including courses focusing specifically on environmental engineering. This study structure also makes it easy for you to go on a student exchange during the second year.

Our teaching combines theory with practice, including hands-on modelling work, case studies, group works, and projects. Many of our courses also collaborate with the industry and other stakeholders in the form of project works, mentoring and guest lectures.

More information about the programme content and curriculum can be found in the Student guide.

Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering

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


In this programme, students can tailor their studies to best suit their interests and aspirations. There are three study paths that complement each other through their own thematic and methodological focuses. The study paths enable you to build your own expert profile, and you will take courses from at least two different study paths: this also helps you to gain a broad understanding of our field. The study paths are:

1. Water Resources Management and Environmental Hydraulics

In this path, the focus is on varying topics related to water resources management, hydrology and environmental hydraulics:

  • Surface water, groundwater, and runoff management
  • Urban water planning
  • Sustainable use of water in cities, agriculture, and forests
  • Ecohydraulics, computational hydrology, and hydraulics applications
  • Measurement of changes in water and the water environment caused by anthropogenic activities

2. Water and Wastewater Engineering

This study path deals with the water services that are crucial for society – these services need to function every day and under all circumstances. Sustainable water services protect human health and the environment. They are the premise for development. The main topics include:

  • Clean water production and sanitation
  • Environmental protection through wastewater treatment processes
  • Circular economy as well as resource recovery from wastewater
  • Climate impact mitigation in water services
  • Modelling and optimization of water treatment processes and water service systems

3. Water and Development

Water is at the core of sustainable development at both local and global scale. This study path considers the diverse linkages between water and development across scales, and students learn about, among other things:

  • Global water challenges with a multidisciplinary problem-solving approach
  • The impact of climate change on water
  • Use of water and other key natural resources in food production
  • Key frameworks and approaches related to water governance and management, including transboundary water cooperation
  • Sustainability and sustainable global technologies


Many of the courses in this programme have an international focus. One of them (SGT Studio) even offers 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. This course is also multidisciplinary – it brings together engineering, business as well as architecture and design students.

The WAT Master’s Programme collaborates with various international universities, and students have the chance to complete part of their degrees abroad as exchange students. The programme also cooperates with Aalto Global Impact that facilitates global sustainability projects in collaboration with research teams and Master’s programmes. Many of the research topics at the Department of Built Environment are global.

Overall, Aalto University is known for its international study and research environment. Every year, Aalto welcomes thousands of degree and exchange students from abroad. Additionally, many of our professors and researchers have international backgrounds and experience, bringing their networks close to students.

Further study opportunities

The WAT Master’s Programme is considered a great foundation for doctoral studies. At Aalto, doctoral education is actively being developed by the Water and Environmental Engineering research group through experiences gained from the Majakka project. The research group provides doctoral students with an inspiring research environment to carry out their studies.

Career opportunities

Water and environmental engineering provides you with diverse career opportunities. There is a great demand for experts in this field, and they have good advancement opportunities in their careers. Oftentimes our graduates find employment in Finland, but they have the suitable skill set to embark on an international career as well.

Our graduates typically work in the fields of water resources management and water engineering as planners, technical experts, and managers. They have varying tasks related to, for instance, water supply planning as well as environmental and flood risk management. There are many employers, such as consulting firms, in the private and public sectors. Graduates can also find employment in academia and research institutes.

For more information about this field’s career prospects, please visit Aalto Career Design Lab.

Research focus

The main research themes of the Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group are the same as the specialisation areas of this Master’s Programme: Water Resources Management and Environmental Hydraulics, Water and Wastewater Engineering as well as Water and Development. You can find more information about these research topics here.

Co-operation with other parties

This programme collaborates closely with the industry, engaging both public and private sector actors in education. This means guest lectures and joint projects that provide you with a view on and connections to the working life. In addition, the programme cooperates with other programmes at Aalto.

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
Applying to master’s programmes

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Are you wondering what it is like to study at Aalto? Come chat with our students about all things Aalto on Unibuddy chat platform.

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Admission requirements 2024

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 applications to Master's Programme in Water and Environmental Engineering in 2024 are evaluated based on the following criteria:

Study-option-specific documents required

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):

Programme director

 Marko Keskinen

Marko Keskinen

Associate professor, programme director

Contact information

Päivi Kauppinen

Planning officer (content and studies of the programme)

[email protected]

Aalto University, Admission Services

For enquiries regarding the application process, obligatory application documents or English language proficiency, please contact Admission Services at

[email protected]

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