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In this minor you will learn about the water cycle and specialise in water quality and water management from a natural science perspective, or water governance and environmental planning from a social science perspective. The minor finishes with an interdisciplinary project that challenges you to explore future scenarios for sustainable water use. 

Please note, this minor will start in February 2025.


The minor covers 30 ECTS and can be completed in one semester. Depending on your academic background, you can choose between two tracks:

Track 1: Water quality and management (natural sciences)

If you have a background in natural science, you can choose to specialise in natural sciences related courses that deal with water shortage and water surplus. The courses will teach you about the increasing desertification world-wide and the consequences of sea level rise. You will investigate what challenges this poses for us on our blue planet Earth. You will also learn how to use Digital Earth and other modern techniques to learn how to get from data to evidence in water-related research.

* The course Digital Earth prepares for the field course 'Desertification' in Southeast Spain (Murcia). The field course has limited capacity. The field course requires a personal contribution to cover travel and accommodation costs. We recommend Spatial Implications for Environmental Change (12 ECTS) as an alternative to Digital Earth (6 ECTS) ánd Desertification (6 ECTS). 

Track 2: Water governance and environmental planning (social sciences)

In these courses you will examine the spatial implications of the expected environmental changes. Considering the growing global demand, questions about how to govern the use and availability of drinking water deserve serious attention too. Moreover, you will learn how to use Geographical Information Systems in the context of water issues and other related challenges. 

The Global Water Challenge
In a joint course on Scenario Planning, students from both tracks are invited to integrate and expand on the knowledge they gained to come up with future scenarios for the challenges we face on the waterfront and other, related domains.  

If you have already taken one of these courses or an equivalent, you may substitute it with one of the restricted-choice electives in the 30 ECTS programme from either track.

Entry requirements

The minor programme has a study load of 30 ECTS and is open to all Bachelor's students at the UvA and other universities. Candidates are required to have successfully completed - at least - the first year of an academic Bachelor's programme. English language proficiency is required. 

The two tracks require specific student backgrounds. The courses in Water Quality and Management are open to students who completed at least 30 ECTS in natural sciences (e.g. earth sciences, biology, chemistry).  The courses in Water Governance and Environmental Planning are open to students who completed at least 30 ECTS in social sciences (e.g. political science, social geography, urban planning). 

This minor is open to international students with sufficient fluency in English, i.e. students who master the language at C1 level, shown by an International Baccalaureate certificate, an IELTS test score > 7 or a TOEFL test score ≥ 95, or earlier academic education in English.

The maximum number of students in the minor programme is 40. 

Application and Admission

Application is possible until 2 December 2024. 

UvA students:

  1. Apply for the minor until 2 December 2024 by completing this form.

  2. Register for courses in GLASS.

Non-UvA students:

  1. Apply for the minor until 2 December 2024 by completing this form. 

  2. Sign up as an elective student (bijvak student) for the Bachelor's programme in Future Planet Studies in Studielink. Important: make sure that your start date is 1 February 2025. You will not be able to sign up for the minor without enrolment. 

  3. Send a signed and stamped transcript of your study results so far to 

  4. Register for courses in GLASS. 

More information and contact

Please contact Future Planet Studies of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS).

Facts & Figures
30 ECTS, 5 months
Language of instruction
Starts in