AAU logo

Water and Environmental Engineering, Master

Academic content

Academic content

As a student in the Master's programme Water and Environmental Engineering, you will work with real-life problems. Finding solutions to these problems will most often include experiments in the laboratories, field measurements and advanced computer modelling. The study programme focuses on the engineering perspective but also includes significant content of chemical and biological aspects in relation to the water environment.

The lectures will take up half of your study time while the other half will be spent on project work in groups.

During the programme, you will go into depth with the following subjects:


Rain and sewage discharge from urban areas is an area of great importance concerning public health and welfare wastewater in the cities. There are many challenges in designing systems that can handle the urban water, prevent floods and minimize the environmental exposure. The influence of climate change has increased the focus on storm water management.


Drinking water in several countries including Denmark is abstracted from groundwater. The quality of the groundwater is affected by pollution from urban areas or farming, and since groundwater interacts with surface water (rivers and lakes), an integrated and sustainable management of this resource is important.


Discharges from urban areas and industries have significant influence on the water quality of rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. The programme enables the student to predict (by computer modelling) and monitor effects of such discharges in order to be able to evaluate various measures to reduce these effects.


On the first semester you will work with pollution of soil and groundwater. You will learn how to analyse, asses and manage pollution in relation to human safety as well as environmental protection.

The project on the first semester can be about a polluted industrial ground or a cultivated farming area, where you investigate the nature of the pollution and assess whether or not the pollution is a threat to the groundwater or the people who live nearby. Then you can found out which methods can be used to cleanse the polluted soil and groundwater.


  • Soil and Groundwater Pollution (15 ECTS)


  • Hydrogeology and Groundwater Modelling (5 ECTS)
  • Environmental Soil Science and Geostatistics (5 ECTS)
  • Experimental Hydrology (5 ECTS)


On the second semester, you will work with natural water environments such as streams, lakes and fjords. The project will include a collected assessment of the connection between the physical, chemical and biological conditions by means of data collected in the chosen location, analyses in the lab and numerical computer models.

International students can choose between project topics A and B. If you choose project topic A, then you follow the course Limnology. If you choose project topic B, then you follow the course Fundamental Wastewater Treatment.


Choose A or B

  • A: Marine and Freshwater Pollution (15 ECTS)
  • B: Wastewater Treatment Systems (15 ECTS)


  • Hydrodynamics and Time Series Analysis of Environmental Flows (5 ECTS)
  • Marine Pollution (5 ECTS)
  • Limnology (5 ECTS) (when choosing project topic A)
  • Fundamental Wastewater Treatment (5 ECTS) (when choosing project topic B)


On the third semester, you will work with physical and mathematical models including computer models, which are important tools for the modern engineer. You will have the opportunity to develop your own model of a large natural system and work with analyses of experimental data and numerical solutions.

On the third semester, you will also have the opportunity to do an internship in a company or an organisation or study a semester at another university.


Choose A or B

  • A: Numerical Modelling and Experimental Methods (15 ECTS)
  • B: Advanced Urban Drainage (15 ECTS) (primarily for international students)


  • Advanced Hydrodynamic Modelling (CFD) and Visualisation (5 ECTS)
  • Urban Hydroinformatics (5 ECTS)
  • Measurement Technology, Data Acquisition, Test and Validation (5 ECTS)


On the fourth semester, you write your master’s thesis about a topic of your own choosing.

Master's thesis

  • Topic of your own choice (30 ECTS)

Video: Meet a student

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

Study Method at AAU - Problem Based Learning

The study method at AAU is called Problem Based Learning (PBL). Together with your fellow students you will work with real life problems by way of problem based project work.

learn more about Pbl at aau