Each semester focuses on a different discipline in water science:
When starting your MAEH studies, you will be submerged in the field of Ecohydrology. The basic concept is the dual regulation between biota and hydrology. Ecohydrology integrates knowledge of ecology and hydrology. It provides the scientific understanding on how to restore the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems and ecosystem services provided to society. Ecohydrology forms the scientific basis for Nature-Based Solutions that are derived from the understanding of the hydrological cycle at a river basin scale. Class activities are diverse ranging from lectures to lab courses and field excursions. Ecohydrology courses are taught at the University of Algarve in Portugal together with a practical field and laboratory training at Lodz University in Poland (at the end of the first semester, first academic year).
The second semester of the first academic year, you will study water engineering at Technische Hochschule Lübeck in Germany. Water engineering is a relevant discipline for the development of societies and urban systems as they depend on a safe and regular supply of clean water and rely on protection from extremes such as floods and droughts. Ecohydrology principles are understood, applied and integrated fully into the engineering design resulting into engineered nature-based solutions for water retention, nutrient retention, nature-based water treatment and flood protection by natural floodplain development. In the theoretically and practically oriented courses, you will learn advanced engineering techniques and skills, to plan, devise and implement technical structures and systems to design, restore and use ecosystems services in a sustainable manner and to reduce water-related risks to the society.
Integrated Water Management
After the summer training in Poland, you will travel to Belgium to start your second academic year of MAEH at the University of Antwerp. The third semester is dedicated to Integrated Water Management, which is defined as the coordinated and integrated development, management and restoration of the water system taking into account the ecosystem quality objectives, its multifunctional use, today and in the future. Besides sustainability and regulatory frameworks, you will learn about the need for a holistic and transboundary approach and how to implement interdisciplinary projects while reconciling the often contrasting needs multiple stakeholders. Teaching methods are divers ranging from lectures and computer classes to field excursions and case-studies in group.
You will complete your MAEH programme with a 30 ECTS master dissertation, which is scheduled in the fourth semester and can be done at one of the four partner universities.