Master Program Hydro Science & Engineering

Study Organizational FAQ

Main Contact
Dr. Sabine Hahn-Bernhofer
Tel: +49 (0)351 463 31237

download your schedule (13_x_MSc_HSE_08.pdf; x = 1 => 1st semester, x = 2 => 2nd semester, x = 3 => 3rd semester)

Overview and Background

This master course will broaden and intensify your previously obtained academic and practical knowledge in the fields of

  • management
  • conservation
  • and development
  • of water resources within different climatic zones and
  • construction and operation of water management systems

The program aims for an excellent handling of the entire field of water with its various aspects. The students will be enabled to cope with future professional demands within research and practice worldwide. The degree course especially addresses students from developing and transitional countries due to the specific problems occurring there, i.e. limited drinking water and raw water resources as well as the devastating impacts of hydrologic extremes like droughts or flood disasters connected with heavy erosions.

The master program meets international standards required to pursue and develop careers within national and international administrations and organisations. The master course will lay the basics for engagement in development and consultation agencies, to head the operation of water management systems and to contribute to transdisciplinary research tasks within the entire field of hydro sciences.

When the course started for the first time, in winter semester 2004/05, students from China, Indonesia, Nepal and Germany registered. In winter semester 2006/07 students from China, Uganda, Sudan, Indonesia, Pakistan, Brazil, Greece, Spain, Kazakhstan and Germany enrolled for the master course. Over the years the number of applicants has constantly grown up to 80 applicants per year showing both the high profile and the international perception of the course. Usually the course starts with a number of about 20 international participants representing some 60 to 80% of all attending students.

Origin and Number of the Students between 2004-2010

Basic Conditions
Applicants have to prove a Bachelor Degree or an equivalent education with 6 semesters completed in Natural Sciences or Civil Engineering, results better than average.
The Master Course starts each winter semester and is held in English.
The regular period of completion is 4 semesters (24 months) including the master thesis. After successful exams the TU Dresden awards the academic degree Master of Science (M.Sc.).

Study Contents
The course is divided into individual modules. A module may contain a number of lectures, exercises, seminars, workshops or excursions.
Depending on the type of their degrees the students have to pass compulsory modules within the basic course. For advanced courses students may choose such modules to acquire their desired specialisation.

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Study Program


The course is divided into:

  • basic courses - 1st semester
  • advanced courses - 2nd and 3rd semesters
  • master thesis - 4th semester

The basic course will put emphasis on the fundamentals of hydro sciences and is meant for completion of existing knowledge. Students with a degree in natural sciences have to take classes in hydromechanics and hydraulic engineering. Students with a degree in engineering will study ecology and hydrochemistry. Within the basic course 30 credits have to be achieved.
For the advanced course, students get to choose a selection of optional modules equivalent to 50 credits. You may find the list of those modules in the study schedule.

Each module is completed by a module examination. A minimum of 30 credits per semester and a total of 120 credits, respectively, is necessary to successfully complete the master course in the end.

General Study Structure

For the master thesis an individual scientific topic (to be agreed on by both professor and student) has to be worked on independently. It is also possible to develop and document a complete project planning.
Each student has a tutor to support the progress of the work.
There is a public defence held by the student to finally present and discuss the results of his thesis.

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Module Description

The schedule and the composition of the modules are given in the table below. A detailed description of each module can be found in the Module Compendium (in English) and in the Modulhandbuch (in German), respectively.
The official language of all HSE documents is German. The given English version is a mere translation of the contents, for which no liability is assumed.

Module Compendium

The modules may consist of a number of different components (see table below):
Lecture/Tutorial/Seminar/Practical training/Excursion/Workshop - L/T/S/P/E/W
A teaching unit usually takes 90 minutes accounting for 2 hours per week per semester (2 SWS). For example the code 2/1/0/0/0/0 is read: for one semester the student has to attend 1 lecture of 90 minutes per week and 1 tutorial of 90 minutes every two weeks. For more details about the work load of a module and its calculation you may find information here.
The second line holds the number of examinations (EX) and the number of preparatory requirements to the exam (PR), whose type and extent can be found in the module descriptions in detail.
Each module yields credits whose quantity accounts for the whole expenditure of time for all the module parts including also the time for preparation and postprocessing. The equivalent to one credit point is 30 hours.

Module Number 
Module Name
Term Cr
  1 2 3 4  
  L/T/S/P/E/W  PR/EX  
Compulsory - Basics
2/1/0/0/0/0 0/1       5
Climatology and Hydrology
4/0/0/0/0/0 0/2       5
2/1/0/0/0/0 0/1       5
2/0/0/1/0/0 0/1       5
Compulsory for Natural Scientists
2/1/0/0/0/0 0/1       5
Hydraulic Engineering
2/1/0/1/0/0 1/1       5
Compulsory Modules for Engineers
2/1/0/1/0/0 0/2*       5
2/0/0/1/0/0 0/1       5
Compulsory - Advanced
Study Project IWRM
    1/1/0/4/0/0 0/3   10
Optional Modules
MWW 16
Intergriertes Wasser-ressourecenmanagement (IWRM)
  3/0/0/1/0/0 0/2     5
International Water Issues
  0/0/3/0/0/0 0/2     5
Circular Economy
  2/1/0/0/0/0 0/2     5
Watershed Managem. I
  2/1/0/0/0/0 0/1     5
Urban Water I
  2/2/0/0/0/0 0/1     5
Flood Risk Managem. I
  2/3/0/0/4,2/0 0/3     10
  4/0/0/0/0/0 0/1     5
Aquatic Ecology and Ecotoxicology
  0/0/0/1/0/0 0/0 3/0/0/0/0/0 0/2   5
Climate Change
  2/0/2/0/0/0 0/2     5
Soil Water
    2/1/0/1/0/0 0/2   5
Ground Water
    2/1/0/1/0/0 0/1   5
    1/1/0/2/0/0 0/1   5
Watershed Managem. II
    1/0/0/2/0/0 0/1   5
Urban Water II
    2/1/1/0/0/0,5 0/1   5
Flood Risk Managem. II
    2/0/0/0/0/6 0/3   10
Water Quality and Water Treatment
    2/0/0/2/0/0 1/1   5
Drinking Water Supply
    3/1/0/0/0/0,5 0/1   5


Internship Hydrosciences

(possible Institutions)


3 weeks internship

EX: 1



Climate Systems and Climate Modelling




Master Thesis with Colloquium       Master Thesis 30
Sum 30 30 30 30 120

L/T/S/P/E/W    Lecture/Tutorial/Seminar/Practical training/Excursion/Workshop
Cr                  Credit Points
EX                  Number of Examinations
PR                  Number of preparatory requirements to the exam
*  option to choose alternative examination types

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The regulatory framework for a successful degree of the examinations is compiled in the papers Studienordnung and Prüfungsordnung, respectively. The translated versions are the Study Regulations and the Examination Regulations .

In case you already have completed certain modules / courses which are possibly of the same content like modules which are part of your study schedule, you may apply for their acknowledgement, i.e. in case of equivalence you wouldn't have to attend such modules again. The request is made using the form Acknowledgment of equivalent Study Works.

For your Master's Certificate you have to fill in an application form of the examination office. There you have to decide whether you want to have disclosed possible surplus modules in your certificate.

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Eligibility Criteria

All applicants have to check several criteria, which are to find in detail in the Eignungsfeststellungsordnung and the Eligibility Regulations, respectively.

The application for the master course implies a degree in Natural Sciences or Civil Engineering:

  • Bachelor degree for international students
  • Students from German Universities may join the Hydro Science and Engineering Master program after their 6th semester (3rd year). The admission depends on a qualified Pre-Diploma (Vordiplom) and successful 3rd year results
  • Graduates from a (German) "Fachhochschule"

The master course is held in English; non-native speakers must demonstrate competence in English with a test showing their 'very good upper intermediate level' (level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages CEFR).

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Applicants with a foreign university degree:

Applicants with a foreign university degree (e.g. Bachelor) have to apply via uni-assist in Berlin. Please send all required documents to: TU Dresden, c/o uni assist, 11507 Berlin, GERMANY

Applicants with a German university degree:

Applicants with a German university degree (e.g. Bachelor) have to apply via SELMA the application portal of TU Dresden.

Applicats for DAAD scholarship:

please apply also via SELMA and send all required documents to: TU Dresden, Dept. Hydrosciences, HSE, Dr. Hahn-Bernhofer, 01062 Dresden, GERMANY

Deadlines for application

  • German and EU applicants and applicants with a German university degree:
    1 April to 30 June each year
  • Non-EU applicants with a foreign university degree:
    1 April to 31 May each year
  • Applying for DAAD scholarship to start studies the following year:
    TU Dresden directly: 15 October each year
    German Embassy or DAAD Regional Office: 31st July each year

Documents required

  • Officially authenticated photocopy of your higher education entrance qualification (Abitur, Baccalaureate, School-Leaving Certificate, O- and A-Levels etc.), including list of grades and a scale (minimum to pass, maximum achievable). AND: Officially authenticated photocopy of the English translation of your higher education entrance qualification certificate (if the original was issued in a language other than German or English), completed with a list of grades and the corresponding scale (minimum to pass, maximum achievable).
  • Officially authenticated photocopy of your university degree certificates. AND: Officially authenticated photocopy of the English translation of your university degree certificate(s) (if the original was issued in a language other than German or English), completed with a list of grades and the corresponding scale (minimum to pass, maximum achievable). If your university supplies you with transcripts or mark sheets, please include an original or an authenticated copy. A transcript or mark sheet is a list of subjects studied and the grades obtained.
  • Certificate demonstrating proficiency in English. Recognized tests are IELTS: required level 6.0 or TOEFL: required level for paper based test 550 points, computer based test 213 points, internet based test 79 points. Other English language certificates of equivalent standard showing evidence of C1-level according to the European Reference Framework can be considered.
  • CV including educational background and professional career.
  • Letter of Motivation to join HSE
  • Printed and signed TU Dresden Online Registration Form including application number.

Further Information

The following webpages of TU Dresden International Office contain information relevant for applicants of master programs in English.

Having the eligibility regulations in mind the Admission Board will decide on candidate´s admission. In case of acceptance a letter of admission will be issued by TU Dresden International Office, called "Zulassungsbescheid". This letter can be used to apply for a student visa at the German Embassy of your home country. You are not allowed to start studies with a tourist visa. Accepted German citizens should report to the TU Dresden Immatrikulationsamt beginning of the semester.

For further information or help in any case please contact:

Dr. Sabine Hahn-Bernhofer
Tel: +49 (0)351 463 31237

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The Master Course Hydro Science and Engineering is supported by the German Academic Exchange Service DAAD. Detailed information about the possibilities to apply for certain scholarships you may find HERE.

Links and Further Information

For DAAD scholars a language program is carried out before the start of the master course.