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Institute For Technology And Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics MSc in Integrated Water Resources Management with focus on South East Asia
Institute For Technology And Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics

MSc in Integrated Water Resources Management with focus on South East Asia

Cologne, Germany

4 Semesters


Full time

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MSc in Integrated Water Resources Management

with focus on South East Asia
Master program on Integrated Water Resources Management for South East Asia (IWRM SEA) with one exchange semester in Germany – A cooperation between the Vietnam Academy of Water Resources and TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences)

Adequate availability of clean water is indispensable for food supply and health and hence key for the development of societies worldwide. However, pressure on water resources is increasing due to fast demographic and socioeconomic growth and unsustainable water uses. The concept of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) combined with current climate change adaptation best practices offers solutions to deal with these challenges by assessing and managing this precious resource in space and time considering other related sectors.

Worldwide, there is a high and growing demand for experts adequately trained on the concepts of IWRM. Next to technical and managerial knowledge, they should also be familiar with the practices of project funding and international cooperation. The objective of the program is to capacitate such experts in the field of IWRM and related concepts and methods. The program targets graduated professionals with working experience in public or private institutions, authorities, and enterprises of the water sector. The applicants should be active in, or dealing with, water or natural resources management and have an interest in learning and working in an intercultural and multidisciplinary environment.

This special course is a bilateral cooperation between the Institute for Technology and Resources Management in the Tropics and Subtropics (ITT) at TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences) and Vietnam Academy of Water Resources (VAWR).

ITT has educated more than 700 MSc students from many countries worldwide in the following three key domains: water, natural resources, and renewable energy management. Cutting edge teaching concepts are combined with up to date research applications and fieldwork.

VAWR/CTIC is responsible for water-related country-wide applied research, international cooperation, technology transfer, post-graduate professional training, consultancy services and implementation of water supply and irrigation infrastructure, hydropower and environmental planning.

What do we offer?

  • courses and technical field visits on the latest concepts and technologies of water management.
  • getting first-hand advice from high-level professionals and entrepreneurs in the water sector.
  • training on project management and leadership qualifications.
  • information on practice and projects of international cooperation.
  • study exchange opportunities with ITT partner universities.
  • scholarships.

What do we expect?

In order to participate, you should:

  • have a professional or academic background related to the water sector.
  • be fluent in English (TOEFL 550 point or IELTS Band 6).
  • be willing to take up leadership positions in the future.
  • be highly motivated to learn and work in an international environment.

What are your perspectives?

  • excellent career opportunities in international cooperation and development assistance.
  • working for national and international companies in the expanding business sector “water management”.
  • leadership positions in the public and private water sector.
  • become part of a network of excellence on IWRM.



The overall objective is to educate experts in the field of Integrated Water Resource Management who are high on demand for leading positions in the water sector and are able to manage complex projects for international institutions and companies operating in the South Asian region.

Target group

The ideal student holds at minimum a bachelor degree and has some working experience at an institution or company in the water sector. He or she should be fluent in English and have good communicative skills. In addition, participants should be highly motivated to contribute to solving the water crisis and to the development in the South Asian region in general. Furthermore, the participants should aspire to make a career in the international water sector. The participants may come from a variety of backgrounds: engineering, natural sciences, economics, social sciences.

Teaching contents and aims

The studies cover a period of four semesters. The first and second semester take place in Hanoi, the third semester in Cologne. The fourth semester is dedicated to the master thesis. The didactic concept consists of two components: a technical and a social. The technical component provides the participants with the relevant and up to date knowledge necessary to take decisions towards a sustainable management of water resources. The social component is equally important and aims at equipping the participants with the communicative, intercultural and managerial skills necessary to take up leadership positions in the water sector and to work effectively in the framework of international cooperation. In class, modern methods of teaching should be applied such as problem-based learning, interactive teaching, concept mapping and computer-based learning.


The studies cover a period of four semesters. The first and second semester take place in Hanoi, the third semester in Cologne. The fourth semester is dedicated to the master thesis. The program consists of basic modules, like “Management of Water Resources Systems”, “Water Resources Economics and Governance”, ”International Cooperation and Development” and “Project and Business Management” with the aim of providing an overview on water management, economics, project management and the regional and institutional context. In addition, the participants select ten specialized electives related to topics of water management emphasizing the particular situation and experiences in the South Asian region.

The fourth semester will focus on the preparation of the master thesis. Internships and research stays predominantly in a South Asian country, if possible together with a local institution or company, guarantee the practical orientation of the master research. Vietnamese students should have the opportunity to realize their research in Germany if funding is secured. Tutors pay particular attention that the knowledge acquired in the first three semesters is applied in the individual projects.

Field visits
Field visits play an important role as the exposure to real projects and to relevant institutions is of the highest importance in order to meet the objectives of the master program.

In the module “Project I – III” students will have the chance to apply the new knowledge received in the basic or specialized modules to an interdisciplinary case study.
The participants should come from diverse technical or managerial backgrounds. The team projects should be related to real projects visited during the field trips or to projects suggested by other partners of the network.


  • Screening application: until March 30th
  • Final deadline: May 30th each year
  • Course starts at the beginning of September each year

Students who intend to apply for the IWRM-SEA master program have to send their application from 15.12. until 30.05. each year to ITT, TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences).

Please follow the instruction in the respective online application platform.

The following application documents must be submitted in digital form. Please provide the digital application as one pdf-file and organize the documents in the following order:

  1. Application Form.
  2. curriculum vitae (in tabular form, English language).
  3. document proving the higher education entrance qualification.
  4. graduation certificate.
  5. the academic record of university study.
  6. proof of English proficiency.
  7. two letters of recommendation by former professors/employers.
  8. a letter of motivation explaining why he/she would like to study in the program (1 page).
  9. a research idea related to the master program (2 pages).

About the School


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