Innovative and sustainable solutions


Worldwide freshwater resources are under pressure due to overuse, pollution and climate change. It is crucial to find ways to secure sustainable supplies of water of a quality suitable for drinking, agricultural production and other purposes, while at the same time ensuring the stability of ecosystems. The Master’s programme in water and environment focuses on the growing need for innovative and sustainable solutions and better water management systems.

The Chinese government and industry are investing heavily in sustainable water management strategies and research in order to combat China’s vast water challenges. With a Master’s degree in water and environment in China, you get a unique understanding of these complex and large scale issues.

You gain expertise in efficient water use in biological production, pollutant fate and control, water treatment technology and recycling, and strategies for the restoration of freshwater systems for sustainable development.

The teaching is organised in small, exclusive classes alternating with intensive theoretical and practical exercises. You also do joint projects which draw on courses offered in the same semester. These activities ensure a high level of learning and let you apply research and investigative methods in practice as well as theory.

On completion of the programme you receive a double degree and the following titles: Master of Science in Water and Environment from the University of Copenhagen and Master of Environmental Science from the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Programme Structure


The first semester consists of two modules.

Hydrology, Freshwater Ecology and Biogeochemistry (15 ECTS)

The focus is to give a general introduction to the main content and theoretical background of the programme. You take the following courses:

• Hydrology

• Freshwater ecology

• Biogeochemistry

Pollutants and Pollution Control (15 ECTS)

This module introduces you to the fate and processes of contaminants, the current status of soil and water pollution and the techniques for pollution control and water treatments. You take the following courses:

• Contaminants – fate and processes

• Soil and groundwater pollution

• Pollution control and water treatment


The second semester consists of two modules.

Statistics, Modelling and Global Change (15 ECTS)

In this module, you acquire the necessary tools to deal with data analysis and processing related to water and environment research at different scales in the context of global change. You take the following courses:

• Statistics

• Integrated catchment modelling

• Geospatial ecology

• Global change

Integrated Water Management and Legislation (15 ECTS)

The focus of this module is integrating the knowledge gained from earlier modules and its applications in the management of water resources in different systems including the policies and legislations. You take the following courses:

• Freshwater ecosystem management

• Agricultural water and nutrients management

• Urban water management

• Water policies and legislation


On the water and environment programme, you spend a full year on specialised independent experimental Master’s thesis work. You have both Chinese and Danish supervisors for your thesis project.

The research work related to your thesis is conducted at institutes of the Chinese Academy of Sciences located in different provinces of China.


While working on your Master’s thesis, you have the opportunity to conduct research in cooperation with industry. You may start with a two-month internship in a company if the work is related closely to your thesis subject.

It is also possible to conduct the whole thesis project in the company if a local project supervisor is available and the thesis contract is signed.

The Master's thesis is awarded 60 ECTS.

Meet the students (Videos)

The first field excursion in China

New knowledge and learning to cooperate! Join Jens-Peter and Zhang Jiejie, who arrived at SDC less than two weeks ago for their first mini field excursion, where they learn about water quality from Professor Erik Jeppesen.

Tanja on working at Atlantic Sapphire

Meet Tanja Krogh Sørensen, a graduate from the MSc programme in Water and Environment, and find out how the programme prepared her for life after the university.

Tanja on studying Water and Environment

Meet SDC graduate Tanja Krogh Sørensen and find out what she has learned from taking her double Master's degree in Water and Environment in China.


View full testimonial

Emil Bay Frantzen


B.Sc. in Biology, University of Southern Denmark


Environmental Advisor

View full testimonial

Signe Bekmand Tangen


B.Sc. in Geology, Tromsø University


Civil Engineer within water and environment, Vianova AS

Contact Alumni

If you have further questions, please take a look at the FAQ on the Going to study in China page. If you still have questions, you have the following options.

For questions regarding specific courses, admission or

practical matters please contact SDC at:

For first-hand questions regarding living and studying in China, you may contact recent Water and Environment graduate Mia Staal at

She does not represent SDC, but will answer your questions on the basis of her own personal experiences.


The Master’s programme in water and environment gives you knowledge and competences in fundamental disciplines such as hydrology, freshwater ecology, statistics and nutrients management.

You acquire the necessary tools to work in a solution-oriented manner with issues such as water pollution control, soil and groundwater remediation, water management and computer modelling of future scenarios regarding water resources and water quality.

A degree in water and environment prepares you to work in a wide variety of fields, for example:

• Engineering consultancy companies

• Manufacturing companies, including companies that manufacture environmental technology products

• Educational and research institutions and companies

• International organisations

• Food and pharmaceutical companies

• Ministries and government that set the political framework for the regulation of water and environment

Academic Regulations

Course Catalogues


Heads of the Programme

Danish Head of Water and Environment

Associate Professor Kristian Koefoed Brandt

Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences

University of Copenhagen


Professor Kristian Koefoed Brandt


Mobile: +45 20 87 56 35

Chinese Head of Water and Environment

Professor Liang Tao

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research

Chinese Academy of Sciences

Water and Environment Research Theme

SDC Alumni Network