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Water, Climate and Cities (online course)

Become a high-skilled geospatial professional

Water and energy are indispensable for all lifeforms and are needed in almost all human activities. 

Online course Water, Climate and Cities

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Climate, water-energy cycles and biophysical systems are connected in complex ways, so a change in any of these induces a change in another. Climate change adds a big pressure to (national, regional and local) authorities that are already confronted with the issue of sustainable water and energy use.

Challenges resulting from climate change related to water are mainly related to having too much or too little water. In turn, the amount of water plays a pivotal role in how the energy cycle and thus the climate and its change manifest themselves, thereby often creating an accelerating feedback effect.

Thus, water-related issues play a pivotal role in key regional and global vulnerabilities. Therefore the relationship between climate change and water-energy cycles is of primary concern and interest.

This course introduces relevant processes and experimental as well as modelling tools related to climate (change) for assessing, analysing and evaluating the impact thereof on the spatial and temporal distribution of water and energy fluxes. Specific attention is given to urban environments.

For whom is this course relevant?

Professionals and students (e.g. architects, spatial planners, landscape architects, interior architects, engineers, designers, educators and researchers) interested in or working on a climatologically sustainable built environment and require (physical) process-based insights.

What is the course content?

The course starts with a number of lectures setting the general framework and dealing with the governing equations determining the global climate and climate change. Thereafter we will look into the climate at a more local scale, with an emphasis on urban areas. This will take place through lectures which are followed by supervised practical exercises where we deal with the exploration and analysis of large series of climate data as well as typical urban climate datasets. The practical of the last topic will be reported by each student and will count as the first individual assignment of this course.

The latter part of the course consists of regional climate modelling. Here the students will work with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. The model will be introduced by lectures followed by supervised practical exercises where each student will set up the model, run it and analyse the output.

This will be reported by each student and submitted as the second individual assignment of this course.
The course will be rounded off by a written test which will be open book, meaning that the lecture notes will be made available during the test.

What will be achieved?

Upon completion of this course, the student is able to:

Online learning, what is it like?

For online education, we formulated guidelines to guarantee optimal performance. For online oral exams and proctoring during online assessments, the webcam and headset requirements need to be met.

Hardware and software requirements

You must have basic computer experience, regular access to the internet and email. 

In addition, you must have access to a pc/laptop that has a minimum 16GigaByte of RAM and, 100GigaByte of free hard-disc space available, but preferably more.

Career perspective

You will be able to support fellow professionals with solid physical- and data-driven advice when jointly tackling climatic challenges in the urban and built environment.

About your diploma

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a Certificate which will include the name of the course.

Along with your Certificate you will receive a Course Record providing all the subjects studied as part of the course. It states: the course code, subject, ECTS credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.

If you decide to follow a full Postgraduate or Master's course at ITC, and after approval of the Examination Board, you will be exempted from the course(s) you followed successfully as an online course.

Admission requirements

Students should have a BSc level background in meteorology or climatology.

Academic level and background

Applicants for an online course should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.


The faculty accepts transcripts, degrees and diplomas in the following languages: Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. It is at the discretion of the faculty to require additional English translations of all documents in other languages as well.

Language skills

Success in your studies requires a high level of English proficiency. Therefore, prospective students with an international (other than Dutch) degree must meet the English language requirement. As proof that you meet this requirement, you will be asked in the application procedure to upload one of the requested language certificates:

Only these internationally recognised test results are accepted. Without a valid certificate, we cannot process your application.  

Other requirements

You are exempted from the English language requirement if you hold:

Computer skills

To follow online education you must have basic computer experience, regular access to internet, and e-mail. For some courses, additional computer skills are required (see description of specific course).

Technical requirements online education and assessment

For online education, we formulated guidelines to guarantee optimal performance. For online oral exams and proctoring during online assessments, the webcam and headset requirements need to be met.

GIS and remote sensing

Most online courses, except for the introductory course, require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.

Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity during the registration process.

Key information

CROHO code
Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation
10 weeks
100% English-taught
Application deadline
22 July 2024
non EU/EEA
22 July 2024
22 July 2024
Starting date
2 September 2024
End date
8 November 2024
Tuition fees
Full period 2023 / 2024
part-time, non-EU/EEA
€ 1,415
2024 / 2025
part-time, ODA-rate
€ 1,062
part-time, EU/EEA
€ 1,415