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Water, Climate and Cities

What's the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation about?

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 among 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:

  • Understand the physical processes determining the climate and thus climate change.
  • Understand the climate adaptation and response with respect to water-related issues (“climate
    change impact”).
  • Understand the implications of climate change for water and energy cycles.
  • Apply (regional) climate modelling techniques.
  • Analyse and evaluate (urban) climate observations.

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.

English language

As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite.

If you are a national of one of the countries in this list (PDF), you are exempted from an English language test.

Please note: the requirements when applying for fellowships may vary according to the regulations of the fellowship provider.

English language tests: minimum requirements

Only internationally recognized test results are accepted.

TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)


TOEFL Internet-based Test


British Council / IELTS



C2 Proficiency / C1 Advanced

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
25 July 2022
non EU/EEA
25 July 2022
25 July 2022
Starting date
5 September 2022
End date
11 November 2022
Tuition fees
Full period 2022 / 2023
part-time, institutional
€ 1.375
part-time, ODA-rate
€ 1.031