Content programme

Joint degree

The River Delta Development Master’s programme is a joint degree offered by the universities of applied sciences of HZ, VHL University of Applied Sciences (VHL), and Rotterdam. The three universities of applied sciences each strive to provide high-quality education that prepares you for an ever-changing work field and is closely interwoven with professional practice and practical research. The focus lies on helping you develop into a facilitator of change in international delta regions.

Intensive kick-off

Your Master’s programme will start with an intensive, one-month orientation. During that month, you will get to know your fellow students, lecturers, and professors and delve into the delta during a one-week field trip. Afterwards, you will use those experiences to analyse the entire delta system and examine what role you would like to play in the delta sector. You will then write a personal learning plan under the guidance of your coach. The kick-off will be held at HZ in Middelburg.

Learning in delta systems

After the kick-off, you will be introduced to the Coast delta system, which will also be held at HZ. You will be working in Living Labs, with one day a week spent at the university of applied sciences, where you will participate in lectures, coaching, and reflection. After 15 weeks of research, you will complete this period with an evaluation week during which you will undergo assessments of your own research in relation to the delta as a whole and the issues at work in that environment. Under the guidance of lecturers, you will also collectively examine how everyone’s research fits into the entire delta system.

Similar blocks on River systems (at VHL in Velp) and Urban Water (at Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences) will follow. The three blocks, which work on building your knowledge, research skills, and specific professional development, will last a total of 17 weeks at each university of applied sciences.

Final evaluation

After completing the three blocks, there will be a final phase of seventeen weeks, during which you will create and present a final product. In conclusion, the last, integral competencies will be tested by means of a portfolio and oral final assessment. The final phase will take place at HVHL or HZ.

  Example curriculum Master River Delta Development

Year 1 (46 EC's)

Introduction (1 month)


  • Introduction into riverdelta systems
  • Excursion
  • System analysis
  • Transition theories
  • Case study
  • Learning plan

6 EC

Semester 1 (17 weeks)

Coastal systems (Middelburg)

  • Insight into coastal systems 5 EC
  • Research in Living Labs including coaching, transition and intervention 15 EC
  • Assessment

Semester 2 (17 weeks)

Fluvial systems

  • Insight into fluvial systems 5 EC
  • Research in Living Labs including coaching, transition and intervention 15 EC
  • Assessment
Year 2 (44 EC's)

Semester 3 (17 weeks)

Urban systems (Rotterdam)

  • Insight into urban systems 5 EC
  • Research in Living Labs including coaching, transition and intervention 15 EC
  • Assessment

Final phase (3 weeks)


  • Final assignment
  • Conference presentation
  • Oral assessment

24 EC



Insight into the Studyprogramme Download(pdf - 102kB)

Lecturer Team

The end result of the River Delta Development Master’s programme is a Master of Science (MSc). In order to preserve the academic level of the Master’s programme, we have set up an Academic Board, which consists of professors and other members. The various research projects are provided and assessed by professors in collaboration with lecturers. Many lecturers with PhDs will be working in the Master’s programme and the latest scientific findings will be used. 

Your lecturers and professors will have up-to-date knowledge on the course content and the context of the profession in which you are being educated. They are pedagogical and didactic experts who understand their students, so that you will receive the best possible guidance. Two professors are also associated with research universities (University of Groningen and Radboud University Nijmegen). Furthermore, there will be a collaboration with Erasmus University and the Delft University of Technology.