Kies op maat

Inloggen Menu

Water Quality Analysis

Water management is a key component of European and national policies. Climate change and pressure on fresh water resources urge us to manage and redesign our environment to provide a safe and ecologically sound water quality. To describe the ecological status of a water body knowledge is needed of aquatic species, their functional role in the ecosystem and the way to monitor these. This has become even more important since the EU implemented the Water Framework Directive (WFD), which focuses on ecological water quality and sets the ecological goals for different water bodies in the EU; thus knowledge of the WFD will serve you as a future water professional.

This minor focuses on the ecological aspects of water quality in a European context. You will learn to describe the ecological status of a Dutch water body according to the WFD and analyse the results in contrast with outcomes in another EU country.  

The minor includes courses on aquatic organisms, ecosystems and monitoring. The WFD and other relevant directives, laws and treaties will be studied in their European context.  You will be trained in designing a monitoring grid, sampling and aquatic species determination. In consequence of this you will do an ecological assessment of field data and scientific data analysis and reporting.

There is also time for competency development directed towards a professional working situation. Thus you will be prepared to work as a practical researcher on monitoring and evaluation and related professions.   

This minor is embedded in a full year programme on Aquatic Ecosystem Analysis and is open to both Dutch and international students. It is interesting for those aiming at a career in (aquatic) ecology, but also very valuable for hydrologists or others working in the field of water management wishing to gain broader insight in the ecological functioning of a water system. This 60 EC programme contains two minors, an integrated group-project abroad and a company placement coupled with a thesis. It is very much recommended to follow the whole programme, however for Dutch students it is also possible to follow the minors separately. International students will always enrol in the full year programme.

For specific information about the full-year programme, please contact the coordinator Annet Pouw at


This course prepares you for professional tasks of a practical researcher monitoring and evaluation. After completing the course you will be able to;

  • Determine aquatic organisms up to species level.
  • Evaluate and report results of monitoring on professional level.
  • Evaluate your role as practical researcher monitoring and evaluation in a broader professional perspective.
  • Describe impacts of main water policies for management of aquatic ecosystems
  • Perform ecological assessment of field data according to the EU Water Framework Directive and is able to evaluate the methodology.

The central task in the minor is to evaluate the ecological quality of a waterbody and monitor the effectiveness of planned measures (designed by you) to improve the ecological quality.

In order to fulfil the assessment you will be coached on the following steps (learning tasks):

  • Interpretation of information needs and final product writing of introduction paragraph including focus on WFD for a specific country.
  • Design monitoring network according to the WFD
  • Data analysis and reporting
  • Comparison of ecological assessment of field data for different countries


You can participate in this minor if you have:

  • Successfully completed two to three years of a related bachelor programme, such as Applied Biology in Almere or Den Bosch or an additional degree in a related course such as Water Management, Geohydrology, Physical geography or Aquatic ecology,


  • several years of relevant work experience either with or without an academic qualification,


  • English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent for EU students; a test can be taken at an intake session of the course, without extra costs. Overseas students need to provide authenticated proof in advance.


There are several components in this minor, each with a specific evaluation procedure. Theory classes will be examined in a written exam; practicals and fieldwork will be evaluated by attendance and a proof of proficiency; the assessment will be evaluated on the quality of the report and a presentation to the official client.

Module element: ABME01
EC: 6
Name: Assessment and Learning tasks
Exam: Assessment
Period (week): T2

Module element: ABME02
EC: 3
Name: Advanced aquatic ecology
Exam: written exam
Period (week): T2

Module element: ABME03
EC: 1
Name: Overview monitoring
Exam: written exam
Period (week): T1

Module element: ABME08
EC: 3
Name: Sampling methods and species identification & Ecological assessment
Exam: Report
Period (week): T2

Module element: ABME09
EC: 1
Name: Future monitoring
Exam: Attendance and proof of proficiency
Period (week): T2

Module element: ABME07
EC: 1
Name: International Institutions
Exam: Written exam
Period (week): T1

* Learning tasks are integral elements of the assessment and proof of proficiency. Students who did not complete or failed one or more learning tasks are not allowed to participate in examination of the assessment.


Practical guides and additional documents will be provided on Canvas.

Moss, B. 2012. Ecology of freshwaters. A view for the twenty-first century. Chichester, UK, Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-1332-8


Minor days are Tuesdays and Fridays, weekly (36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 44, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 1, 2).

  • Theory and project coaching takes place on Tuesdays
  • Practical training, field visits and labwork takes place on Fridays
  • One introductionary field week in Germany before the start of the semester in Week 36: Sept 3 – Sept 7:  mind that this is an obligatory fieldweek