Master of Science in International Water Governance and Water Diplomacy
National University of Public Service, Hungary Faculty of Water Sciences


The programme

The National University of Public Service offers a unique Master of Science programme in international water governance and water diplomacy from the academic year 2020/2021. The two-year programme targets active and future water managers, diplomats, senior civil servants with an interest in how water is governed in the national and international plane. The curriculum has been developed with the help of leading international practitioners and academics with a view to providing scientifically robust, yet hands-on knowledge and skills to govern water sustainably and peacefully under the ever-growing human and natural pressures of our era. Although the focus of the programme is conflict prevention and resolution, it also covers the hydrological, ecological, economic and legal fundamentals of water management. In order to put theory into practice multidisciplinary field measurements, serious games and site visits form an integral part of the curriculum.

Why study water international governance and diplomacy?

 While water war theories have been a popular feature of international politics for decades, reality shows that even bitter interstate tensions surrounding water tend to become a source of cooperation rather than conflict. The potent megatrends of our era, such as demographic change, urbanisation or climate change, however, create new pressures on how countries manage water domestically and in their international relations. Scientific consensus suggests that the current water crisis is a crisis of governance. The root of the problem, therefore, lies not necessarily in the limited availability of water. Rather, how laws, policy and financial decisions on water are made, implemented and followed up by government and society. Such challenges surface with even greater force in intestate context where the action or inaction of a country may give rise to disproportionate negative impacts on the water resources available to others. Consequently, the knowledge of how to prevent, manage and resolve water conflicts at the domestic and international level will be a critical asset for the prosperity and stability of any nation in the 21st century. 

NUPS and water

The National University of Public Service (NUPS) has been conceived as a comprehensive school of government encompassing all major fields of the management of a modern state: public administration, defence, law enforcement and diplomacy. NUPS also boasts Hungary’s oldest higher education institution dedicated to water: the Faculty of Water Science, located in the city of Baja on the banks of the river Danube. In recent years, the Faculty has significantly expanded its research and educational activities reaching out to the political, policy, legal and institutional dimensions of water. Importantly, the Faculty also serves as the official retraining institution of the Hungarian water authorities that offers students a unique access to the daily practice of water management in the broader Danube basin. The MsC programme has been developed by the Faculty’s Department of Water and Environmental Policy, seated in Budapest, that specialises in water governance.

Outline of the curriculum

The curriculum comprises the following courses:

  • Introduction to integrated water resources management,
  • Water and the Anthropocene: the sustainability challenges of water management
  • Introduction to hydrology
  •  Fundamental questions of water governance (institutions, processes, principles)
  • Water economics
  • Decision-support tools of water management
  • Environmental conflict management and communication
  • General questions of water law
  • International and European water law
  • Institutions of international water governance
  • Water in the United Nations systems
  •  Introduction to diplomacy
  • Military perspectives of natural resources crises
  • Institutions and procedures of international water conflict management
  • International water project management

Further information

For further information on the MsC programme (application, tuition fees, academic calendar, curriculum, etc.) please contact us at waterdiplo@uni-nke.hu