SLM-30306 Issues and Concepts in International Land and Water Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper1
Excursion (one day)7
Course coordinator(s)MSc L Pol
Lecturer(s)dr. ir. JA Bolding
dr. ir. L Fleskens
S van der Kooij
dr. ir. JM van Loon-Steensma
MSc DA Kea
D Stoltenborg, MSc
M Breedveld
MSc L Pol
dr. ir. JMC Vos
dr. ir. EJJ van Slobbe
R Vignola
Examiner(s)dr. ir. L Fleskens

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

BIL courses or equivalent relevant BSc.


In this course, students learn how to academically frame issues and concepts in international land and water management (ILWM) at different scales and levels, ranging from global to land and water use at the field and farm level. The course is intended for MIL students. Students from other programmes are requested to get in touch with the course coordinator before enrolling for this course.

In groups, students critically define, compare and reflect on issues and conceptual approaches in a case study set in a typical Dutch polder landscape. Individually, students frame an ILWM issue of their own interest, and design a conceptual framework to analyse this issue and present this conceptual framework in an individual paper. The aim of this course is to increase the students’ critical understanding of the impact of conceptual framing on the outcome of academic research in ILWM.

Through a series of lectures, workshops and case studies, students are prepared to understand and construct conceptual frameworks in connection to issues in ILWM. Moreover, researchers from land and water management chair groups present and discuss their work to enable students to appreciate different conceptual approaches and to understand how these approaches shape research and thinking about ILWM. The course also stimulates you to articulate your own thinking about the planning of your study programme (focussed at the MIL programme), as well as mutual learning from fellow students’ scientific, professional and cultural backgrounds.

During the first two weeks, emphasis is put on the formulation of issues in ILWM. During week 3-8, students focus on conceptual approaches to research in ILWM. The case studies form the context for the group assignments that students work on. Process inputs in the form of skills training is provided to help students in their group work.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:

- analyse and frame land and water management issues from different disciplinary perspectives at multiple scales and in different regions (the Netherlands and a case of the students’ choice);

- explain and understand concepts that are used and applied within ILWM;

- deconstruct, build and critically reflect on concepts and conceptual approaches used to analyse issues in ILWM;

- reflect on and articulate an individual learning process in an individual writing assignment related to self-defined issue and a concept in ILWM;

- demonstrate the ability to work in and reflect on one's personal role in a multidisciplinary and multicultural student team.


- lectures on issues and concepts in land and water management;
- one-day excursion to a Dutch land and water management practice;
- group work on defining an issue and creating conceptual approach(es) used for the analysis of a Dutch ILWM case study;
- writing of a reflection report and an individual paper on an issue and concept of individual choice.
- stakeholder dialogue;
- tailor-made skills training on relevant study skills, e.g. speed reading, mind-mapping, deconstructing a scientific text;
- group discussions on intercultural communication and group dynamics, and coaching of the team functioning.


Attending the practical is obligatory. The examination consists of:

- Group presentation and report (60% of the final mark);
- individual paper (40% of the final mark).

All marks should be at least 5.5. Partial marks are valid for three years. 


Scientific Journal papers.
Course guide.

Compulsory for: MILInternational Land and Water ManagementMSc1AF