MOOC Water in Switzerland. Jump into hydrology!

What is a MOOC?

MOOC stands for massive open online course. Like in a traditional university course, learners study a subject over a specific time period. However, students attain lectures, discuss problems and solve exercises online. In the MOOC « Water in Switzerland » learners can watch a choice of lectures and field films, as well as solve assessments and practical tasks. The MOOC is split up into seven modules, each of them taking approximately 3 – 4 hours of work each week.


What will be taught in the MOOC «Water in Switzerland»?

The main focus of the MOOC “Water in Switzerland” is on hydrology in general, however the practical examples and case studies and are all set in Switzerland. Where does the water in Swiss rivers come from? What is a 100-year flood? How much water is needed in Switzerland? What are intersections between culture and water? These and further questions will be answered in seven modules. Different experts present their hydrologic knowledge in both lectures and field films.

In the first module, you will be given an overview about the hydrological basics. In the next two modules, you will get to know important hydrological concepts like precipitation, soil- and groundwater, discharge and hydrological catchments. The fourth module is presenting potential natural hazards, caused by too much or too little water. In module five we have experts talking about the quality of surface water in Switzerland. Also, we will give an insight into Swiss drinking water quality. Module 6 is shedding light on constructions close to water – especially hydro power plants. To finish the course up, we will be looking at water from a cultural perspective: How do people transfer water to the art? Are there place names that give reference to water? What is the motivation to take part in a crowd science projects?                                                                                                   


Information & Enrollment

Gain an insight by watching our trailer now. You can find up-to-date information here.

To participate, you can find our MOOC „Water in Switzerland“ on Coursera.

In order to participate, you will need to sign up for a user account on Coursera. Afterwards you will be able to enroll for the course. As soon as you are enrolled, you will have access to all course material. If you like to join an official session, please consider the starting dates. If you are interested in a specific subject only, please be welcome to watch selected lectures and field films and navigate through the MOOC at your own speed.


Course Dates

There are new sessions coming up on a regular basis. Find the next starting dates in the table below. The entire course has a duration of 7 Weeks with an effort of approximately 1 – 3 hours per week.


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The MOOC «Water in Switzerland» does not require any specific preliminary knowledge or skills. The course is directed to everybody with an interest in the versatility of water in Switzerland. The MOOC communicates important basics, which could be interesting especially for freshman students in Geography.

The course is in general taught in German, however some lectures are held in English. There are optional subtitles in German for these lectures though.



This MOOC is for free. Any requests to sign up and pay for a certificate are optional (and only recommendable if you want a written confirmation that you attended and passed the course).


Take this opportunity and learn about water in Switzerland today. We are looking forward to your participation!