Master of Marine and Lacustrine Sciences

Course content

The Master of Science program in Marine and Lacustrine sciences originates from a collaboration between several marine and lacustrine research groups respectively in Biology, Microbiology, Geology, Applied Biological Science, Civil Engineering and Law at Ghent University.

Collaboration in the field of research between several of these research groups has evoked the need for a multidisciplinary educational approach of different marine and lacustrine systems in order to train students to get a more integrated fundamental and applied knowledge of the marine and lacustrine environment in all its aspects (biological, geological, chemical). In addition knowledge of the exploitation of the sea and deep lakes, in terms of engineering, biological resources and the present policies are essential in order to get an integrated view of the relationship between system functioning and socio-economical activities.

Within this masters course collaboration takes place with experts from other renowned institutes and research groups outside Ghent University mainly in the field of chemistry, biogeochemistry, physical oceanography, modelling and fishery.

Course structure

The master program consists out of 4 blocks:

  • A mutual package of general broadening courses including one elective course depending on the background of the student (40 + 5 credits)
  • A major course package in earth- or biosciences (15 credits)
  • A minor course package in research, education or economy. The minor in research in particular is interesting for English speaking students. (30 credits)
  • Master dissertation (30 credits)

The mutual general courses contribute to the multidisciplinary character of the program. These courses give basic knowledge about the marine and lacustrine environment and their management.

The major course package consists of the master dissertation on one side and two clusters on the other side: bio-sciences and earth sciences.

One can choose from these clusters, in accordance with their preference for a rather biological/ecological or geological orientation. Fieldwork on the ocean, deep lakes or shores is an important part in both major course packages. It is also possible to follow a part of the master program abroad via an international exchange program.

The minor course packages allow a professional orientation within the program. In this package 30 credits can be chosen from the teacher training courses or one can choose for a company- and economically orientated program. The minor orientated towards research covers a more practical, research - and policy supporting course package such as ecological modeling, GIS, Teledetection, statistics and molecular techniques,… Also a short-term stage (3 – 4 weeks) were you can work in a professional environment is included in this minor. The minor in research in particular is interesting for English speaking students.

Career perspectives

This multidisciplinary program will lead towards a more efficient integration on the labour market, in which broadly educated scientists are attracted for positions that require an integrated approach.

The integration of knowledge in different disciplines is very valuable in every professional position in which you have to deal with marine and lacustrine environments in one way or another, independent of the geographical region.

Furthermore a graduate in this master program is orientated in such a way that a broad spectrum of scientific positions can be fulfilled. A graduate in marine and lacustrine sciences is a scientist that has the background and the capacity to anticipate in various current disciplines in education, fundamental – and applied research and policy supporting tasks.

Admission requirements


• For non-Flemish degrees:

Students enrolling in the course should have already a bachelor degree in Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Geology, Geography or Bio-engineering.

Students with a bachelor degree in the following topics should take extra preparation courses for 15 to 90 credits: engineering sciences, physics and astronomy, informatics, mathematics, veterinary, biomedical sciences, industrial sciences, nautical sciences. Take contact in order to be sure about your eligibility.

• For Flemish degrees:

the list of degrees giving access to this master can be consulted in the online course catalogue.


Check the language requirements for English study programmes.