The Institute for Materials and Processes (IMP) brings together researchers from materials science and chemical, mechanical and bio-engineering, conducting world-class research into every conceivable kind of material.
Work covers the design, synthesis and processing of materials, as well as biomedical and process engineering. IMP has one of the UK's largest carbon capture engineering research groups, and particular strength in biomedical and biological engineering. The Institute has excellent laboratory facilities, including the latest instruments for research in adsorption, biomedical engineering, conversation materials science, high pressure and temperature advanced materials synthesis, ice mechanics, and particular strength in multiphase flows and multiscale modelling. We provide high-quality training in research for both postgraduate students and postdoctoral researchers.
An MSc by Research is based on a research project tailored to a candidate’s interests. It lasts one year full time or two years part time. The project can be a shorter alternative to an MPhil or PhD, or a precursor to either – including the option of an MSc project expanding into MPhil or doctorate work as it evolves. It can also be a mechanism for industry to collaborate with the School.
The development of transferable skills is a vital part of postgraduate training and a vibrant, interdisciplinary training programme is offered to all research students by the University’s Institute for Academic Development (IAD). The programme concentrates on the professional development of postgraduates, providing courses directly linked to postgraduate study.
Courses run by the IAD are free and have been designed to be as flexible as possible so that you can tailor the content and timing to your own requirements.
Our researchers are strongly encouraged to present their research at conferences and in journal during the course of their PhD.
Every year, the Graduate School organises a Postgraduate Research Conference to showcase the research carried out by students across the Research Institutes
Our researchers are also encouraged and supported to attend transferable skills courses provided by organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
The Institute has excellent laboratory facilities, including the latest instruments for research in adsorption, biomedical engineering, conservation materials science, high pressure and temperature advanced materials synthesis, ice mechanics, and multi-phase flows and multiscale modelling.
The Master of Science in Sustainable Development contains two different tracks: the Erasmus Mundus joint Master in Sustainable Territorial Development and the ICP Master of Science in Sustainable Development.
The Erasmus Mundus Joint Master in Sustainable Territorial Development
STeDe IJM aims to create experts in the area of sustainable territorial development. More concretely it trains professionals to be able to help organizations acting in the territory (enterprises, local communities, civil society organizations) to draft sustainable development policies for economic, social, environmental, international and intercultural management.
The Master concerns the economic competitiveness, social inclusion, environmental protection, international cooperation and intercultural relation challenges of territorial development focusing not only on local communities, but also on enterprises, non-state actors and civil society organizations. It also aims to offer an example of sustainable territory involving all local organizations, which should have human resources available and able to promote sustainable development.
The ICP Master of Science in Sustainable Development
An active research-driven education model with five main pillars
Pillar 1 : Research based teaching courses taught by academic experts leading research in different sustainability domains and parts of the world.
Pillar 2 : Training in research stimulating critical learners, systemic thinking and creativity in the solution of complex socio-ecological problems and triggering real change.
Pillar 3 : A programme informed by and serving the needs of Global South regions facing economic, social and ecological challenges.
Pillar 4 : The active integration of fieldwork in the South, internship, thesis and portfolio development in the professional preparation of the students.
Pillar 5 : The KU Leuven Sustainability Living Lab as the itinerant platform through which the vision and goals of this Master will be tested and implemented in a real world setting. All contents and activities in the Master are connected to the priorities of the Lab, which will be in tune with international institutions agendas and contemporary sustainability debates.
In simple words, this Master programme embraces sustainable development beyond the walls of universities and classrooms to engage with real world settings and localities in their search for solutions to their most pressing problems.
The Master of Science in Sustainable Development is an initial Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.
In this interuniversity programme, both European and non-European students study together. The EMLM STeDe-students study each semester at a different university. First at the Università degli Studi di Padova (30 ECTS), then at KU Leuven (30 ECTS) and then at the Université Paris 1 Panthéon - Sorbonne (30 ECTS). The fourth semester is dedicated to an internship and a Master's thesis (30 ECTS) written at the university of the student's choice from among the three aforementioned universities and the Universidade Catolica Don Bosco in Brazil.
The students of the ICP Master of Sustainable Development study at the KU Leuven. They can choose between two specialisations: ‘Space and Society’ and ‘Ecology’.
This programme is offered by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, collaboration with the Department of Biology. The main mission of the Department Earth and Environmental Sciences is to carry out state-of-the-art scientific research with respect to the functioning of geo- and ecosystems at different spatial and temporal scales, including the interaction between humans and the environment and the sustainable management of natural resources. The department aims at providing attractive academic training at an international level in the fields of Bio-engineering, Geology, Geography and Tourism. The department aims at making an important contribution to the scientific understanding of societal issues such as environmental pollution, food production, climate change, nature and landscape management, soil and water management, exploitation of underground resources, rural and urban development, international development collaboration and tourism.
The Department of Biology is committed to excellence in teaching and research and is comprised of four divisions with diverse research activities ranging from molecular and physiological research at the level of cells and organisms to ecological research on populations, communities, and ecosystems. Although many research groups conduct in-depth analyses on specific model organisms, as a whole the department studies an impressive diversity of lifeforms.
Our research is internationally renowned and embedded in well-established worldwide collaborations with other universities, research institutes, and companies. Our primary goal is to obtain insight into patterns and processes at different levels of biological organisation and to understand the basis and evolution of the mechanisms that allow organisms to adapt to their constantly changing environment. This knowledge often leads to applications with important economic or societal benefits. The department attracts many students and hosts approximately 250 staff members.
Job opportunities for graduates may be found in all sectors where sustainable development actions should be implemented, in particular at organizations responsible for the creation of sustainable territories (communities, enterprises, non-state actors and civil society organizations, local governments), the central government and international organizations.
Potential posts include: environmental adviser; sustainable development manager in local communities, public administrations, civil society organizations & local governments; representative within local public institutions, national and international institutions, enterprises, trade unions & professional bodies.
The extensive experience, international collaboration and multidisciplinary insights gained from the Erasmus Mundus Master in Sustainable Territorial Development, will open up new perspectives on the sustainability of territorial use and organization while introducing you to various policy tools and management strategies in divergent territorial contexts.
The programme includes the following profiles:
This profile introduces students into the study of animal and plant development, microbiology, cell signaling pathways, cytoskeleton dynamics, cancer biology, virology and immunology. Courses of this profile span multiple levels of biological organization, from whole organisms down to the molecular level. Students choosing this profile not only receive up-to-date knowledge on these topics but also acquire the laboratory skills required to engage in cutting-edge research.
This profile allows students to gain experience in the research methods used to study the evolution and ecology of organisms found in terrestrial, freshwater and coastal ecosystems. A staff of experts teaches up-to-date knowledge on individual organisms, populations, species communities and ecosystems, backed up by their active research experience in taxonomy and phylogeny, vertebrate and invertebrate ecology, evolutionary ecology, biogeography, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, and nature management. In addition, students are introduced into ecological research by means of practical field training and excursions in Belgium and abroad.
This unique profile addresses biology students with a passion for amphibians and reptiles. An international team of visiting scientists organizes lectures on diversity, ecology, physiology, behavior, evolution and conservation biology and prepares students for a professional career in herpetology. Ecological and herpetological field courses in European and tropical countries form an important part of this programme. As a student, you will be in a stimulating environment, with fellow students and top-experts sharing your passion. For more information, have a look at http://www.herpetology.be.
This profile focuses on the interaction between humans and their natural environment. The increasing impact of the human population on ecosystems worldwide stresses the urgent need for researchers with a multidisciplinary background, that engage in developmental plans for a durable use and management of natural resources. The profile Human Ecology addresses an international audience of students and offers a course programme that, besides scientific topics, also addresses technological, socio-economical and political aspects. For more information, have a look at http://www.humanecology.be.
The world faces a crisis risking extinction of species through global warming. Due to impact of e.g., changes in land use and destruction of habitats, tropical rain forests, mangrove forests and coral reefs are disappearing and with them ecosystem functions, goods and services on which human populations are dependent. In order to conserve nature, to manage or even to restore tropical biodiversity and ecosystems, we must understand patterns of tropical biodiversity, study how organisms interact with their environment and how they respond to perturbations and change. Next to research, this is dealt with in this unique masters programme. http://www.tropimundo.eu
Bodies of water, including oceans, large lakes, seas and estuaries, make up the largest part of the earth's surface. Well above 70% of the earth´s surface consists of water, which is essential for all life. Humans extract both directly and indirectly a major part of their food from the seas, photosynthesis in the oceans is responsible for approximately half of the global oxygen production, the oceans continue to yield unknown life forms at an astonishing rate. In spite of the importance of the water bodies of this earth, much of them remains unknown.
If you are interested in gaining more in-depth knowledge of this world, of the ecosystems associated with water, in a scientific manner, the Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management offers you what you need. This combination of disciplines makes the programme unique, not only in Flanders, but also in Europe. Students with most scientifically oriented bachelor diplomas can start the programme directly.
This 2-year master programme addresses students with a background in sciences. It provides you with strong fundamental and applied knowledge and prepares you for an active role in the scientific research and management of marine ecosystems. The programme adopts a multidisciplinary approach integrating physical, chemical geological, ecological and societal aspects and including nature conservation and sustainable development.
• Biodiversity and Ecology
• Conservation Biology and Ecosystem Management
• Environmental Impact and Remediation
• Earth System Sciences
The programme is one of the International Course Programmes supported by the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR-UOS). A limited number of scholarships is available for students coming from certain developing countries.
The diversity of professional, disciplinary and cultural backgrounds of both students and lecturers ensures that the programme has a truly unique international character.
This programma trains students in:
This multidisciplinary Master´s diploma is your admission ticket to a fascinating professional world and can be the start of an international career. As a scientist with a broad education, you are the right person for functions that require an integrated approach. The integration of knowledge from across various disciplines is valuable, and you can contribute significantly in various jobs that are concerned with marine and lacustrine domains, wherever they are in the world. The programme is broad and deep and can complement a wide range of scientific professions.
Do you have a Bachelor’s degree in biology, biotechnology, chemistry, biochemistry, bioengineering or biomedical science, and are you still fascinated by the biochemical unity that underlies the world’s biological diversity? Then the Master in Molecular Biology is the programme you’re looking for! This high-level scientific programme with strong multidisciplinary courses combines a theoretical formation with research-oriented skills. The Master is an interuniversity programme, jointly organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, KULeuven and the University of Antwerp, all located in Belgium. Students can choose between the Profile Biotechnology for Global Health and the Profile Agro- and Plant Biotechnology.
Molecular Biology is a rapidly developing discipline. It stands at the crossroads of chemical, biological, physical and computational sciences and focuses on the understanding of cellular processes, biological molecules and their interactions. Molecular Biology is a multidisciplinary area of study that deals with the structure and function of molecules as well as their interplay in creating the phenomenon of life.
After graduation, you will be able to contribute to the improvement of human health or plant production through a molecular biological approach. You will know how to appraise the scientific and social aspects of applied molecular biology.
We train our students so they can cope with a wide range of scientific problems as well as the development of preventive strategies, diagnostic techniques and therapies while being aware of the ethical issues related to this field.
A critical mind will allow you to consider and reflect on existing and new theories within the study field and will help you to solve global problems or issues that both developing and developed countries are facing.
The programme content has been developed by several outstanding and multidisciplinary scientific teams. The advanced courses and electives are taught by leading researchers with a proven scientific track record, thus contributing to the research-oriented nature of the programme.
The two-year Interuniversity Master in Molecular Biology requires full-time attendance and active participation in lectures and discovery-based laboratory work to develop the mentality that drives the progress of science.
During practical training, problem-solving formats are used in which students work together to make observations and to analyze experimental results. Students who learn via problem-solving formats demonstrate better problem-solving ability, conceptual understanding and success in subsequent courses than those who learn in traditional, passive ways.
Masters of Molecular Biology find employment in universities, hospitals, private and governmental research laboratories, patenting bureaus, as lecturers, consultants, advisors to policy-makers, etc. Many graduates proceed to PhD-programmes in Belgium or abroad.
The Master in Chemistry is a two-year (120 ECTS) advanced study in chemistry organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, a Flemish university located in Brussels, Belgium. This MSc programme combines the expertise in the different research domains of both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Ghent University (UGent).
Apart from a mandatory set of core competences, the programme offers a wide variety of classes within four current trends in Chemistry (clusters composed of a course package of 30 ECTS credits):
• Molecular and Macromolecular Design offers a thorough education in the design and synthesis of organic molecules and polymers, in which medicinal chemistry, computational chemistry and structural analysis feature prominently.
• Materials Chemistry focuses on the properties of materials, such as polymers, for example surface analysis, X-rays and laser spectroscopy and computational chemistry.
• Analysis and Characterisation covers a whole range of analytical techniques, including new electrochemical methods, advanced chromatography and elemental and isotope analyses.
• Environmental Chemistry studies natural and disturbed processes in water, soil and atmosphere. A variety of analytical techniques are used here, and new sampling and measuring techniques are designed, refined and optimised.
Additionally three main orientations exist, allowing you to select a profile composed of an additional course package of 30 ECTS in Research, Industry or Education (the profile ‘Education’ is taught in Dutch).
Practicals in small groups:
Chemistry is a real experimental science. Consequently, a lot of attention is given to practical experience and laboratory training. Practical sessions are designed to precisely perform experiments in small groups, and to handle chemicals in a safe and environmentally friendly manner. Writing lab reports and oral presentation skills are emphasised, as they constitute an integral part of the preparation for your future career. During these practical sessions, you are exposed to the different research areas and you become familiar with both theoretical and practical aspects of the different branches of chemistry. You will be introduced to the world of nucleic acids, proteins, biochemical processes and their applications, the design and synthesis of new molecules, molecular properties and reactivity studies, as well as the detection of organic pollutants, or the precise measurements of very low metal concentrations in the environment (water, soil, air).
Chemistry gives insight into a broad range of phenomena with everyday applications, and teaches you the theoretical basis of molecular properties. You also learn how you can elucidate the structure of complex organic molecules, and how you can build these molecules in the lab. The air you breathe or the water you drink must comply with international quality standards. You will be taught how to monitor that quality. The focus is clearly towards a discipline-based education, with a lot of time for experimental work.
During your master years, you have the opportunity to do an internship and gain experience in a professional environment, such as an international company or research lab. Or you can decide to study abroad for a semester.
Do you want to discover new molecules or develop advanced materials with specific properties, at a university, a public or industrial research lab?
Do you want to work on energy-efficient and environmentally friendly materials and processes?
Do you want to specialise in molecular and macromolecular design, with applications in various field such as medicine, materials, etc.?
Do you want to study the impact of chemical products on the environment?
Do you want to share your knowledge and are you considering a career in education?
Do you already have a professional Bachelor’s degree and are you looking to pursue your education and increase your opportunities on the job market?
Physicists and astronomers try to understand nature: from the smallest building blocks of matter and their interactions to the evolution of the universe on a cosmological scale. Ultimately, this endeavour leads to new insights that are helpful in other scientific disciplines, and to many applications in our daily lives. Although our insights go ever deeper and reach ever further, there is much we still do not understand. That is why basic research remains so important.
This MSc programme combines the research expertise of both the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and Universiteit Gent (UGent), allowing you to tailor your study programme to your interests. One choice you have to make in advance is which of our three minors you want to follow: Research, Economy and Business or Education (30 ECTS in Dutch). No matter which minor you choose, you will get a solid training as a physicist and we offer you the possibility to participate in high-level research. There is no wrong choice!
If you choose the Research minor, you will have to take up two External Mobility-courses. These allow you to follow courses at another university or to do an internship at a company or research institution. A combination of courses and internship is also possible. The internship will be assessed through a report and presentation.
The offered courses are strongly embedded in both universities' ongoing research programmes. Through intensive collaboration with members of the research groups, you will get the opportunity to develop and improve your scientific skills. The researchers at VUB have strong connections within Belgium and in- and outside Europe through research projects such as the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica and the CMS experiment at CERN in Geneva. Many of our students have the opportunity to do an internship or research for their Master's thesis at CERN during their studies. this close connection to research means our students are well-prepared for a PhD-position, with around half of our graduates pursuing such a career in research.
Did you know that VUB postdocs and faculty are leading international teams of scienctists? For example Dr. Petra Van Mulders, a VUB alumnus and postdoctoral researcher, was until recently leading the team working on identification of particles called b-quarks at the CMS experiment at CERN. The results of her work are now used by researchers all over the world in the attempt to determine the characteristics of the recently discovered Brout-Englert-Higgs particle.
Physics students at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel attend lectures, exercises, lab sessions and excursions in small groups. There is room for interaction and discussion, and a low threshold for students to actively participate. This programme pays special attention to critical analysis.
The different research groups at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel are in close contact with leading universities and research institutes around the world, which allows you to do part of your studies and/or the research for your Master’s thesis abroad. Our research groups work for example at the particle accelerator at CERN.