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Biological Sciences×

Masters Degrees in Environmental Biology, Belgium

We have 2 Masters Degrees in Environmental Biology, Belgium

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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. Read more
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.

Career opportunities

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.

Contents

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.

This programma trains students in:
1. playing a key role in high quality scientific marine research
2. providing advice in marine management based on sound scientific knowledge
3. becoming critically minded, problem-solving and communicative scientists

You can major in one of four specialisations:
• 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.

Visit the Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management (Oceans & Lakes) page on the Vrije Universiteit Brussel website for more details!

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In the first academic year of the MSc program, the students of the 3 main subjects have several courses in common, aiming in giving them all an in-depth knowledge and know-how related to nutrition and rural development related topics, creating a common academic level between all program students of diverse backgrounds. Read more
In the first academic year of the MSc program, the students of the 3 main subjects have several courses in common, aiming in giving them all an in-depth knowledge and know-how related to nutrition and rural development related topics, creating a common academic level between all program students of diverse backgrounds. The common part of the programme consists on the one hand of basic knowledge, insights and skills in the areas of production, transformation, preservation, marketing and consumption of food products. On the other hand, it contains a practically oriented component that enables the alumni to identify problems by means of quantitative and qualitative research methods and analytical techniques, to assess and rank causes, and to plan, to execute and to evaluate appropriate interventions.

The other part of courses given during the first year are main subject specific courses. The academic second year provides a more in depth understanding of the specific problems and their solutions for the main subject and major chosen and consists of main subject and major specific courses, elective (optional) courses and Master Dissertation research (30 ECTS).

The specific expertise the students receive depends on the main subject , major and optional courses chosen.

Human nutrition

Transfers specific and profound knowledge, insights and skills related to the food and public health nutrition security problems and possible solutions at population level. Therefore, this subject focuses on themes such as food chemistry, food and nutrition science, nutritional requirements, food and nutrition policy, nutrition surveillance, nutrition disorders, nutrition research, food and nutrition interventions, food safety, nutrition epidemiology, consumer behaviour, rural development and agriculture, development economics, project management, and project planning.

Structure

Semester 1 (Sept-Jan)
-Preceded by introduction courses.
-Common and main subject specific basic courses.
-Fundamental, in depth and high level knowledge.
Semester 2 (Febr-June)
-Main subject specific courses with special attention to ‘in field’ applications.
-Possibility to do internships in summer holidays.
Semester 3 (Sept-Jan) and Semester 4 (Febr-June)
-Specialised courses (fine-tuned individual programme).
-Master dissertation (at Ghent University, other Belgian institutes/organizations/multinationals or one of our partners in the South or Europe).

Learning outcomes

Have thorough knowledge and comprehension (theory and practice) l in the interdisciplinary domains: food and feed production, socio-economic, (public health) nutrition and management concepts, theories and skills, and in the main subject specific domains and the chosen major domains. The program additionally focuses on international collaboration.
-Major: Public Health Nutrition : Have profound insights in public health nutrition realities and compare public health nutrition issues, approaches and policies within the international context.
-Major Nutrition Security and Management: Have profound insights in different food/nutrition security realities and compare nutrition security issues, approaches and (nutrition) policies within an international context.
-Major Plant Production: Have profound insights in plant production realities and compare plant production issues, and approaches within the international context.
-Major Animal Production: Have profound insights in animal production realities and compare animal production issues, and approaches within the international context.

Apply theories and methodological approaches to characterize and analyse specific problems: food, nutrition and agricultural chains, food sovereignty /safety and security, natural resource management, sustainable production, economic and social problems of rural areas, national and international agriculture.

Design and implement adequate instruments, methods, models and innovative tools to analyse, evaluate and solve interdisciplinary related problems in the context of sustainable development.

Apply the interdisciplinary tools to design, implement, monitor and evaluate national and international agro-nutrition policies and programs. More specifically:
-For Human Nutrition: construct innovative tools and instruments for the development of a better nutritional health status of a country/region/area and its inhabitants/households.
-For Tropical agriculture: a more efficient and economic feasible agricultural balanced, food production guaranteeing a better food security situation per country respecting local environment.

Assess the importance and magnitude of a problem, define strategies for intervention and/or identify knowledge gaps. Develop a research protocol based on the analysis of existing evidence and set up a research plan, analyse and interpret the data and present the findings.

Identify, select and apply appropriate research methods and techniques to collect, analyses and critically interpret data.

Critically reflect on program specific issues, and on ethical and value driven aspects of research and intervention strategies.

Take up a trans-disciplinary role in an interdisciplinary ((inter)national) team dealing with global challenges, and develop a global perspective.

Dialogue and professionally interact with different actors and stakeholders from peers to a general public to convincingly communicate evidence based research findings and project results.

To effectively use appropriate communication and behavioural skills in different language and cultural environments.

Learn to continuously critically reflect (individually and in discussion with others) upon personal knowledge, skills, attitudes, functioning, and develop an attitude of lifelong learning. This includes:
-Design and plan own learning processes.
-Self-Directed Learning: work independently, take initiative, and manage a project through to completion.

Other admission details

The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted):
-TOEFL IBT 80.
-TOEFL PBT 550.
-ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing.
-CEFR B2 Issued by a European university language centre.
-ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced).

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