Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering is about ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of current and future generations in both the global North and global South. Agro- and ecosystems provide a wide range of essential goods and services such as food, water, energy and biodiversity. Yet, the contemporary context of population growth, rapid urbanisation, economic globalisation, climate change, deforestation, soil pollution and degradation challenges the future provisioning of a sufficient quantity and quality of these goods and services.
The Master of Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering (ACE) provides in-depth knowledge of the functioning and management of natural and production-oriented ecosystems. You can choose to focus on either temperate or (sub)tropical settings, or a combination of both. You complement the interdisciplinary core programme with a major specialisation in one out of four different domains: biological production, abiotic and biotic environment, bio-economics, and bio-geo information.
The production major focuses on agro-ecosystems, and includes specialisation tracks in crop production, production forestry systems (achieved trough a semester in Chile) and hortology (achieved trough a semester in South Africa).
The environment major provides to in-depth understanding of the biophysical functioning of both natural and agro-ecosystems with the aim of improving the management of these ecosystems' biodiversity, soil and water resources. The major includes specialisation tracks in soil and water systems, forest and nature systems, and ladscape systems.
The economics major focuses on the economic and policy-related aspects of agro- and ecosystems, with in-depth courses in the field of agricultural, food and natural resources economics.
The information major addresses earth observation and geo-data management technology, with in-depth courses covering both the technological aspects of this area and their applications in the field of terrestrial resources.
Are you looking to broaden your horizons? There are ample opportunities to conduct part of your master's thesis research at various partner institutions abroad. In addition, European residents can undertake their master's thesis research at a European or other partner university within the framework of the Erasmus+ programme. The Faculty also welcomes initiatives of students who want to do a work placement in a company or organization abroad, as well as exchange programmes with partner universities.
Two optional specialisation packages require one semester to be spent at a partner institution: the Production Forestry package is organised at the University of Temuco (Chile), while the specialisation in Hortology takes you to the University of Stellenbosch (South Africa).
The interdisciplinary nature of ACE ensures
that graduates are sought after by various professional fields related to biological production systems and ecosystem management, with particular emphasis on plant production, natural resource economics and policy, sustainable environmental management, and applications of earth observation and geomatics.
Abundant employment opportunities exist in public sector organisations, both nationally and internationally, NGOs and private companies, and can be both technical in nature, research-oriented, or at the policy/management level. Finally, ACE provides excellent preparation for undertaking PhD research.
In Belgium, graduates of the ACE programme are entitled to use the professional title of 'Bio-ingenieur' ('Bioscience Engineer') .
Visit the Bioscience Engineering: Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering MSc page on the KU Leuven website for more details!