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KU Leuven MSc Degrees in Aerospace Engineering

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What is the Master of Space Studies all about?. The Master of Space Studies programme is designed to prepare scientists to respond to a myriad of challenges and opportunities. Read more

What is the Master of Space Studies all about?

The Master of Space Studies programme is designed to prepare scientists to respond to a myriad of challenges and opportunities. In addition to coursework in space sciences, the curriculum is enriched by a Master's thesis and a series of guest lecturers from international, national and regional institutions.

This is an advanced Master's programme and can be followed on a full-time or part-time basis.


The programme is conceived as an advanced master’s programme and as such it requires applicants to have successfully completedan initial master’s programme in either the humanities and social sciences, exact sciences and technology or biomedical sciences.

  • The interdisciplinary nature of the programme is expressed by the common core of 25 ECTS in introductory coursework. These courses are mandatory for every student. They acquaint the student with the different aspects that together form the foundation of space-related activities. The backgrounds of the students in programme are diverse, but all students have the ability to transfer knowledge across disciplines.
  • Depending on their background and interests, students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge through more domain-specific optional courses, for a total of 20 ECTS, covering the domains of (A) Space Law, Policy, Business and Management, (B) Space Sciences and (C) Space Technology and Applications, with the possibility to combine the latter two. 
  • For the master’s thesis (15 ECTS), students are embedded in a research team of one of the organising universities, or in an external institute, organisation or industrial company, in which case an academic supervisor is assigned as the coordinator of the project. The master’s thesis is the final section of the interdisciplinary programme, in which the acquired knowledge and abilities are applied to a complex and concrete project.


The mission of the Department of Physics and Astronomy is exploring, understanding and modelling physical realities using mathematical, computational, experimental and observational techniques. Fifteen teams perform research at an international level. Publication of research results in leading journals and attracting top-level scientists are priorities for the department.

New physics and innovation in the development of new techniques are important aspects of our mission. The interaction with industry (consulting, patents...) and society (science popularisation) are additional points of interest. Furthermore, the department is responsible for teaching basic physics courses in several study programmes.

Learning Outcomes

After the completion of the programme, students will have attained the following learning outcomes:

Knowledge and understanding

LO1: Are capable of analysing and understanding the main scientific, technological, political, legal and economical aspects of space activities.

LO2: Demonstrate an advanced knowledge in one of the following fields: A. Space Law, Policy, Business and Management; B. Space Sciences; C. Space Technology.


LO3: Are capable of discussing and reporting on the main scientific, technological, political, legal and economical aspects of space activities.

LO4: Can apply, in the field of space studies, the knowledge, skills and approaches they obtained during their previous academic master.

LO5: Are able to integrate their own disciplinary expertise applied to space related activities within their broad and complex multi-disciplinary environment, taking into account their societal, technological and scientific context.

LO6: Can communicate clearly and unambiguously to specialist and non-specialist audiences about space projects in general and their specific area of expertise.

LO7: Have the skills to commence participation in complex space projects in multi-disciplinary and/or multinational settings in the framework of institutions, agencies or industry. This includes information collection, analysis and drawing conclusions, individually and/or as part of a team.

LO8: Can undertake research in the space field individually, translate the findings in a structured fashion, and communicate and discuss the results in a clear manner (oral and written).


LO9: Have a multi-disciplinary approach to complex projects, with special attention to the integration of the different and complementary aspects of such projects.

LO10: Understand and are able to contribute to exploiting the benefits of space for humanity and its environment and are familiarised with the broad spectrum of aspects of peaceful space activities, including the societal ones.

LO11: Have a critical approach towards the place of space activities in their societal framework, including ethical questions arising from space activities.

Career perspectives

Graduates will be in a position to develop a career in the space sector or in space research.

Depending on his/her previous degree, the student will find opportunities in the space industry (engineers, product developers and technical-commercial functions with a high degree of technical and financial responsibilities), research institutions with activities in space (researchers and project developers), (inter)governmental bodies with responsibilities in research and development programmes related to space (project managers and directors, policy makers on national, European and international levels). The spectrum of employment possibilities encompasses not only the space sector as such, but also the broader context of companies and organisations which use or are facilitated by space missions.

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