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Master of Science in Sustainable Land Management

Degree awarded
Master's Degree

Faculty of Sciences, Krijgslaan 281, 9000 Gent, Belgium

Type of course
Full-time (120 ECTS)

Length of course
2 years (120 ECTS)

Language of tuition

Date of commencement
End of September 2022

Application deadline
28 February 2022 for non-EEA students and scholarship seeking students (EEA or non-EEA)
31 May 2022 for non-scholarship seeking EEA students

Class size
15 students

Cost / fees
961.90 Euro


Exchange partner schools
The programme has a dense network of collaborating universities, research institutes and organisations that can act as host to the student and are largely involved in the research work. Fieldwork and data collection (master dissertation or internships) can be executed at North and South partner institutions.

Student profile
1. Ratio of National / International students: 5%/95%
2. Ratio of Men / Women: 65%/35%
3. Age range: 23-35

Admission requirements
See opposite / below

Programme Director
Prof. Dr. Kristine Walraevens

Contact details for application
Admissions office, Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 33, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Tel / Fax: +32 9 331 00 70

Ghent University, Belgium

Master of Science in Sustainable Land Management

Pogramme Content

A country's physical land resources are a fundamental pillar of support for human life and welfare. Worldwide, population pressures and severe degradation, pollution and desertification problems are threatening this - for several countries relatively scarce - natural resource, and cause competition between agricultural or industrial purposes, urban planning and nature conservation.

To guarantee a proper use and management of this basic commodity for a nation, well trained specialists with a thorough knowledge of the properties and characteristics of this natural resource, and a solid insight in factors and measures that may alter its actual state and value are warranted and call for a high standard scientific and practical education.

Main subject: Land and Groundwater Management

This major aims at training researchers, academics, government staff and expert consultants in the inventory and detailed characterization of land capacity, and of groundwater in particular.

Graduates should be able to understand the development and evolution of groundwater under natural conditions or following human interference using field, map, laboratory and remote sensing data. They should have the scientific knowledge to use and manage land and water in a sustainable way, and to optimize land and groundwater use under different natural and environmental conditions.

Main subject: Urban Land Engineering

This major aims at training researchers, academics, government staff and expert consultants in the inventory and detailed characterization of land capacity, and of urban land in particular.

Graduates should be able to understand urban hydrology and hydraulics, and the problem of sustainable mobility and logistics, using field, map, laboratory and remote sensing data. They should have the scientific knowledge to use and manage urban land and water in a sustainable way, and to optimize urban land use under different natural and environmental conditions.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Science in Sustainable Land Management aims at delivering experts with a broad, advanced up-to-date knowledge in the field of physical land resources, and groundwater and urban land in particular, that are capable to integrate this knowledge with the acquired techniques, skills and attitudes, and to apply them in their professional life.

Special consideration is given to analyzing problems in developing countries.

Programme Structure

The Master of Science degree programme in Physical Land Resources is a two year, full time course. The first year provides a fundamental basis in physical land resources, including supporting methodological courses.

The second year offers specialised courses in one of both main subjects: either Land and Groundwater Management or Urban Land Management. The students have to prepare a master dissertation in the second year. Successful completion of the programme leads to the award of an Master of Science degree in Physical Land Resources.

The course curriculum of the first year, and of the main subject in Land and Groundwater Management of the second year is organised at Ghent University, whereas all courses of the main subject in Urban Land Management of the second year are lectured at "Vrije Universiteit Brussel". There is one common course in the second year: "Integrated Project", assuring coherence between both majors. The academic year starts the last week of September. However, students are advised to arrive in Ghent in the first week of September to follow the preparatory summer course.

A wide variety of teaching methods are used in the PLR programme. All course units, except for "Internship" and "Master Dissertation" include lectures. Lectures are fundamental to provide students with the necessary basic knowledge in order to acquire the requested competences.

Besides lectures the following teaching methods are very frequently used: practical classes, PC-room classes and coached exercises. Teaching methods like guided self-study, group work and micro-teaching are occasionally used.

Field work and excursions are evidently an important component of the Physical Land Resources programme.

Admission requirements

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)
Language of instruction is not accepted anymore, except:
  1. applicants who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) issued by an institution officially recognized by the Flemish Government.
  2. applicants who are nationals from or have obtained a bachelor and/or master degree in a higher education institute with English as mode of instruction in USA,
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland or Canada, and in the latter case a certificate that the mode of instruction was English has to be submitted.

Applicants that do not meet the language requirements can request an exception by adding a motivated letter to the application file.

About the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University

The faculty of Bioscience Engineering is one of the 11 faculties of Ghent University.

The faculty is strongly dedicated to international education, welcoming an average of 350 international master's students from 100 different nationalities each academic year, on a total amount of almost 3000 students. The focal research topic of the faculty is the living matter in all its diversity.

The research domains are clustered around Natural Capital, Sustainable Primary Production, Food and Health, Green Chemistry, Bio-Economy, Clean Environmental Technology, Biotechnology and Data-Analysis. Our research excellence is the basis of top-quality education and high international rankings.

The faculty of Bioscience Engineering of UGent is top 15-ranked for Agricultural Sciences (QS Ranking, NTU Ranking, Shangai Ranking) and positioned 54 for Life Sciences according to the Times Higher Education Ranking.

Alumni of our international master programmes get a broad range of career options as entrepreneurs, policy makers and research experts.

The faculty is located in the city of Ghent: a charming, medieval, multi-cultural city with 300.000 inhabitants and home to 77.000 students. 49,000 of those are students of Ghent University, of which our faculty is part.

The city centre of Ghent is a low emission zone with car-free parts and Ghent is a worldwide forerunner in the promotion of sustainable food.

Other courses offered by Ghent University

  • Master of Science in Environmental Science and Technology
  • Master of Science in Nutrition and Rural Development