International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea)

General information

International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea)

The International Master in Marine Biological Resources (IMBRSea), is a joint Master programme organized by eight leading European universities in the field of marine sciences; Ghent University (BE), University of Pierre and Marie Curie (FR), University of the Algarve (PT), University of Oviedo (ES), Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (IE), University of the Basque Country (ES), Polytechnic University of Marche (IT), and University of Bergen (NO), supported by fourteen Marine Research Institutes belonging to the European Marine Biological Resource Centre (EMBRC). Based on the objectives of the EMBRC consortium, IMBRSea covers a wide, yet consistent, range of subjects related to the sustainable use of marine biological resources. With an emphasis on marine biological and ecological processes, the programme links biology of marine organisms and environmental studies with subjects in marine policy and planning. 

IMBRSea will replace the EMBC+ programme from September 2017 onwards. Applications for becoming a student in the programme will be open from December 2016 onwards. IMBRSea is a two year, 120 ECTS study programme that starts with a first semester of courses within the Fundamental Modules in which students gain the core competences required for starting any of the five Specialization Tracks of the programme. This first semester offered by Ghent University, University of the Algarve, University of Oviedo and University Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC). During the second and the third semester, the students follow two Thematic Modules, leading to one of the five Specialization Tracks defined according to the EU Horizon2020 Blue Growth innovation challenges: (1) Marine food production, (2) Management of living marine resources, (3) Applied marine ecology and conservation, (4) Marine environment health, and (5) Global ocean change.

IMBRSea offers, beside a wide variety of courses in the Thematic Modules, also a series of jointly developed activities. In the second half of the second semester, students will gain authentic experience during six weeks of Professional Practice offered by potential future employers. During a Joint School students from the same cohort will come together for programme-wide training on multi-disciplinary topics. During the last semester students have the opportunity to develop an individual Thesis research project, tailored to their personal interests. This research project is presented on the IMBRSea Annual Symposium which unites both first and second year students, as well as future employers, and interested stakeholders.

IMBRSea aims to prepare students for the rapidly evolving demands of the blue bio-economy and research on the sustainable use of marine biological resources. The international, interdisciplinary and intersectoral nature of these challenges demands the integrated approach which IMBRSea fully encompasses.

Learning outcome:

IMBRSea covers a wide, yet consistent, range of subjects within the marine sciences and biological resources. With an emphasis on marine biological and ecological processes, the programme links biology of marine organisms and environmental studies with subjects in marine policy and planning.

The subjects are covered through Thematic Modules in Specialization Tracks to prepare the next generation of scientists who need to understand the marine ecosystem functioning and conservation of biodiversity to work in biological resources exploitation and management. IMBRSea offers a unique combination of Courses, Annual Symposia, Professional Practices and Thesis subjects in an integrated program to learn how to develop blue biotechnologies in a sustainable way.


Contact Person: Dr. Tim Deprez (Programme coordinator) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0031 - Project management", "0031- Personal skills and communication", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law", "0511 - Biology", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0512 - Toxicology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0542 - Statistics", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0731 - Marine spatial planning", "0831 - Aquaculture", "0831 - Fisheries", "1015 - Coastal and marine tourism


Venue: Ghent University (Coordinator)
Ghent, Belgium

Year 1 Universities: Ghent University, University of Algarve, Pierre and Marie Curie University, University of Oviedo, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, University of the Bask Country, Marche Polytechnic University

Year 2 Universities: University of Algarve, University of Bergen, Galway Mayo Institute of Technology, Pierre and Marie Curie University


Open from
5 Dec 2016 to 30 Mar 2017

Click here to apply:


IMBRSea Participation Cost

The IMBRSea Consortium have made an agreement to organise the master programme in a way that fees for students that participate on a self-funding basis are kept as low as possible. A reduction of €1000 euro per student per year to the actual participation costs was applied resulting in the following fees:

  • €3500 per year for European citizens
  • €4500 per year for non-European citizens

The annual tuition fees cover:

  • Enrolment and tuition costs at universities of study
  • Joint School costs: food, accommodation and a compensation for transport
  • Annual Symposium costs: food, accommodation

Scholarships are available for both EU and non-EU students: more info



Educational background

A prerequisite for admission is that applicants have a Bachelor (or Master) degree in biology, ecology, environmental sciences, oceanography, marine sciences, geography, geology, or other equivalent degrees with minimum 180 credits at the latest before Sep 1st 2017. For non-European students, preferably before Feb 28th 2017.

Language Requirements

Knowledge of the English language is considered as a basic requirement. All students must provide evidence of their proficiency in English through one of the following documents:

  • A recent TOEFL Certificate: minimum score: 570 points (paper) or 87 points (internet)
  • A recent IELTS Certificate: minimum score: 6.5
  • A recent Certificate of a University Language Centre testifying that the student masters the necessary knowledge of English to function academically (specify CEF-level / minimum CEF-level B2) 
  • A recent Cambridge English certificate: Cambridge English First (FCE) - grade A or B 
  • A certificate proving that you have followed at least 1 year of higher education in English

Application Procedure:

Application for the IMBRSea master programme is carried out through an online form by completing the following steps:

  • Step 1: Preparing for IMBRSea
  • Step 2: make an IMBRSea personal account in the IMBRSea application tool -  enter here
  • Step 3: enter all required data in the IMBRSea application tool enter here:
    • personal data
    • study overview
    • language skills
    • motivation
  • Step 4: submit the IMBRSea application to the IMBRSea coordination office before March, 30th 2017. Exceptionally EU-students can apply until June, 1st 2016, however it is not possible to apply for an Erasmus Scholarship after March, 30th 2017.

Deadlines and dates

  • Feedback on academic eligibility
    • April 15th 2017: Notification of scholarship selection results
  • Deadline legalized documents at EMBC+ coordination office
    • for students (non-EU): Monday, 15th of May 2017
    • for all EU-students: Thursday, 1st of June 2017
  • Issuing of invoice: Thursday, 15th of June 2017
  • Deadline payment of invoice: Tuesday, 1st of August 2017

Note that if problems with the distributing of students over the universities would occur (i.e. if more students who are academically eligible want to go to a university than there are places at that university) the procedure of ‘first paid, first choice’ will be followed. The date on your proof of payment (bank transcript) will be taken into account. 
Students who haven't paid by the deadline of Tuesday, 1st of August will be considered as dropouts.

  • Exceptionally EU-students can apply until 01 June 2017, however this will have certain implications:
    • it is not possible for students who apply after the official deadline of March 30th 2016 to apply for an Erasmus Scholarship
    • feedback on academic eligibility: Monday, 3rd of July 2017
    • issuing of invoice: Friday, 14th of July 2017 
    • deadline payment of incoice: Tuesday, 1st of August 2017


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

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