MSc Aquaculture (IMAQUA)

General information

The MSc in Aquaculture, organized by the Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center at Ghent University, calls upon recognized aquaculture experts to educate and train students from Europe and third countries and to introduce them to the principles of sustainable development of aquaculture. 

It is a 2-year programme at university level on both marine and freshwater aquaculture. During the first semester, basic knowledge on ecology, biology,  microbiology and statistics is being refreshed. The second semester of the first year focuses on specific aspects of aquaculture, such as larviculture and larval food production, fish and shellfish production techniques, algae culture, farm management training and environmental impact. During the third semester, students follow specialized courses on management, health and disease control, and genetics, in combination with elective courses. The fourth semester is entirely dedicated to the master dissertation. The practical work can be performed at Ghent University, other Belgian institutes, or abroad.

This MSc programme is run in English and receives a diverse international audience. Several guest speakers and scientists from other European and international institutions contribute to the programme. Students get a true feeling with the industry through visits to different aquaculture farms and research centers in Europe. Students have the opportunity to follow an internship in a commercial enterprise or research center. Specialized courses compare the European situation with the situation in the student’s country of origin. 

The master in aquaculture can be followed as a full-time or part-time programme. 

Learning outcome:

The learning outcomes of IMAQUA are formulated as follows. A student:

  • Possesses a broad knowledge at an advanced level in a number of basic disciplines (biology, ecology, pathology, genetics, zootechnology, nutrition, management, economics and statistics) relevant to aquaculture.
  • Understands the processes ongoing in different forms and systems of aquatic production.
  • Has acquired a broad knowledge on the production of aquatic organisms.
  • Can analyze the interactions between biological production systems and the natural resources and the socio-economic context in a systems approach.
  • Can identify interactions between human activity, environmental conditions and exploitation of aquatic production systems, and can implement potential mitigating interventions.
  • Can draw and implement strategies for future development in the aquaculture industry.
  • Can understand and communicate with the industry, and is familiar with the practicalities of commercial ventures.
  • Has acquired a scientific approach to formulate and test hypotheses, to design research protocols, and to collect and analyze data.
  • Understands the ethical considerations of animal production and experimentation.
  • Is able to present personal research, thoughts, ideas, and research proposals in a suitable way, both written and orally, to peers and to a general public.
Contact Person: Tav Tom Baelemans (


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

0831 - Fisheries", "0512 - Biotechnology", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law", "0031 - Project management", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0521 - Ecology


Venue: Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium

Faculty of Bioscience Engineering - Department of Animal Production
Laboratory of Aquaculture & Artemia Reference Center
Rozier 44, B-9000 Gent



The tuition fees for the master in Aquaculture correspond to the standard tuition fees for Ghent University: €61.90 (fixed amount) + (number of credits x €9.30) (overview of programmes valid PDF in 2014-2015). More details about reduced tuition fees are available here.


Degree Requirements 
Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class upper or equivalent) from a university or recognized equivalent institution and are expected to have basic science training and good results (shown in the transcript of records) in at least 5 out of 7 of the following fields: mathematics (including basic statistics), physics, chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, and engineering. Some background in aquaculture is recommended too. 

For a VLIR-UOS scholarship application, professional experience in the field of aquaculture is highly appreciated and a proof of reemployment after the master required.

Language Requirements
The applicant must be proficient in English provided by a certificate (taken in last 5 years) of one of the following tests (minimum required level):​

  • TOEFL: IBT- 80, PBT- 550
  • IELTS: 6.5
  • CEFR: B2 (issued by an European university language center)

The following applicants are exempted from the rule above:

  • Applicants who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) issued by an institution officially recognized by the Flemish Government
  • Applicants who have obtained with success 1 year of bachelor or master studies or 60 ECTS in an university or recognized equivalent with English as language of instruction

Application Procedure:

Everyone who wants to follow the master in Aquaculture at Ghent University needs to get permission from the promoter Prof. Peter Bossier. In order to get this permission you need to register online, complete the academic permission form and submit it. Selected candidates will be notified by the end of January in order to proceed with their academic admission at Ghent University.

Application Deadlines 

  • International Applicants: 15 January
  • European Applicants: 1st June 

Grant Opportunities:

In case you are looking for financial support during your MSc. in Aquaculture studies, there are numerous options for both non-European and European students, Belgian or not. For more information please follow this link.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
Spotted a mistake in this page? Click here to request a change.