MSc Aquaculture (IMAQUA)

General information

Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Under the pressure of the increasing world population on the one side and the stagnating or even declining fishery landings on the other side, aquaculture is considered as the only option to respond to the growing demand for healthy and sustainable seafood. Commercial aquaculture is a relatively young, diverse and dynamic bio-industry with growth figures exceeding any other traditional primary production sector.

Modern aquaculture is a strongly research-driven bio-industry requiring constant innovation and highly skilled entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is also a very diverse discipline with a wide range of involved species (plants, molluscs, crustaceans, fish), climates, environments (freshwater, brackishwater, marine), and exploitation modes (developing versus developed economies; subsistence versus business aquaculture).

The MSc in Aquaculture, established at Ghent University in 1991, offers a constantly actualised programme that balances a broad multidisciplinary approach with an in-depth research-based training. It prepares its students for fulfilling leading roles in scientific research, as well as in policy-making as aquaculture businesses.


The programme is conceived along a gradient of increasingly specialized and research-driven courses across the four semesters of the two years’ programme.

  • Semester 1: basic knowledge related to topics such as biology, microbiology, aquatic ecology, statistics is consolidated, broadened and deepened, in order to come to a homogeneous profile of the students.
  • Semester 2 & 3: focus on specialized aquaculture-related topics underpinned by the expertise of the ARC (especially in terms of live food production and applications and larviculture microbiology). In this semester, students can take an internship in on of our many international partner institutes or companies around the world.
  • Semester 4: dedicated to thesis work which is generally integrated within ongoing research projects, thus providing the student with a broader context of current research and applications.

Students advance their presentation techniques, communication skills and other generic skills through a variety of for teaching forms other than classical classroom teaching (e.g. practical exercises; case-study approaches, group work, lab work reporting).


All course details can be found in our programme catalogue.


Learning outcome:

The Master of Science in Aquaculture prepares you to become a highly trained and skilled expert who is able to exploit existing aquaculture potentials in a profitable and sustainable way and to draw and implement strategies for future development in the aquaculture industry. Graduates from all over the world will be able to act as key persons in their own local environment as the program strongly stimulates the transfer of knowledge between Europe and developing countries.


Contact Person: (


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

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


Venue: Ghent University
Ghent, Belgium

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


Open from
1 Oct 2018 to 1 Jun 2019

  • Tuition fee
  • Bench fee (course material, lab exercise material, study trip cost,…): € 400/academic year
  • Living & accommodation expenses: min € 850/month
  • Some scholarship schemes take charge of particular cost


Each application file is evaluated by an admission board and has to be approved by the Faculty Council and by the Rector's office, irrespective of the diploma obtained.

  • Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree of min. 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class upper or equivalent) from a university or recognized equivalent.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate through their transcripts basic science training in at least 5 out of 7 of the following fields: (i) Mathematics, including basic statistics; (ii) Physics; (iii) Chemistry; (iv) Biochemistry; (v) Biology; (vi) Microbiology; (vii) Engineering. Some background in aquaculture is recommended too. 

Language 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:
a.  applicants who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) awarded by an (recognised) institution in the Flemish Community

b.  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.


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.

Do respect the deadlines for academic admission.

We urge you to complete the procedure as described on the following website for academic admission. Without finalizing your academic admission procedure, it is not possible to compete/be selected for a scholarship. Files received beyond the deadline will not be taken into consideration whatsoever. For all questions in relation to this procedure, please contact

Application Deadlines 

  Students who need a visa Students who don't need a visa
Start up online application October - February October - May
Hand in application package Before 1 MARCH Before 1 JUNE
UGent students submitting a new application Before 1 JUNE Before 1 JUNE


Grant Opportunities:

VLIR-UOS Scholarship 2019 - 2020

Apply for a scholarship via our eConsort online platform. First register at this platform , after registering, you will receive an e-mail with a link where you can complete the scholarship application.

For all questions in relation to the scholarship procedure and other questions regarding tuition fee, accommodation, visa matters, etc. please contact

Deadline: 1 March 2019


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

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