MSc Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management (Oceans & Lakes)

General information

The 2-year master programme in “Master of Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management” (Oceans & Lakes) addresses students with a background in Sciences. Oceans & Lakes is an inter-university programme organized by the Faculty of Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the University of Antwerp and Ghent University.

The students are provided with a strong fundamental and applied knowledge and prepared for an active role in the scientific research and management of marine and lacustrine systems. The programme adopts a multidisciplinary approach integrating physical, chemical geological, ecological and societal aspects and including nature conservation and sustainable development. The diversity of professional, disciplinary and cultural backgrounds of both students and lecturers ensures that the Oceans & Lakes programme has a truly unique international character.The international environment and the contact with researchers from many countries involved in strong marine and lacustrine research offers a stepping stone to international employment. The outspoken interest in development issues offers the opportunity for involvement with a strong scientific basis. The course programme consists of 6 parts:

  1. Core courses (for 39 ECTS) with compulsory courses covering disciplines which are considered as essential knowledge for a marine and lacustrine scientist.
  2. In depth-courses (6 ECTS)
  3. Broadening courses (6 ECTS)
  4. Supporting courses (9 ECTS)
  5. One major (30 ECTS) to choose out of 4 specialisations:
    1. Biodiversity and ecology
    2. Conservation biology ad ecosystem management
    3. Environmental impact and remediation
    4. Earth system sciences
  6. The master thesis stands for 30 ECTS and consists of an individual research project related to ongoing research in one of the associated research groups. Here you choose a subject related to your major module.

professional internship period of 3-4 weeks allows the student to get professional experience in marine and lacustrine related fields. In addition to classes, fieldwork is an essential part of the programme.

Learning outcome:

Oceans & Lakes trains students in:

  • Becoming a multidisciplinary scientist who thinks and works across fields and disciplines
  • Playing a key role in high quality scientific marine and lacustrine research
  • Providing advice in management and an integrated concept and view on marine and lacustrine systems
  • Becoming critically minded, problem-solving and communicative scientist
Contact Person: Melissa Ferré (


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

0031- Personal skills and communication", "0312 - Policy and governance", "0421 - Marine and maritime law", "0511 - Biology", "0521 - Ecology", "0522 - Conservation and environmental management", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0712 - Environmental protection technology", "0724 - Oil, gas and mineral resources", "0731 - Surveying", "0831 - Aquaculture", "0831 - Fisheries


Venue: Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Brussels, Belgium


Open from
1 Jan 2017 to 1 Jun 2017


Up-to-date information about the yearly enrollment/registration fee can be found here. These fees may be subject to slight annual increases and differ for students with a scholarship.


Students who wish to register for the MSc Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management, need to provide a proof of sufficient knowledge of English by meeting one of the following criteria:

  • having a diploma of secondary or higher education where English was the language of instruction
  • having successfully completed at least one school year of secondary education where English was the language of instruction
  • having successfully completed programme units in higher education with a minimum total of 54 ECTS-credits where English was the language of instruction
  • having successfully completed secondary education in Belgium
  • having successfully completed one of the following language proficiency tests corresponding the Common European Framework of Reference with minimum level B2:
    • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): minimum level: 213 for computer-based, 72 for internet-based
    • TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication): minimum level 785
    • IELTS  (International English Language Testing System): minimum level: academic module 6
    • IITACE (Interuniversity Test of Academic English) for Students, score B2;
    • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE), grade B
    • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE), grade C
    • Trinity College London (the ALTE Q mark)
    • Cambridge English First (FCE)
    • Cambridge English: Business Vantage (BEC Vantage)
    • Cambridge Michigan ECCE
    • Trinity College London: ISE II, GESE Grade 7-9
    • The Pearson Test of English General (PTE General) with minimum level 3
    • The Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic) with minimum level 59

For an exhaustive list of these criteria, see the VUB teaching and examination regulations.

The computer-based TOEFL test is organised by the Academic Language Center (ACTo) at the VUB. For more information, please visit the website.

The date of issue for the language tests and certificates may not be over two years at the time of the first enrolment.

Application Procedure:

To be admitted to Oceans & Lakes, students need to submit an online application (link is external) through the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The application process is divided into two rounds. The first round is completely digitally. If you get through the first round, you will be invited to send in a paper application for the second round. Only applicants who are selected for the second round need to send in paper versions of their transcripts, degrees, recommendations and motivations.

All students who have not obtained a Flemish degree will need to pay an application fee of 50€ or 100€. Enrolled students will pay the tuition fee minus the application fee of their specific programme (please note that additional costs for the bank transfer are the sole responsibility of the applicant).

Deadline for applications

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not yet obtained their degree.

General deadlines

Students who require visa (non-EEA) students who don't require visa (EEA)
April 1st, 2017 (application fee: waived) June 1st, 2017 (application fee: waived)
June 1st, 2017 (application fee: €100)*  


 *All visa required students who apply after April 1st and before June 1st will be charged an application fee of 100€. After the payment has been received your file will be screened by our offices. This fee is in no way refundable. Students who obtained a scholarship via our International Relations and Mobility office (IRMO) will receive an application fee waiver via IRMO.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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