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 programme adopts a multidisciplinary approach integrating physical, chemical geological, ecological and societal aspects and including nature conservation and sustainable development.

Opportunities offered by Oceans & Lakes

  •  A wide spectrum of disciplines related to marine and lacustrine science and management are covered.
  •  Since admission is allowed to various science related bachelor degrees, it may offer a unique opportunity to re-orientate your study career.
  • All classes are expertise-based as guaranteed by the large numbers of renowned research groups related to the programme.
  • A wide spectrum of thesis subjects will be offered by the various research groups associated with the programme including the NIOZ and UCL (associated as visiting professors).
  • You study together with students from all continents providing the global context of future marine and lacustrine research and management.
  • The highest standard of education and research is guaranteed by the three universities.
  • Classes are organized at all three universities in an efficient way to minimize travelling and maximize acquaintance with existing facilities, research groups and infrastructure.
  • Strong focus on practical and field work.

The two year programme consists of a total of at least 120 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). For all course contents please see here.

Course overview

NEW Programme starting 2018-2020 is published on the website


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: Liesbeth Pinti (


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
30 Nov 2018 to 1 Jun 2019


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.



Oceans & Lakes is open to holders of a bachelor’s degree in :

  • biology
  • biochemistry and biotechnology
  • chemistry
  • geology
  • geography
  • geomatics
  • bio-engineer science
  • environmental sciences

For other bachelors in science, applied science and life sciences:
equivalency will be evaluated based on scientific competences and skills of the students by the Oceans & Lakes Steering Committee.

Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years with good overall scores (at least upper second class or equivalent) from a university or recognised equivalent.

Language requirements

  • Students who wish to register for a VUB programme with English as the language of instruction, 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

The proof or certificate of language tests cannot be older than 2 years for a first enrolment.

To be admitted to Oceans & Lakes, students need to submit an application form (proof of meeting the academic, and language requirements, providing recommendation letters, …).
Students should respect the deadlines for submission of their application strictly.
Only complete application files are considered!

Belgian students with an appropriate Bachelors degree are admitted without further requirements.

Application Procedure:

In case your application for the Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management is approved by the Steering committee of Oceans & Lakes, and you meet the academic requirements, you will receive a letter of admission from Vrije Universiteit Brussel, which is requested for registration.

Up-to-date information about the yearly registration fee can be found here. These fees may be subject to slight annual increases and differ for students with a scholarship. Students who qualify for a VLIR-UOS scholarschips or who would like to apply for other grants, can consult all requirements and procedures on this website. 

Please take into account the different deadlines for the different applications.
Belgian students with an appropriate Bachelors degree may register throughout the year. Please notify the coordinator in advance.

Please note that you should pay a 50 EURO application fee if you have a non Flemish diploma. You may find more information on the application fee on this webpage.




Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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