International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change (Soil Ecosystem Services and Global Change)

Increased population pressure, industrialisation and intensive land use are causing depletion of natural resources and are limiting the performance of land with respect to its functions such as biomass production, carbon sequestration, water purification, etcetera. The additive effects of climate change and the abovementioned aspects of global change influence the capacity of soils to sustain functions to provide planetary services and human wellbeing. Soil (pedosphere) forms the interface between the air (atmosphere) and the earth (lithosphere) and interacts with surface and groundwater (hydrosphere) and living organisms (biosphere). It is thus a vital component of ecosystems and needs to be safeguarded. The future capacity of soils to exert their functions in relation to planetary services and human wellbeing is at stake, and this is a top priority of national and international organisations and governmental bodies, such as the EU. It has been estimated that in the EU, 60-70% of the soils are unhealthy and that land degradation costs more than 50 billion euro per year.

This underlines the critical need for experts with an in-depth understanding of the different components and interlinkages of soil processes in relation to global change, and trained to develop and apply evidence-based sustainable solutions.

Master's Programme
2 year 120 credits
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
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About the programme
Programme summary
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After graduation

Application Deadline (for International degree students)

More information on programme specific application procedures and deadlines for both Belgian and international students.


Information on enrolment at Ghent University.

Enrolling institution(s)

  • University of Göttingen
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
  • Aarhus University
  • Ghent University

Organising institutions

This course is jointly organised by:
  • Ghent University
    Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25
    9000 Gent (Belgium)
  • Aarhus University
    Nordre Ringgade 1
    8000 Århus C (Denmark)
  • University of Göttingen
    Wilhelmsplatz 1 1
    37073 Göttingen (Germany)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna
    Gregor Mendel Straße 33
    1180 Vienna (Austria)

IMSOGLO is a joint Erasmus Mundus Master programme, organized by Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (FBE) of Ghent University, Aarhus University, University of Göttingen and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Vienna). The first semester is taken by all students at UGent, depending on the specialization, students will either go to Vienna and Göttingen or to UGent and Aarhus University in the 2nd and 3rd semester. The 4th (thesis-)semester is at one of the 2 Universities that organize the specialization. Additionally, two Associated partners are the Joint Research Centre (JRC, Ispra, Italy) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS, Nanjing, China). JRC co-organizes the summer school in the second semester, while CAS organizes a field work in the second semester. Both institutes are also partner for thesis research.

For IMSOGLO, a Consortium Agreement (CA) has been compiled. This CA will be finalised and signed by all Partners during the Academic Year 2018-2019, before the start of the programme. The CA contains chapters on:

  • Objectives, structure and content of the programme;
  • Organisational structure and responsibilities;
  • Educational responsibilities, specifying the role of the Partners in education and the invitation of scholars;
  • Administrative organisation of IMSOGLO, including application and selection procedures for academic admission, specification of the academic enrolment at the Partners, participation cost, scholarships, mobility and insurance. It also describes the credit transfer and exam rules. Furthermore, it specifies how the quality assurance is organised;
  • Costs and financing of the programme;
  • Specification of Intellectual Property rights, confidentiality and liability and of procedures to activate and terminate the agreement and to settle dispute.


General admission requirements

The following Bachelor’s degrees qualify students for admission to the Master’s degree programme in Soils and Global Change:

Academic Bachelor degree (minimum 180 ECTS credits) in pure or applied sciences (e.g., chemistry, biology, geology, civil or agricultural engineering, environmental or agricultural sciences, etc.) or an equivalent level from a recognized university or Engineering College.


Sufficient academic knowledge (at least 40 ECTS in total) in Natural Sciences is required, where Natural Sciences are specified as: physics, chemistry, mathematic, ecology, biology, geography, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences.

English language requirements:

Official language test (English language test with minimum requirements below)


ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a min. of 6 for writing

ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)


The master’s programme is completed with a master’s dissertation - the study load of which equals 30 ECTS credits.


Access to further study

The Master degree qualifies students for a professional career and scientific work e.g. for a doctorate or the PhD (ph.d.) degree.

Tuition Fee

The IMSOGLO programme participation cost (tuition fee) and scholarship opportunities are explained on

Costs of studying

From June 1st, you will find an overview here of the study materials and additional costs (besides tuition fees) for this programme. We try to provide the most accurate overview, but variations are always possible. For interuniversity or international programmes, we are not able to give an overview of the costs.

Programme contact

Ghent University
Faculty of Bioscience Engineering
International Training Centre
Coupure Links 653
9000 Gent

Learning path counsellor
Mevr. Isabelle Vantornhout