International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology

Course content

Nematodes or roundworms are everywhere. They are among the most harmful organisms of crops, especially in the tropics, but on the other hand some species are natural antagonists that can be used in bio-control programmes against pest insects. Because of their ubiquitous presence, overwhelming densities and diversity (sometimes compared to insects) the free-living nematodes are an ideal tool for biodiversity studies. They are used as bio-indicators of pollution in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The programme of the International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology is unique and attracts students from all over the world. It deals with fundamental as well as applied aspects of nematology and concerns all groups of nematodes in all possible environments: natural soils, agricultural soils, aquatic sediments of freshwater, brackish or marine habitats. It fulfills the international need for training highly qualified nematologists with a multidisciplinary knowledge in the diverse fields of nematology and related sciences. This international multicultural English course programme is multidisciplinary in its approach both within the field of biology and agro-engineering.

Course structure

The programme consists of compulsory courses focused on nematology for 60 credits during the first master year. In the second master (third semester) year students can broaden their field with many elective courses offered by Ghent University and foreign (partner) universities.

Students choose between three tracks (30 credits):

  • UGent track
  • Kenya track - International Capacity Building & Sustainability. The programme at IITA-ICIPE Nairobi (Kenya) includes a Basic Nematology Crash Course (BNCC) for local students and a mobility track for the MSc Nematology students. As part of their curriculum, the latter will be able to undertake professional internships in Kenya and the wider region, follow a course focused on specific developmental needs and will be involved in the training of local students during the BNCC.
  • International Mobility track, keeping open the option for Erasmus+ application .

In the fourth semester students will perform the master’s dissertation for 30 credits.

Career perspectives

The International Master of Science in Agro- and Environmental Nematology prepares students for a career in very diverse fields and environments. Their work can vary between teaching, research in universities and laboratories in governmental institutions and industry and providing advice services to the general public, farmers or governmental policies. The multidisciplinary approach allows nematologists to be active both in the field of biology and agro-engineering and medicine, work in sophisticated laboratories (advanced molecular and genetic research) as well as in suboptimal conditions where there is hardly any basic equipment as in some developing countries.
Main trumps are: in-depth and broad scientific knowledge, capacity to analyse and solve problems, write research proposals, good communication skills and contacts with national and international nematologists and centres of nematological research and applications or related fields.