The programme is conceived as a postgraduate (master-after-master) programme and as such addresses students who have successfully completed an initial master programme in either the humanities and social sciences, exact sciences and technology, or biomedical sciences.
The interdisciplinary nature of the programme is set by the requirement that all students follow a common trunk of 30 credits of introductory courses. The goal is to get the students acquainted with the different aspects that form the foundation of space-related activities. Special attentions goes to the combination of a high level of knowledge transfer with the diverse backgrounds of the students.
Depending on their background and interest, students have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge through more domain specific optional courses, for a total of 15 credits, covering the three domains of Space Law, Policy, Business and Management, Space Sciences, and Space Technology and Applications.
For the Master's Dissertation (15 credits) students are embedded in a research team of one of the organising universities, or in an external institute, organisation or industrial company, in which case an academic supervisor is assigned as a coordinator. The master's dissertation should form a final piece of work of the interdisciplinary programme, in which the acquired knowledge and abilities are applied to a complex and specific project.
The technological challenges and innovative programmes that typically characterise space projects make the space industry an essential vehicle to help keep our society at the forefront of innovation and research. The international character of many space projects makes the space industry also a very important element in the positioning of Europe worldwide. Therefore space industries will, for the foreseeable future, remain a growing and in some areas even booming business, with many career opportunities. On the Flemish level, there is the 'Vereniging van Vlaamse Ruimtevaartindustriëlen' (VRI), which fosters the growth of the local industries. As already mentioned, there is ESA that works on a European level, but there is also growing involvement of the EU, in particular on policy issues and earth observation, telecommunication, global positioning and defense.