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Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management

The interuniversity master’s programme in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management (colloquially: Oceans and Lakes) offers a multidisciplinary approach to marine and lacustrine systems. As such, it integrates physical, chemical, geological, ecological and societal aspects and encourages students to also consider conservational and sustainability features. The students are provided with a strong fundamental and applied knowledge and are prepared for an active role in the scientific research and management of marine and lacustrine systems.

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Students have their say

I studied Biology in Rome with the aim of going abroad to study the marine environment and really touch with my hands what it means to work in this field. The Master in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management at VUB fitted perfectly with what I was looking for. Not only does it allow you to acquire a strong knowledge of both marine and freshwater ecosystems, but the international nature of the programme opens you up to different cultures and traditions and gives you the possibility to see the world through their eyes. Studying at VUB was a completely different academic experience than I was used to. It taught to me to cope with what is ‘new’ and ‘different’ and broadened my mind. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I have been living close to the sea my entire life, and I always assumed that the sea would play a role in my work. After studying Nautical Sciences, I came across the MSc in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management. This programme allows me to study the biological, physiological and chemical process in oceans, seas, estuaries, rivers and lakes. I also learn how they should be protected and managed. The programme combines the expertise of researchers at three universities in Belgium. Theoretical seminars are alternated with practical lab work or excursions to local ecosystems or institutions. I would recommend this programme to everyone with an admiration for the oceans and what lives in it.

I come from Uganda and during my studies there focused on fisheries and aquaculture. That is when I gained a passion for aquatic sciences. I was inspired by the Limnology research that has been done on various freshwater lakes in Uganda, and some of the co-authors were Belgian scientists. I corresponded with them and finally decided to apply for the Master of Science in Marine and Lacustrine Science and Management. I am happy I did and would recommend this programme to everyone who wants to gain more knowledge on aquatic ecosystems and their sustainable management.

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international opportunities

The departments at all three universities have a whole host of research projects and collaborations from which you can benefit. That means you might spend a few months abroad in the framework of your Master's thesis. You can also include a semester in another (European) country in your study programme or do an internship abroad. 

Within Europe, the programme has Erasmus+ mobility agreements with the following universities:


However, multiple possibilities also exist for stays outside of Europe. For more information, please contact us by mail: exchange.outgoing@vub.ac.be

after your education


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

First step in the market

This multidisciplinary Master’s diploma is your admission ticket to a fascinating professional world and can be the start of an international career. As a scientist with a broad education, you are the right person for functions that require an integrated approach. The integration of knowledge from across various disciplines is valuable, and you can contribute significantly in various jobs that are concerned with marine and lacustrine domains, wherever they are in the world. The programme is broad and deep and can complement a wide range of scientific professions.

Needed: people with expertise in the area of sustainable utilization and management of marine and lacustrine ecosystems

Due to the increasing pressure on the natural marine and lacustrine ecosystems, there is an ever-increasing need for highly educated and trained people to collaborate, from their multidisciplinary expertise, on the sustainable utilization and management of these ecosystems. This offers many challenging prospects for the future.

As a Master with expertise and experience in marine and lacustrine science and management, you are a scientist who has the underlying foundation and the necessary capacities to contribute to the most up-to-date forms of education, pure and applied research and policy-supporting assignments.

The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

Secretariat of the Master's programme


Student Information Hub


Study Guidance Center


Student Administration Center


International Relations and Mobility Office (IRMO)


Secretariat of the Faculty of Science and Bio-engineering Sciences