Master of Science in Aquaculture


Aquaculture is defined as the production of aquatic plants and animals for human consumption. Under the pressure of the increasing world population on the one side and the stagnating or even declining fishery landings on the other side, aquaculture is considered as the only option to respond to the growing demand for healthy and sustainable seafood. Commercial aquaculture is a relatively young, diverse and dynamic bio-industry with growth figures exceeding any other traditional primary production sector.

Modern aquaculture is a strongly research-driven bio-industry requiring constant innovation and highly skilled entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is also a very diverse discipline with a wide range of involved species (plants, molluscs, crustaceans, fish), climates, environments (freshwater, brackishwater, marine), and exploitation modes (developing versus developed economies; subsistence versus business aquaculture).

The MSc in Aquaculture, established at Ghent University in 1991, offers a constantly actualised programme that balances a broad multidisciplinary approach with an in-depth research-based training. It prepares its students for fulfilling leading roles in scientific research, as well as in policy-making as aquaculture businesses.

Learning Outcomes

The Master of Science in Aquaculture prepares you to become a highly trained and skilled expert who is able to exploit existing aquaculture potentials in a profitable and sustainable way and to draw and implement strategies for future development in the aquaculture industry. Graduates from all over the world will be able to act as key persons in their own local environment as the program strongly stimulates the transfer of knowledge between Europe and developing countries.


The programme is conceived along a gradient of increasingly specialized and research-driven courses across the four semesters of the two years’ programme.

  • Semester 1: basic knowledge related to topics such as biology, microbiology, aquatic ecology, statistics is consolidated, broadened and deepened, in order to come to a homogeneous profile of the students.
  • Semester 2 & 3: focus on specialized aquaculture-related topics underpinned by the expertise of the ARC (especially in terms of live food production and applications and larviculture microbiology). In this semester, students can take an internship in on of our many international partner institutes or companies around the world.
  • Semester 4: dedicated to thesis work which is generally integrated within ongoing research projects, thus providing the student with a broader context of current research and applications. The student is expected to take up thesis work at one of the programme’s network partners in the South: Can Tho University (Vietnam), Stellenbosch University (South-Africa) or ESPOL (Ecuador). 

Students advance their presentation techniques, communication skills and other generic skills through a variety of for teaching forms other than classical classroom teaching (e.g. practical exercises; case-study approaches, group work, lab work reporting).


All course details can be found in our study guide.

Admission Requirements

Holders of a diploma from a Belgian university

All others

Each application file is evaluated by an admission board and has to be approved by the Faculty Council and by the Rector's office, irrespective of the diploma obtained.

  • Academic requirements
    1. Applicants must have at least a Bachelor's degree of min. 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class upper or equivalent) from a university or recognized equivalent.
    2. Applicants must be able to demonstrate through their transcripts basic science training in at least 5 out of 7 of the following fields: (i) Mathematics, including basic statistics; (ii) Physics; (iii) Chemistry; (iv) Biochemistry; (v) Biology; (vi) Microbiology; (vii) Engineering. Some background in aquaculture is recommended too.
  • Language requirements
    The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. The English language proficiency can be met by providing a certificate (validity of 5 years) of one of the following tests: (TOEFL/IELTS predictive tests and TOEIC will not be accepted)
    • TOEFL 570 (paper-based)
    • TOEFL 86 (internet-based)
    • IELTS: 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 for writing)
    • Cambridge B2 First

Following students are exempt to provide an English language test certificate:

  1. applicants who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) awarded by an (recognised) institution in the Flemish Community
  2. nationals of all EU and EEA countries, Australia, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe;
    on condition that they can provide a stamped and signed certificate of English proficiency issued by their home university if they have obtained at least 60 ECTS credits with English as the language of instruction during a previous bachelor or master level degree.

Application procedure

Before completing the online application, we recommend to carefully read the general guidelines (including list of necessary documents you will need to upload). 


Application deadlines

Do you apply for VLIR scholarship Do you need a visa Deadline
 Yes  Yes February 28*
 Yes No 
No  Yes
No  No  May 31*

*  of the calender year you will start (September)

For all questions in relation to the scholarship procedure and other questions regarding tuition fee, accommodation, visa matters, etc. please contact 

Practical Information


  • Tuition fee
  • Bench fee (course material, lab exercise material, study trip cost,…): € 400/academic year
  • Living & accommodation expenses: min € 850/month (estimated)
  • Some scholarship schemes may take charge of (some of) the abovementioned costs

Contact & Info

Campus Coupure, Blok F
Coupure Links, 653 - 9000 Ghent, Belgium