Master's Dissertation


The procedure below is valid for students of the English Master programmes of the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering (FBE) that defend their master dissertation at Ghent University.

Students registered in:

  • the international joint programmes 'International MSc in Rural Development', 'International MSc in Sustainable and innovative natural resource management' and 'International MSc in Soils and Global Change' have to comply both with the regulations of the FBE and the regulations of the international consortium as described in their programme specific master dissertation guidelines.
The master dissertation and the internship need to be strictly separated in time and subject. A master dissertation includes mainly research; an internship is day-to-day work at a company. Results or data gathered during the internship cannot partially nor completely be used for the master dissertation.

The Master's dissertation is scheduled during the final year of the standard learning track of the Master programme. The master dissertation is domain-related to the study programme of the student (Exam and Examination Code EEC, Art. 59).

For more programme specific information of the master dissertation:

  • The UGent course catalogue
  • For the international joint programmes : the master's dissertation guidelines, provided by the programme coordinator


The timelines for the international joint programmes 'International MSc in Rural Development', 'International MSc in Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management' and 'International MSc in Soils and Global Change' are different. See the specific programme master dissertation guidelines.

Dec-Jan of Y1 of your MSc programme: Select your subject

Students get all necessary information through the International Training Center or the programme coordinator(s) on:

  • How to find a master dissertation subject: availability of master dissertation topics through website or lists of topics proposed by the programme, explanation on the research topics and projects in the departments involved in the master programme; explanation on the possibility to propose one's own subject
  • What is plagiarism and how to comply to the rules against it

May 15: Submit your subject

Final deadline for submitting the subject*, the promoter(s), the tutor(s)

*If necessary, the subject can be defined rather as a research theme, which leaves the necessary freedom to fine-tune the subject in a later stage (e.g. depending on the data or material that can be collected from the home country during the holidays).
Information on how to submit this information is announced in due time through the ITC UFORA course site or, for the international joint programmes, through the programme coordinator.

June: Prepare experimental work

The student has to discuss and reach an agreement with the promoter(s) and/or the tutor(s) on the following topics:

  • availability: the starting date of the experimental work, working schedule during the week, availability during the first term first examination period, final date of the experimental work
  • practical arrangements concerning the literature
  • going abroad and/or collecting data (if applicable)
  • possibility for scholarship (if applicable)
  • confidentiality(if applicable)
  • applications for the ethical committee (if applicable)

During Y2 of your MSc Programme

The Faculty Student Administration (FSA) UGent asks the students and consequentially the promoters to submit electronically:

  • The final title of the Master dissertation ( = title which is mentioned on the students' diploma supplement)
  • The promoter(s)
  • The tutor(s)
  • The confidentiality

Master's dissertation of two students with the same subject

A Master's dissertation by two students with the same subject is possible under following conditions:

  • The work must be submitted in separate volumes.
  • The defense is individual, so separated in space and time.
  • For each Master's dissertation, a separate Board of Examiners is appointed, so a separate written assessment is required.
  • If a common title is used, this has to be complemented with a separate and different subtitle.
  • In the introduction of each Masters dissertation, the cooperation should be mentioned and the similarities and specificity of the work have to be described.
IMPORTANT! This may not apply to international joint master programmes.

Going abroad for master's dissertation

In case you go abroad in the framework of your master dissertation: check out all the information on this webpage about possible mobility grants and registration of your mobility in Oasis.

Counseling and feedback

The student is entitled to get the necessary supervision and guidance, by means of a number of counselling talks during which all aspects of the work can be discussed. These talks can be organized at fixed points of time or after making an appointment. The promoter coaches the student actively during these counselling talks, during which both the scientific aspects and the learning process can be discussed. feedback: the student is entitled to receive an interim evaluation based on the final competences to be obtained (as listed on the assessment form used by your promotor).

For master dissertation projects in collaboration with third parties (companies, not-for-profit organisations, …), a master dissertation contract needs to be signed by the UGent Promotor and the Director of education FBE.

Problems concerning the availability of the student or concerning the availability of and the guidance by the tutor(s) or promoter(s) can be reported to the ombudsperson. The ombudsperson formally lays down the complaint in writing and tries to find a solution.

The student is ultimately responsible for the content of the Master dissertation.

Written dissertation

For more programme specific information of the master dissertation: please check the course catalogue.
For the international joint programmes ‘International MSc in Rural Development’, International MSc in Soils and Global Change' and ‘International MSc in Sustainable and innovative natural resource management’, the master dissertation guidelines are provided by your programme co-ordinator

Submission procedure and deadlines

Submission deadlines 2019-2020

  • After first semester: Friday 17 January 2020 (only for students who can graduate after the first semester; these students will be informed by the FSA on the possibility to submit and defend in January)
  • After second-term examination: Friday 5 June 2020 before 5PM
  • Resit period: Friday 21 August 2020

Submission procedure

  1. Upload an electronic version to Minerva (not UFORA!) no later than 5.00 pm on the deadline date (previous paragraph).
  2. In case of confidentiality: please indicate in Minerva
  3. [not applicable in 2019-20] Print the certificate proving the submission in Minerva, add it to one hard copy
  4. [not applicable in 2019-20] Submit the hard copy of the master dissertation together with the certificate at the Faculty Student Administration (FSA), Campus Coupure, building A, room A1.101.
    For student in international joint programmes, 'International MSc in Rural Development', 'International MSc in Sustainable and innovative natural resource management' and 'International MSc in Soils and Global Change' staying at a partner university: send the hard copy no later than the deadline date (post stamp serves as proof) to:
    • UGent
      Faculty of Bioscience engineering
      Faculty Student Administration
      Coupure Links 653
      B- 9000 Ghent.
  5. Submit a digital copy in pdf format  to each member of your jury (find your jury members in the UGent Master Dissertation website).
    Note that between UGent e-mail accounts attachments have a size limit of 25Mb (8Mb to non-UGent accounts). For files exceeding that size, use preferentially FileSender to send your file.
Master's dissertations submitted beyond the due date for a given examination period, cannot be defended in that examination period anymore.

Defense dates 2019-2020

The defenses of the master dissertations take place on the following dates:

Study programme First term examination period Second term examination period Resit examination period


Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020


Monday 7/09/2020
Tuesday 8/09/2020

Environmental Sanitation

Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020
Monday 22/06/2020 Monday 7/09/2020

Food Technology

Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020


Thursday 25/06/2020
Friday 26/06/2020

Monday 7/09/2020
Tuesday 8/09/2020

Nutrition and Rural Development

Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020


Thursday 25/06/2020
Friday 26/06/2020

Monday 7/09/2020
Tuesday 8/09/2020

Physical Land Resources

Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020 
Monday 22/06/2020 Monday 7/09/2020


Rural Development

Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020


Wednesday 24/06/2020
Thursday 25/06/2020
Friday 4/09/2020
Monday 7/09/2020



Monday 22/06/2020 Monday 7/09/2020
Tuesday 8/09/2020


Thursday 30/01/2020
Friday 31/01/2020


Wednesday 24/06/2020
Thursday 25/06/2020
Friday 4/09/2020
Monday 7/09/2020

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The detailed time schedules of the defenses are announced on the Master thesis website by the FSA after the deadline of submission.


Questions about the master's dissertation procedure English master programmes: contact the International Training Centre at

Awards and prizes

View all awards and prizes you can win with your master's dissertation.