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Master's Degree Programme

About the programme
Language: English  (See language requirements)  | Place of study: Aarhus and Ghent  | Commencement: August/September


The Erasmus Mundus International Master in Soils and Global Change (IMSOGLO) offers you a unique international educational experience with a focused curriculum on different aspects of soils and global change. Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters are prestigious international masters, jointly designed and delivered by a group of higher education institutions. In IMSOGLO, the following institutions are involved:

  • Ghent University (Belgium, coordinator of programme)
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria)
  • University of Göttingen (Germany)
  • Aarhus University (Denmark)

The programme educates soil scientists to have knowledge and skills to characterize soils, understand soil evolution in an ecosystem context under global change based on a deep insight in the underlying processes and interactions, and develop strategies to implement climate-smart soil management policies.

The two-year programme (120 ECTS) is divided into two specialisations: The first specialisation, “Soil Ecosystem Services and Global Change”, involves studying at Ghent University and Aarhus University. The second specialisation, “Soil-Plant System Processes and Global Change” involves studying at Ghent University, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, and the University of Göttingen.

Admission requirements

Application deadlines

Talented students from all nationalities can apply for an Erasmus Mundus Scholarship. In addition, you can be enrolled as a self-funding student (https://imsoglo.eu/scholarships-fees).

Deadlines each year are as follows:


  • 28 February

Self-funding students:

  • 31 May: Applicants from EU Member States and third countries associated to the Erasmus+ programme.
  • 28 February: Third countries not associated to the Erasmus+ programme.

Academic requirements

Academic bachelor’s degree (minimum 180 ECTS credits or equal) in pure or applied sciences (e.g. chemistry, biology, geology, physical geography, geo-ecology, civil or agricultural engineering, environmental or agricultural sciences, etc.) or an equivalent level from a recognised university or engineering college.

The obtained bachelor’s degree must contain at least 40 ECTS credits or equal in natural sciences, covering at least four of the following disciplines: physics, chemistry, mathematics, ecology, biology, geology, physical geography, environmental sciences, and agricultural sciences. Grades obtained during the bachelor’s degree must be very good or excellent.

Language requirements

Since English is the language of instruction, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. Accepted language tests not older than two years are:

  • TOEFL iBT (total score of at least 90 out of 120), TOEFL iBT Home Edition is accepted.
  • Academic IELTS (overall band score of at least 6.5 with at least 6 for writing).
  • Cambridge C1 advanced certificate (formerly Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE)).

Language of instruction is not accepted as a proof of English language proficiency except for applicants who have obtained a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in a higher education institution of a country with English as the official language and with English as only mode of instruction (Australia, Belize, Botswana, Cameroon, Canada, Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Hongkong, India, Ireland, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, New-Zealand, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia or Zimbabwe).

Read about how to apply for admission at the official programme website: https://imsoglo.eu/admission-application

Programme structure

IMSOGLO is a two-year Master of Science programme containing 120 ECTS credits and leading to the joint diploma of International Master in Science in Soils and Global Change. The language of instruction is English.

The first semester of 30 ECTS is common for all students and takes place at Ghent University.

Hereafter, the programme has two specialisation options of 90 ECTS:

  • The specialisation “Soil Ecosystem Services and Global Change” takes place at Ghent University (Belgium) and Aarhus University (Denmark).
  • The specialisation “Soil-Plant System Processes and Global Change” takes place at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna (BOKU) (Austria) and the University of Göttingen (Germany).

Soils and Global Change (specialisation in “Soil Ecosystems and Global Change”)

1. and 2. semester at Ghent University (60 ECTS)

3. semester at Aarhus University (30 ECTS)

Mandatory courses (20 ECTS):

  • Assessing Soil Erosion Risk (5 ECTS)
  • Applied Soil Physics (10 ECTS)
  • Digital Soil Mapping and Soil Sensors (5 ECTS)

Elective courses (10 ECTS):

  • Carbon Cycling and Climate Change (10 ECTS)
  • Climate through Earth's History (5 ECTS)
  • Soil Classification (5 ECTS)
  • Arctic Soils (5 ECTS)
  • Open Project Work in Soils Threats and Ecosystem Services (10 ECTS)
  • Open Choice of maximum 10 ECTS

4. semester at Ghent University or Aarhus University (30 ECTS)

  • Thesis (30 ECTS)

The full programme with courses is available at the official programme website.

Student life

As a student at IMSOGLO, you will be challenged on both the scientific and social levels. You will have fellow students from various nations and experience different cultures and learning environments. You will get the latest insights from recently finished research, and teaching is undertaken by leading international scientists.

Meet a Master's degree student

Meet Sharon Chebet from Kenya and learn why IMSOGLO is a great degree programme and what her master’s thesis was about.
Meet Jason Gerlich from Texas and learn how IMSOGLO contributed to his career and listen to his advise for future students.
Meet Gabriela Moreno from Ecuador and hear about her experience with the IMSOGLO programme, her work with arctic agricultural soils in her master's thesis project, and her future career plans.

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Upon graduation, the International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change should be qualified for a professional career in the following fields:

  • Private sector: Consultancy in land use planning, assessment, prevention and remediation of soil degradation, and carbon sequestration strategies.
  • Research: With a master’s degree you can apply for admission to a PhD programme.
  • Public sector: Various job in relation to land use planning, soil degradation, carbon sequestration strategies and policy development in local, regional, and national administrations.