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Programme structure and mobility

IMSOGLO is a 2-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. IMSOGLO is organized by four European universities and involves mobility between these partner universities.

The language of instruction is English.

IMSOGLO students jointly follow the 1st semester at Ghent University to obtain and supplement their fundamental soil science knowledge. The 1st semester is kicked off by the 1-week joint Primer Event during which students are introduced to the programme, and get to know each other and staff members of all four partner universities.

The remaining semesters are spent either at Ghent University (Belgium) and Aarhus University (Denmark) for the specialization Soil Ecosystem Services and Global Change, or at BOKU University (Austria) and the University of Göttingen (Germany) for the specialization Soil-Plant System Processes and Global Change. The 2nd and 3rd semester consist of mandatory and elective courses, deepening the students’ knowledge and skills in the chosen specialization, and broadening the students’ knowledge and skills. Soft skill courses and internship are among the offered electives.

Students from both specializations will meet again during the Summer School between the 1st and 2nd year. The 4th semester will be devoted to the master thesis. All IMSOGLO theses are supervised by supervisors of at least two partner universities.


From the 2nd semester onwards, IMSOGLO includes two elective specializations.

The specialization Soil-Plant System Processes and Global Change is organized by Ghent University (Belgium), BOKU University (Austria) and the University of Göttingen (Germany) and leads to a joint master diploma issued by these three universities.

This specialization focuses on the interactions between soils, plants, microbes and management in a changing world. There is a strong emphasis on biogeochemical processes in managed and natural ecosystems across different climates, to understand the feedbacks between land management, environmental impacts and global change.

Keywords: soil-plant interactions; biogeochemistry; microbiology; agroforestry; agro-ecology

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The specialization Soil Ecosystem Services and Global Change is organized by Ghent University (Belgium) and Aarhus University (Denmark), and leads to a joint master diploma issued by these two universities.This specialization focuses on optimizing soil management, prevention and remediation of soil degradation, and land evaluation for land functioning in an ecosystem services context. Also, soil processes and how to describe them from a point scale to larger scale are covered.Keywords: soil degradation; soil protection; soil restoration; ecosystem functioning; soil-water cycle; C cycle; element fluxes; soil mappingFlavour heat map:

Programme learning outcomes

Detailed programme overview

Soil Fundamentals

Year 1, semester 1

TypeCourseLecturerCredits (ECTS)
MandatorySoil Biology4
MandatorySoil ChemistryFilip Tack5
MandatorySoil PhysicsWim Cornelis5
MandatoryLand Information SystemsFrieke Vancoillie5
MandatorySoil Evolution under Global ChangeMarijn Bauters6
MandatoryApplied StatisticsAisling Daly5

Depending on the chosen specialization

Year 1, semester 2

TypeCourseLecturerCredits (ECTS)
MandatoryClimate ChangeDirk Verschuren4
MandatorySoil Water ManagementWim Cornelis5
MandatorySoil DegradationAnn Verdoodt5
Mandatory Living Lab Summer School in Soils and Global ChangeMarijn Bauters3
Elective courses (choose 13 ECTS credits)
ElectiveLand EvaluationAnn Verdoodt5
ElectiveEconomics and Management of Natural ResourcesStijn Speelman4
ElectivePrecision AgricultureAbdul Mouazen5
ElectiveDare to VentureJohan Verrue4
ElectiveScientific Communication in EnglishGeert Jacobs5
ElectiveIntroduction to Data ScienceJan Verwaeren4
ElectiveInternshipSteven Sleutel5
ElectiveOpen choice5

Year 2, semester 3

TypeCourseLecturerCredits (ECTS)
MandatoryAssessing Soil Erosion RiskGoswin Heckrath5
MandatoryApplied Soil PhysicsBo V. Iversen10
MandatoryDigital Soil Mapping and Soil SensorsMogens Humlekrog Greve5
Elective courses (Choose 10 ECTS)
ElectiveCarbon Cycling and Climate ChangeMathias Neumann Andersen10
ElectiveClimate Through Earth’s HistoryMarit-Solveig Seidenkrantz5
ElectiveSoil ClassificationMogens H. Greve5
ElectiveArctic SoilsMogens H. Greve5
ElectiveOpen Project Work on Soil Threats and Ecosystem Services5
ElectiveOpen choice5

Year 2, semester 4

TypeCourseInstitutionCredits (ECTS)
MandatoryMaster thesisBOKU University30
MandatoryMaster thesisUniversity of Göttingen30
TypeCourseInstitutionCredits (ECTS)
MandatoryMaster thesisGhent University30
MandatoryMaster thesisAarhus University30