2023-2024 / Master

Geography, global change (120 ECTS)

120 credits

Programme content

The master consists of a common core and a specialization part. The common core includes various skill-oriented courses, as well as a set of relevant introductory courses focusing on the three key di-mensions of global change: climate, earth-surface processes and human dimensions.

In the specialization part, students can further develop their skill and knowledge along their own interests. For this, a wide range of courses is offered, focusing on three central and interdependent themes of global change:

  • (1) climate change at local and global scales
  • (2) impacts of global envi-ronmental changes on the landscape, natural hazards and other earth-surface processes;
  • and (3) human dimensions of global change.

The specialization in Climatology starts with a basic training focusing on climate modeling, the computer skills required for such modelling, climate-serie analysis, and using remote sensing data for climatic applications. During the specialization, the students will receive a solid training in meteorol-ogy, regional climate and vegetation modeling and oceanography and includes an internship at Me-teoWing (the weather forecast service of the Belgian defence forces). Both applied climatolo-gy/meteorology (agro-meteorology, weather forecast ...) and fundamental climatology (study of the polar regions, greenhouse gasses, climate model development ...) are addressed.

The specialization in Geomorphology and Environmental Hazards starts with the acquisition of the necessary skills in GIS and spatial analysis, modelling earth-surface processes, and laboratory anal-yses techniques. This is done through a range of courses, excursions and field projects (in Belgium and abroad). The specialization focuses on understanding, predicting and mitigating environmental hazards (including, landslides, floods and land/soil degradation) at various spatial and temporal scales and is supplemented with a relevant internship. Depending on the interest of the student, this internship can focus on fieldwork or GIS and modelling applications.

The specialization in Human Dimension of Global Change focuses on the geopolitical aspects of environmental changes: the impacts of global change on migration and public health, climate negotiations and diplomacy, the environment-security nexus, etc. It is supplemented with an internship in an international organization, a think-tank, NGO, or a research center.

Each specialization also includes a research thesis where students will develop a personal research project. This work will be conducted in close collaboration with an active researcher as supervisor and includes opportunities to conduct terrain work overseas.

Depending on your interest and prior training, two versions of this master can be followed: a master in 2 years (120 ECTS) for students having a relevant bachelor degree, and a master in one year (60 to 75 ECTS) for students already having a relevant master training). All courses of the one-year ver-sion are offered in English.

More informations :

Department of Geography

Master in "Global change"

Learning outcomes

By the end of the Master's in Geographical Sciences, the student will be able to:

  • Master the specialised theoretical and practical knowledge resulting from the fundamental and applied research in the concentration that they have chosen
  • Understand, evaluate and model the functioning of a complex geographical system through observation, formulation of assumptions and the acquisition and spatial analysis of geographical data
  • Solve problems connected to new and complex situations in the professional fields associated with the concentration that they have chosen
  • Autonomously set up a research project culminating in a written report and its oral defence
  • Autonomously design, manage and evaluate professional projects. Teach classes at the secondary and tertiary education levels.


Scientific rigour, autonomy, creativity, team work.

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