Master of Bioscience Engineering: Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering (Leuven)


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering is about ensuring the prosperity and wellbeing of current and future generations in both the global North and global South. Agro- and ecosystems provide a wide range of essential goods and services such as food, water, energy, and biodiversity. Yet, the contemporary context of population growth, rapid urbanization, economic globalization, climate change, deforestation, soil pollution, and degradation challenges the future provisioning of a sufficient quantity and quality of these goods and services.

What is the program all about?

The Master of Agro- and Ecosystems Engineering (ACE) provides in-depth knowledge of the functioning and management of natural and production-oriented ecosystems. You can choose to focus on either temperate or (sub)tropical settings, or a combination of both. You complement the interdisciplinary core program with a major specialization in one out of four different domains: biological production, abiotic and biotic environment, bio-economics, and bio-geo information.


The production major focuses on agro-ecosystems and includes specialization tracks in crop production, production forestry systems (achieved trough a semester in Chile) and horology (achieved trough a semester in South Africa).

The environment major provides an in-depth understanding of the biophysical functioning of both natural and agroecosystems with the aim of improving the management of these ecosystems' biodiversity, soil and water resources. The major includes specialization tracks in soil and water systems, forest and nature systems, and landscape systems.

The economics major focuses on the economic and policy-related aspects of agro- and ecosystems, with in-depth courses in the field of agricultural, food and natural resources economics.

The information major addresses earth observation and geo-data management technology, with in-depth courses covering both the technological aspects of this area and their applications in the field of terrestrial resources.

Is this the right program for me?

This MSc is designed for highly motivated students with a solid background in exact sciences and a keen interest in the functioning and sustainable management, design, and engineering of agro- and natural ecosystems.

ACE is open to any applicant holding an academic bachelor's degree in engineering (bioscience engineering, agricultural engineering, environmental engineering, or any equivalent engineering degree), and to applicants holding other bachelor's or master's degrees encompassing thorough coursework in at least two of the following three domains (i) mathematics and statistics, (ii) Earth and environmental sciences, and (iii) biology and ecology. Students may be required to take strengthening elective courses to fill any gaps in educational background.

Career opportunities

The interdisciplinary nature of ACE ensures that graduates are sought after by various professional fields related to biological production systems and ecosystem management, with particular emphasis on plant production, natural resource economics and policy, sustainable environmental management, and applications of earth observation and geomatics.

Abundant employment opportunities exist in public sector organizations, both nationally and internationally, NGOs and private companies, and can be both technical in nature, research-oriented, or at the policy/management level. Finally, ACE provides excellent preparation for undertaking Ph.D. research.

In Belgium, graduates of the ACE program are entitled to use the professional title of 'Bio-Ingenieur' ('Bioscience Engineer').

Start your career, during your studies

During your bachelor's and master's program you can already shape your own profile by choosing a certain specialization, studying abroad (Erasmus), doing a work placement, or starting your own business.

The Student Career Center is happy to put you on the right track towards your first work experience. The center also coaches you in the search for an interesting job and helps you with job interviews. For students wanting to start their own business KU Leuven also has Lcie, the KU Leuven community that encourages students with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas.

Don’t know where to start? The Student Career Center's databases contain offers for jobs, volunteer work, innovation projects, and student jobs. You can also visit one of the events organized by the Career Center.

Last updated Mar 2020

About the School

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked ... Read More

KU Leuven is an institution for research and education with international appeal. All programmes at this University are based on the innovative research of its scientists and professors and are ranked among the top 100 in the world. Read less
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