The Master of Science in Maritime Science is an inter-university program developed by Ghent University (UGent) and the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). It aims at students from diverse academic backgrounds, who have a common passion for maritime transport and already hold a Master degree. People working in the maritime sector may also benefit from the program to enhance their knowledge and skills. The program comprises three main pillars: a technical/general pillar, an economic/logistic pillar, and a legal pillar, and follows the multidisciplinary approach which makes it unique in the global academic landscape.
The program is taught by experts with international acknowledgment and experience. The strong interaction with the maritime sector through guest lectures and field trips provides students with up-to-date information on ports and shipping.
All courses are offered in English, as the maritime sector operates in an international environment. It is therefore essential that students are able to use the English terminology in a correct and efficient way.
The program is built on a methodical framework, consisting of two-course types: compulsory courses (39 CP) and optional courses (6 CP). The compulsory courses represent the core of the program, while the optional courses offer students a way of exploring possible future (career) paths and allow for specialization in a certain aspect of the maritime world. The three pillars are represented in both course types. The courses are supplemented by the submission of a master’s dissertation on a maritime or transport oriented topic (15 CP). In this written thesis, students prove their ability to analyze a specific topic thoroughly and independently. At an oral presentation, students have the opportunity to clarify their research and defend their findings.
The technical-general content of the program covers the typical technical infrastructure and facilities in ports, the scientific and technical principles that govern ships and contemporary problems ports may encounter.
The economic-logistic content of the study program intends to familiarize students with the unique economic character of maritime transport, which is a global phenomenon with very specific dynamics. Therefore it is crucial that students learn about the economic principles that govern and affect port authorities, shipping companies, and transport firms.
The legal content of the program aims at gaining an in-depth knowledge of the legal aspects of maritime transport.
Because of the strong link with the professional maritime sector and the practically oriented courses, graduate students are well prepared for a successful career and are able to fill an existing need in the maritime sector. The degree of master in Maritime Science opens a wide range of possibilities in the maritime world: the job opportunities are very broad and alumni work globally in various sectors. A large majority of alumni indicate a high level of satisfaction with the program and acknowledge that the degree was very helpful in finding or securing a job, as well as in their further professional development.