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International Master's degree focusing on the future capacity of soils

Fakta om uddannelsen
Undervisningssprog: Engelsk  (Se sprogkrav)  | Studiested: Aarhus og Gent  | Studiestart: 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 soils and global change by bringing together the expertise of research groups at four renowned EU universities.

The programme has been granted EU’s prestigious Erasmus Mundus label, and is offered jointly by:

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

Global change effects the future capacity of soil

Increasing population pressure, industrialisation and intensive land use are causing depletion of natural resources and are limiting the performance of land with respect to its functions such as biomass production, carbon sequestration, water purification, etc. The additive effects of climate change and the abovementioned aspects of global change influence the capacity of soils to regenerate and may even cause soil degradation.

The future capacity of soils to support (human) life is at stake, and this has been realised by national and international organisations and governmental bodies, such as the EU. Programmes have been developed to protect the environment and to increase ecosystem resilience. Numerous directives have been developed and implemented that build on scientific knowledge on soil response to external pressures.

This scientific knowledge is available in European universities, but rather dispersed due to the specialisation of the research groups and their size, which makes it difficult for students to follow a focused curriculum on soils and global change at any individual university.

Alarming effects of global change on soils observed throughout the world emphasize the need to train more people worldwide to understand how soils react to global change and to be able to develop prevention and remediation strategies and increase soil resilience. The participating universities in IMSOGLO are very well equipped to give stimulatory and targeted training on soil interactions with global change to an international audience of students.

Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University

The field of Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University belongs to the elite among agricultural science institutions worldwide and carries out cutting edge research. The core areas of research are: Climate and natural resources, environment and bioenergy, organic farming, food quality, farm animal production and plant production.

Sustainability is a fundamental principle. The goal is to seek solutions that contribute to environmentally and economically sustainable development of the agricultural and food industries.

Agricultural Sciences in the rankings

Agricultural Sciences at Aarhus University ranks ninth in the 2016 US News Best Global Universities Ranking, and tenth in the 2016 National Taiwan University Ranking. Agriculture and Forestry at AU is ranked between 51 and 100 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016.


Application deadlines

  • 1 March: Scholarship-seeking students and non-EU citizens
  • 1 June: EU citizens

Academic requirements
A Bachelor’s degree (minimum 180 ECTS credits) in pure or applied sciences (e.g., chemistry, biology, geology, civil or agricultural engineering, environmental or agricultural sciences, etc.) or an equivalent level from a recognised university or engineering college.

Sufficient academic knowledge (at least 40 ECTS in total) in natural sciences is required, where natural sciences are specified as: physics, chemistry, maths, ecology, biology, geography, environmental sciences and agricultural sciences.

Language requirements
Since English is the language of instruction, all applicants are required to provide evidence of their English language proficiency. Accepted language tests are:

  • TOEFL IBT 90
  • ACADEMIC IELTS 6,5 overall score with a minimum of 6 for writing
  • ESOL CAMBRIDGE English CAE (Advanced)

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, Canada, Ghana, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, Philippines, Trinidad and Tobago, UK and USA).

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

Uddannelsens opbygning

This 2-year programme contains 120 ECTS credit units and leads to the joint diploma of International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change.

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 biogeochemistry and global change” takes place at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna and the University of Göttingen.
  • The specialisation “Physical land resources and global change” takes place at Ghent University and Aarhus University.

The full programme with courses is available at the official programme website https://imsoglo.eu/programme/


As a student at this Erasmus Mundus programme, you will be challenged on both the scientific and social levels.

You will have many 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.

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With an International Master of Science in Soils and Global Change you will be trained in soil management under global change with either an agroecosystem focus or an integrated land management focus. You will gain extensive knowledge about what it takes to save our soils from degradation, how to make soils resilient to climate change and how to make soils healthy again.

You will be equipped to follow a variety of career paths: a top-level researcher, an academic, or a policymaker. This means that there are job opportunities in regional environment agencies, municipal nature conservation offices, agricultural advisory services, educational institutions, NGOs concerned with nature and the environment, consulting engineering companies, and EU institutions, ministries and other public authorities.

Research is also an obvious career path. Students can apply for admission to the university’s PhD programme following completion of the thesis.