Master of Earth Observation
Master of Science
EducationThis Master's programme offers you the opportunity to become a knowledgeable user of Earth observation technology. We envisage a future in which you contribute to innovative management of our planet's resources, anywhere in the world. Throughout the programme, you will first be exposed to Earth observation as a suite of diagnostic instruments, with terrestrial resources as the primary field of application. In addition, you have the choice between two majors, one focused on technological aspects (bioscience engineering degree) and one oriented towards their various applications (science degree). The programme is comprised of 120 credits spread over 4 semesters within a rather flexible framework.
The Master of Earth Observation is an initial Master's programme. You can follow this programme on a full-time or part-time basis.
ProfileThe programme seeks students holding an academic Bachelor's or Master's degree who have completed thorough coursework in at least two out of three of the following domains:
(1) calculus and statistics,
(2) earth science and geomatics (Basics of Geographic Information Systems) and
(3) environmental science and ecology.
In addition, good command of both spoken and written English is required. Applicants from foreign countries where English is not the language of instruction must provide TOEFL (or equivalent) test scores of at least 550.
Two tracks - the Engineering Track and the Science Track - are offered within this Master's programme. Applicants proficient in all three of the above-mentioned domains may select the track of their choice. Applicants proficient two of the three above-mentioned domains may select the track of their choice and are required to fill in gaps in knowledge by completing 10 or 12 ECTS in strengthening electives. Applicants proficient in one or none of the three above-mentioned domains are required to complete a 60-ECTS bridging programme before entering the Master's programme itself.
For specific admission requirements, click on the desired programme in the 'Choose your courses of Study' section.
ObjectivesThe curriculum intends to deliver graduates who are capable of providing scientifically sound and professionally and societally valuable contributions to the sustainable management of natural resources (climate, soil, water, geology, organisms) based on a profound knowledge of EO-technology. This objective is made concrete by guiding and helping students to acquire knowledge, skills and competences in Earth Observation and geomatics technologies and in the application domain 'terrestrial systems'.
Via two diploma tracks, students gain specialised knowledge in either the engineering or the thematic dimension of Earth Observation.
Graduates will be able to:
- Understand and apply Earth Observation technologies and datasets at various spatial and temporal scales;
- Design and organise the collection of spatial data using these technologies;
- Process data collected using these technologies, with a thematic focus on 'terrestrial systems' (sustainable agriculture and forestry, prevention and mitigation of land degradation; impact assessment of land use change);
- Extend their technological and engineering skills;
- Conduct research in the multidisciplinary context of Earth Observation and its applications;
- Communicate efficiently, both verbally and in writing, adapted to the audience (fellow researchers, other disciplines, larger public);
- Work in team.
In addition, graduates of the Engineering Track will understand and be able to contribute to the development of technologies for EO-data acquisition and processing.
Graduates of the Sciences Track will understand and be able apply earth observation technologies and datasets to aquatic (surface water, groundwater and coastal zone management)and atmospheric systems (quantification and abatement of climate change impacts). By choosing the appropriate elective courses, graduates of the Engineering diploma track can also, at least partly, acquire these qualifications.
After graduationThere is undoubtedly a growing demand for competent professionals in the broad field of Earth Observation. As a graduate of this programme, you may be recruited by engineering and surveying companies, mapping and space agencies, service and utility providers and public entities. You will also be well placed for recruitment into international and national administrations dealing with urban and rural land use planning, environmental conservation and management, agricultural and food security monitoring, and disaster prevention and management. Careers can also be pursued in research and education, in which case this Master's programme is most often complemented by a relevant PhD programme.
(Inter)nationalAll students are given the opportunity to conduct part of their Master's thesis research at a partner institution or organisation abroad. In addition, European residents can undertake their Master's thesis research at a European university within the framework of the Erasmus programme.
More information: www.biw.kuleuven.be/internationalisering
SpotlightKU Leuven has a long tradition of Earth observation research going back to the 1970's. Today, data from airborne, satellite-based and ground-based remote sensing instruments with various types of sensors are developed and used in a variety of research and application domains:
o Land cover and land use monitoring
o Regional climate studies
o Atmospheric and hydrologic modelling
o Precision farming and forestry
o Agricultural production forecasting
o Environmental impact assessment
o Archaeological and biodiversity reconnaissance
Considerable research efforts are invested in innovative techniques for processing and extracting information from combined remotely sensed and in-situ observations.
ContactFaculty of Bioscience Engineering
tel. + 32 16 32 17 44
Study Advice Service
Naamsestraat 80 box 5415
3000 LEUVEN, Belgium
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