Master of Science in Tropical Natural Resources Management

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1 Master of Science in Tropical Natural Resources Management Subject majors: Plant Production Resource Economics and Policy Soil Conservation Faculty of Bioscience Engineering

2 Tropical Natural Resources Management The tropics and subtropics support more than three quarters of the world s population. The majority of population growth is expected to occur in developing countries, many of which are located in (sub)tropical regions. For bioscience engineers, the challenge is to increase food production in the (sub)tropics while conserving the natural resource base, that is, preserving ecosystems, maintaining biodiversity, protecting ground- and surface water, and conserving the soil. Small-scale farmers in (sub)tropical areas are faced with a multitude of constraints. These include irregular rainfall, pests and diseases, low soil fertility, lack of knowledge, lack of capital, poor access to markets, etc. Together, these constraints lead to low resource efficiency: land, water, plant nutrients, solar radiation and labour are all inefficiently utilised. The natural resource base is increasingly being threatened by the rapid expansion of farmland caused by ever-increasing population pressure. Developing sound solutions that improve agricultural production systems in a sustainable way calls for an interdisciplinary approach and requires experts with in-depth knowledge of the key disciplines underpinning tropical agricultural production systems as well as a good understanding of the broader biophysical and socio-cultural context. This programme is dedicated to providing that knowledge, understanding and expertise. Research on Tropical Natural Resources Management KU Leuven (University of Leuven) has a long tradition of research in the field of biological production systems and natural resources management in the tropics. In the area of plants, current research focuses on the conservation, characteri - sation and management of plants genetic resources and the sustainable protection of agricultural crops. In the area of soil and water management, current research highlights integrated soil fertility management, irrigation management, soil conservation and the development of simulation models that describe soil processes. Research in the area of natural resource economics and policy focuses on measuring sustainability aspects of the food chain and developing food markets and supply chains. The programme s teaching staff are involved in numerous research projects in the tropics. These projects provide excellent opportunities for students wishing to conduct thesis-related research in the tropics.

3 Discover KU Leuven Situated in the heart of Western Europe, KU Leuven has been a centre of learning for nearly six centuries. Today, it is Belgium s largest university. Founded in 1425, it is one of the oldest and most renowned universities in Europe. As a leading European research university and co-founder of the League of European Research Universities (LERU), KU Leuven offers a wide variety of programmes in English, all supported by high-quality, innovative, interdisciplinary research. The university caters to more than 40,000 students, of which 16% are international students from more than 140 countries. KU Leuven s doctoral schools organise internationally oriented PhD programmes for over 4,000 doctoral students. The university is located in Flanders, the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium. Leuven is a modern, bustling and safe student city with a long and rich history. Cultural and recreational opportunities abound. KU Leuven s central location offers a truly inter - national experience. Major European capitals such as Brussels, Paris, London and Amsterdam are only a (very) short train journey away. Master of Science in Tropical Natural Resources Management The MSc programme in Tropical Natural Resources Management provides students with in-depth knowledge of three areas (subject majors): (1) plant production, (2) the economics and policy aspects of natural resource use in the tropics and (3) sustainable soil management. Students will acquire knowledge of biological production systems in the (sub)tropics and gain insight into the different environmental factors that interact with and may affect these agro-ecosystems. The first area teaches students how to analyse, design, and manage plant production systems in the (sub)tropics, covers the related aspects of integrated soil fertility and integrated pest management, and addresses marketing.

4 The second area examines how and why actors in biological production systems make decisions concerning the management of such systems and the use of natural resources. Students learn to optimise these decisions at both the micro (management) and the macro (policy) level. This will enable them to translate knowledge into projects, interventions and policies for the sustainable management of natural resources while improving food security and reducing poverty. The third area focuses on the diversity of soils in the tropics and their potentials. Students also learn how to study, describe, and predict soil processes quantitatively and to use this information when making decisions on sustainable soil and water management, including soil and water conservation. This MSc programme is highly multidisci plinary and internationally oriented, with participants from many different countries and continents. Moreover, students are given the opportunity to spend a several months in the tropics to carry out fieldwork for their Master s thesis. Admission requirements The programme is open to any applicant who holds a Bachelor (of Science) in de bioingenieurswetenschappen degree from a Belgian university or an academic Bachelor s degree in engineering (civil engineering, bio-engineering, environmental engineering, or any equivalent engineering degree) awarded by a university in Europe or the United States. The programme is also open to applicants holding other Bachelor s degrees (upper 2nd class or 1st class) or Master s degree related to either agricultural or biological (exact and applied) sciences and related subjects from a Belgian or foreign university after examination and approval of the individual application on a case-by-case basis by the programme s Steering Committee. In some cases, applicants with a Bachelor s or Master s degree other than the Bachelor (of Science) in de bio-ingenieurswetenschappen are required to follow a package of preparatory courses before admission to the programme, as such, can be granted. Applicants must have a good command of both spoken and written English. Applicants from foreign countries where English is not the language of instruction must provide a TOEFL or equivalent test with a score of a least 550. Additional information is available at:

5 Programme Fine-tuning your programme The MSc in Tropical Natural Resources Management is a two-year, 120 ECTS programme. It consists of three specialisations or subject majors: Plant Production, Resource Economics and Policy, and Soil Conservation. Students take the common core courses (32 or 33 ECTS) as well as all courses from one of the 3 areas of specialisation (28 or 29 ECTS). Together with the Master s Thesis (30 ECTS), these common and specialisation courses constitute the major (90 to 92 ECTS). Students complement their programme by selecting minor courses (20 ECTS) and elective courses (at least 7 ECTS), which broaden their academic education, and add interdisciplinarity. Minor courses are preferably selected from one of the other two specialisations or, alternatively, from other Master s programmes offered by the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering. MASTER OF SCIENCE IN TROPICAL NATURAL RESOURCES MANAGEMENT 120 ECTS COURSE ECTS SUBJECT MAJOR COMMON CORE Applied Multivariate Statistical Analysis 5 Biological Production Systems in the Tropics 6 Tropical Soil Science 4 Agricultural Economics and Food Policy in Developing Countries 5 Society Environment Interactions 3 Integrated Project Tropical Production Systems (2-week field course) or Ecosystems Modelling 5 Tropical Forestry or Tropical Animal Husbandry 4 or 5 PLANT PRODUCTION 59 Tropical Crop Production 6 Soil Fertility Management in the Tropics 6 Integrated Pest Management in Tropical Agrosystems 6 Management in the Bio-economy 5 Remote Sensing of Vegetative Systems 6 Master s Thesis: Plant Production 30 RESOURCE ECONOMICS AND POLICY 58 Global Environmental Politics 6 Natural Resource Economics and Policy 6 Survey Design and Data Analysis 5 Management in the Bio-economy 5 Advanced Development Economics 6 Master s Thesis: Resource Economics and Policy 30

6 COURSE ECTS SOIL CONSERVATION 59 Soil Geography at World Scale 4 Soil Fertility Management in the Tropics 6 Soil Water Modelling 5 Land Evaluation 4 Irrigation Agronomy 6 Soil and Water Conservation Engineering 4 Master s thesis: Soil Conservation 30 MINOR 20 Students take a reorientation minor, a minor or a thematic minor. The reorientation minor is composed after consultation of the study advisor. Dutch-language course offerings can be chosen by students composing a minor provided they have a sufficient knowledge of Dutch. The minor consists of approximately 20 ECTS and must be approved by the minor coordinator. Students choose between the following thematic minors: Leadership in a Globalising Context, Applications for Human Health Engineering, industriële microbiologie, voeding en gezondheid of milieucoördinator. ELECTIVE COURSES at least 7 During the first and second stage of the Master s programme, students must choose courses totalling at least 7 ECTS. Students can take all courses offered by the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering or other faculties that are relevant to the programme, provided they are approved by the Programme Director. It is advised that students take at least one broadening course. For detailed descriptions of this programme s courses and for the course timetable, please consult

7 Studying abroad All students are given the opportunity to conduct part of their Master s thesis research at a partner institution or organisation abroad, particularly institutions and organisations in the tropics or subtropics. In addition, European residents can undertake their Master s thesis research at a European university within the framework of the Erasmus programme. For more information, please visit Career prospects Graduates of the MSc programme in Tropical Natural Resources Management go on to find employment in various professional fields related to tropical agriculture and food production systems, with particular emphasis on plant production, natural resource economics and policy, and sustainable soil management in the tropics. The programme s interdisciplinary approach prepares graduates to assume responsibilities ranging from technical support over project management to policy advice. Past graduates have found employment in public sector organisations, both nationally and internationally, in NGOs and in private companies. The generic nature of most of the knowledge and the expertise gained in the programme ensures that graduates will also find job opportunities outside the tropics in NGOs, public and private organisations, and agencies and administrations involved in R&D and sustainable development of natural resources related to the tropics. Finally, this MSc programme provides excellent preparation for undertaking PhD research. In Belgium, graduates of the programme are entitled to use the title of Bio-ingenieur.

8 COMMUNICATIONS OFFICE Oude Markt 13 box LEUVEN, Belgium tel fax Learn more General information International programmes: International Office: Faculty of Bioscience Engineering KU Leuven tel This brochure provides the most complete and accurate information available concerning Master s programmes offered at KU Leuven. However, amendments to the composition of this programme maybe approved at any time. Consequently, KU Leuven is in no way legally bound by the information provided in this brochure. The most recent information on all our academic programmes can be consulted at Last updated: February 2013 Copyright: D/2012/1082/157

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