Application deadline: June 1; Students who need to apply for Belgian visa: March 31
Tuition fee:
  • € 620 / Year (EEA)
  • € 620 / Year (Non-EEA)
Start date: September  2014
Credits: 120 ECTS
Duration full-time: 24 months
Languages:
  • English
Location:
Disciplines:
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Full-time

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Description

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The Master of Geography programme is a two-year advanced study organised by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the K.U.Leuven. This interuniversity masters programme provides the students with comprehensive training in spatial approaches to social and/or natural phenomena.

The programme provides a deeper understanding of geographical problems and methods, knowledge to augment the theoretical debate within the discipline, and training in the use of geographical research techniques.

The global aim of the masters programme is to generate geographers that can play an active role in contemporary society.

The following specialisations are offered:

* Development and Environment
* Space and Society
* Terrestrial Ecosystems and Environmental Change

Career opportunities
Geographers study the interaction between human societies and their environments, they characterise the resulting regions and localities, and they analyse the spatial distributions and processes of particular natural and human phenomena.

Being in equal parts a natural science and a social science, and equipped with geographical information science techniques, geography integrates the study of physical and human systems.

In this way, geographers have long applied integrated, multidisciplinary approaches to solve real-world problems on all spatial scales, from local to global. Undoubtedly there exists a growing demand for competent professionals in the broad field of the geo-sciences. As a graduate from the interuniversity programme, Master of Geography, you may be recruited by

* mapping agencies
* surveying companies
* service and utility providers
* public entities

You will also be placed high on the recruitment lists of national and international administrations which deal with urban and rural land-use planning, disaster management, environmental

Contents

Objectives
The Master of Geography training programme is designed to:

* offer students an in-depth training in a number of key geo-disciplines, by an in-depth exploration of the knowledge acquired as part of the Bachelor training programme;
* teach students advanced methods and techniques to collate and analyse spatial data, to study and model fundamental physically and culturally determined processes, which help to explain the physical and social environment;
* enable students to acquire an in-depth understanding of one specific geo-discipline (geo-sciences, urban studies, geo-information science, landscape architecture), covering a clearly defined segment of the geo job market;
* teach students the necessary skills enabling them to follow up developments in their own field of expertise and related areas, with due self-reliance;
* teach students to approach and analyse concrete environmental and/or social issues from a spatial context, and to do so on a self-reliant basis as well as a member of a team;
* teach students techniques enabling them to synthesise their own findings as well as know how acquired in a clear and intelligible manner and the skills to report thereon orally and in writing;
* sensitise students to the importance of multidisciplinarity and to familiarise them with multidisciplinary approaches and research methods;
* stimulate students to utilise new, technology developments in the area of geomatics to optimal effect in research in the various geo-disciplines.

Learning Outcomes
Master of Geography graduates are to:

* have a broad-based basic knowledge of natural and/or social sciences;
* have acquired an in-depth understanding of the fundamental physically and/or culturally determined processes, which help explain the physical and/or social environment;
* have developed the necessary skills and attitudes to follow up developments in know how in their field of expertise and in related disciplines in a self-reliant manner;
* have the necessary domain-related know how, skills and attitudes to successfully assume a range of positions in the geo job market, either in the area of education, industry or public sector.

Requirements

The masters programme presupposes a broad basic knowledge of the natural and social sciences, as well as a broad introduction to geography. The starting conditions are expressed in the amount of ECTS credits the student should have already acquired.

The following Bachelors degrees provide direct access to the programme:

* Bachelor of Geography
* Bachelor of Geography and Geomatics, specialisation
Geography
* Bachelor of Geology, minor Geography

Non-native English-speaking students are required to submit a copy of a TOEFL or IELTS certificate.

All students coming from outside the EEA, who wish to register to study in English at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

Exemptions :

* Students who have succesfully completed at least one year of secondary education with English as the language of tuition.
* Students with a primary education certificate with English as the language of tuition.
* Students who have been awarded at least 15 credits in higher education with English as the language of tuition.
* Students who have completed secondary education (ASO) in Belgium
* Students who have passed one of following specific English language tests: TOEFL (min. 550 paper-based, 213 computerbased, 80 internet-based), IELTS (min. academic module 6.5), Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (Grade B) of Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (Grade C) or TOEIC (min. 860).

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 5.5
TOEFL paper-based test score : 550
TOEFL iBT® test: 80

Funding

Scholarships granted by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel awards yearly a number of scholarships for advanced studies at Master or Advanced Master level. These programmes are characterized by the integration of education and research and a Master's thesis. They cover at least one year of study and depending on the field of study some programmes may take 2 years.

Yearly one or more specific programmes will be considered for Scholarships of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The Bureau for Development Cooperation selects these programmes every year following an internal "Call for Interest" to all programme directors of a Master or Master after Master programme. This selection is submitted for endorsement to the Research Council.

Scholarships for International Course Programmes (ICP)
The Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) offers yearly scholarships to students from developing countries to follow International Courses. These courses are master courses, lasting two academic years, all of which lead to a masters degree. The ICPs focus on specific problems of developing countries. International Courses are:

* Master in Human Ecology
* Master of Science in Molecular Biology
* Master of Science in Ecological Marine Management
* Master of Science in Physical Land Resources
* Master of Science in Water Resources Engineering

Outstanding graduates can subsequently apply for a 4 year grant from the Flemish Interuniversity Council to obtain a PhD-degree.

Scholarships for International Training Programmes (ITP)
International Training Programmes are short-term training programmes whose main focus is transferring skills rather than knowledge. The programme is designed for people from developing countries with a certain degree of professional experience. A possibility for cooperation and networking is created during these 3 months of training.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel offers a training programme in Scientific and Technological Information Management in Universities and Libraries

Scholarships of the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC)
BTC is the Belgian development cooperation agency that supports developing countries in their fight against poverty. Each year BTC grants some 1.000 scholarships in Belgium across diverse fields of training, including Master programmes to students from its priority countries.

Erasmus Mundus Master scholarships
The Erasmus Mundus programme is a co-operation and mobility programme in the field of higher education which promotes the European Union as a centre of excellence in learning around the world. It supports European top-quality Masters Courses and provides EU-funded scholarships for third country (non-EU) nationals participating in these Masters Courses.

The Vrije Universiteit Brussel participates in the following Erasmus Mundus Master programmes: (click on a link for detailed information).

* Master of Science in Photonics
* M.A. Degree in Economics of International Trade and European Integration

Student Jobs
During the academic year, international students are entitled to work maximum 20 hours per week. They can work on a full time basis only during the summer holidays period (July-September).

The money earned from student jobs should be considered as a supplementary source of income, not as main financial means for living in Belgium.

The Job Service can help international students to find a student job. Nevertheless, students should be aware that they might face the following difficulties during their job search:

* non-European students are required to have a category C work permit.
* employers in Brussels very often need bilingual French/Dutch workers or explained at the Job Service or at the International Relations and Mobility Office.

Job Service Campus Etterbeek - Entrance 6
Open from Monday till Friday 13.30 - 17.00 or on appointment
Tel. +32 (0) 2 629 23 16
E-mail: job@vub.ac.be

Important remarks
Students who apply for a scholarship will receive a conditional letter of acceptance. This admission letter is valid only if the scholarship is awarded. Students coming for a short period are advised to bring either cash money or an international credit card. Most banks refuse customers who are here for less than 6 months. Even when you have the necessary means, problems can still arise, such as:

* foreign cheques that cannot be cashed in Belgium
* delayed or blocked bank transfers from abroad
* loss of money due to devaluation
* sponsors not paying allowances
* insufficient scholarships money
* loss of scholarship.

Remember to save the money for your return flight ticket at the end of your studies.

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