Food security and sustainable development of rural areas requires specialists with an integrated and
multidimensional view on development problems. They should be able to elaborate, implement and
evaluate strategies and policies, adapted to the specific needs and possibilities of developing countries.
Therefore Ghent University (UGent) organizes a 2-years MSc Programme in Nutrition and Rural
Development (NuRuDe) forming specialists in this field.
The programme provides a choice among three main subjects, to be specified at the first registration.
• Human nutrition (HuNu)
• Rural economics and management (REM)
• Tropical Agriculture (Major Animal Production or Plant Production) (TAAP/TAPP)
The common part of the programme consists of modules providing basic knowledge, theoretical
insights and methodological skills in the areas of production, transformation, preservation, marketing
and consumption aspects of food production, nutrition and marketing. Further students are trained in
quantitative and qualitative research methods for the identification and assessment of food problems,
the ranking of underlying factors and the elaboration and evaluation of appropriate interventions.
Furthermore, the programme develops written and oral communication skills and management
capacities. The students are further trained in independent research and interdisciplinary teamwork.
The students obtain a specific expertise, depending on their main subject:
Human Nutrition (HuNu)
The objective is to transfer specific and profound knowledge, insights and skills related to food
security and nutrition problems and solutions at population level.
Therefore, this subject focuses on subject areas such as food chemistry, food science, nutritional
requirements, food and nutrition policy, nutrition surveillance, nutrition practices, nutrition research,
and food safety, all referring to the nutrition problems in developing countries.
Rural Economics and Management (REM)
The objective is to give students specific expertise on the socio-economic mechanisms causing failure
and success of in rural development, and to provide them with adequate tools for the planning and
implementation of sustainable, integrated rural development strategies and interventions. To achieve
this students receive in depth knowledge about agronomic, environmental, economic, social, financial,
institutional and policy aspects of food production systems, the functioning of food markets and the
impact of agricultural policies and rural institutions on the development of rural areas.
Tropical Agriculture (TA)
Wishes to deliver technical knowledge related to agriculture focussing on developing countries. The
students can specialize in animal production or plant production by choosing the specific major. The
major on Animal production delivers in depth knowledge on production biology, animal nutrition,
pasture management, animal genetics, The major on Plant production focuses on themes like
ethnobotany, crop protection, plant breeding, plant biotechnology,.. The courses are applicative and
aim at presenting solutions for agricultural problems in developing countries in an interdisciplinary
The fist year consists of 30 ECTS general subjects common to all subjects and majors and of 30 ECTS
of specific courses adapted to the needs of each main subject. The common courses are providing in
depth knowledge and know-how on some more general courses related to nutrition and rural
development in order to achieve a common base level among all programme students with different
backgrounds. The specialised courses for each of the 3 main subjects aim to achieve a more specific
knowledge in the specific areas. The second year of this MSc. Programme further deepens this
understanding and therefore consists of specialised courses (20 ECTS), optional courses (10 ECTS)
and Master’s Test research (30 ECTS). Optional courses can be chosen among the specific courses of
the other main subjects or on approval of the Faculty board of other English Master (of Science)
Language of instruction
For Overseas students
Research and teaching at universities, private or governmental,
Research in research institutes, private or governmental,
Development project collaborator,
Independent consultants after some years of experience,
Administration of rural projects,
For European students
Overseas project collaborators for local and overseas Governmental and local or international, nongovernmental
development organisations in the domains taught in the study programme;
Consultancy overseas after some years of experience;
Involved in Europe in some non-governmental organisations, active in development cooperation;
In administration policy preparatory jobs;
In rural development research and project planning, monitoring and evaluation.
International applicants must have an academic Bachelor of Science degree (in developing
countries mainly a 4-year programme) in a discipline related to the content of the programme from a
recognized University, College or Institute. An end result of at least ‘second class upper’ or equivalent is highly recommended and can be used as exclusion factor. Candidates for Human Nutrition are
expected to have a basic science training (demonstrable in the transcripts) in the following fields: (i)
mathematics and physics and/or statistics , (ii) chemistry, organic chemistry and/or biochemistry, (iii)
biology and/or physiology. Applicants for the 2 other main subjects should have a basic science
training in mathematics, chemistry, biology and agricultural and/ or economic sciences.
Each application will be evaluated by the Educational Committee for admission.
Applicants are fluent in English (written and oral). Candidates from countries where English is not
the language of instruction need to have obtained a score of at least 550 on the paper-based TOEFL
test (or a score of at least 213 on a computer-based TOEFL test) or provide proof of an equivalent
Direct access is given to those candidates being fluent in English and holding a degree as specified
or after successful completion of a preparatory programme (15 to 60 credits) or transitional
programme (45 to 90 credits) elaborated by the Educational Committee for admission.
Application forms can be obtained through the secretariat of the MSc.NuRuDe (deadline before the
start of the academic year if no visa required, otherwise before 15th of June)
If applying through
www.ugent.be/en/prospectstud/regular/application.htm , deadline is set at End of February
Candidates might consult the manual “Study Abroad”, published by UNESCO, giving a lot of
information concerning scholarships and exchanges.
for all students applying for any of the 3 main subjects
Fellowships given by UGent: see
Fellowships given by World Bank
Applications forms can be requested at The World Bank, JJ/WBGSP Secretariat, MSN J2-204, 1818 H
Street NW, Washington DC 20433, USA or can be downloaded from its homepage:
If living in a selected country by BTC: go to
Only for candidates applying for Human Nutrition
Nestlé fellowships: Annemarie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Students can also provide themselves for study and living expenses. Candidates who want to follow
the course without a scholarship have to submit a written statement assuring they have sufficient
funding for financing their stay in Belgium. Such statement is needed for obtaining a visa from
the Belgium Embassy or Consulate
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Master of Science in Nutrition and Rural Development
Prof. L. D’Haese - Coupure links 653, B-9000 Gent
Phone: +32 9 264 61 80 - Fax: +32 9 264 62 22
Core group NuRuDe : Annemarie.Dewinter@UGent.be
Website Main Subject Human Nutrition