Master of Nutrition and Rural Development - Main Subject: Human Nutrition


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 way.


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) programmes.

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,
Policy preparation,
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 test.

Direct access is given to those candidates being fluent in English and holding a degree as specified on 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 , 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:
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


Universiteit Gent
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 :
Website Main Subject Human Nutrition

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