It will be possible to enrol online for the programme, in case you cannot travel to Belgium in the first semester of 2020-2021. More practical information about this will be delivered later by the student administration of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Keep an eye on this page.


COVID-19 and impact on classes 2020-2021:

Because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures taken by governments around the world, we realise that it might not be possible for all new students to arrive in Belgium in time for the start of the classes (September 21st, 2020), or that it might not be possible to teach on-campus.
Because of this, we have decided as a programme to commit ourselves to teaching our classes online in the first semester of 2020-2021, in case this will be necessary due to COVID-19 constraints. Classes in the first semester are scheduled from September 21st, 2020 to December 18th, 2020; exams will take place in January 2021.


Classes first semester 2020-2021:

Our programme consists of a combination of lectures, practicals on and off campus, and fieldwork. However, the number of excursions (fieldwork) and practicals in the first semester is limited, and will be replaced by online alternatives in the first semester, if made necessary by COVID-19 related measures. In case the measures taken by the Belgian government will prevent on-campus teaching for all students, then classes will be digital for all students.

We would like to emphasise however that our programme is not an online programme. When travel to Belgium is possible and when on-campus lectures are allowed, students are expected to join the programme in Belgium and attend the classes. Please consider August 1st, 2020 as the latest date for you to take necessary steps for travel and enrolment. If on August 1st no constraints are imposed on travel and/or on-campus teaching, your physical presence is expected on September 21st. If however, further development after August 1st would again restrain travel and/or on-campus teaching, Oceans & Lakes will offer the online alternative.


Online classes1st semester 2020-2021:

Please find below a list of courses of the first semester that will be taught online, if the COVID-19 measures prevent students from coming to Belgium/joining the classes on-campus in the first semester of the academic year 2020-2021.
The full list of courses of the programme can be found here.

Core courses

Name course Titular Format
River & Lake Ecology Ludwig Triest Online lectures, if possible excursions in small groups
Governance and Policy in Development and Cooperation part I Nico Koedam Online lectures
Oceanography Ann Vanreusel Online lectures

Supporting courses

Name course


IIntroduction to Marine and Lacustrine Biology Marleen De Troch Online lectures
Introduction to Data Mining Marc Elskens Online lectures
Analysis of Biological Data Bram Vanschoenwinkel Online lectures
Data and Information Management Tim Deprez Online lectures

Major courses

Name course Titular Format
Integrated Coastal Zone Management Farid Dahdouh-Guebas Online lectures
Conservation Genetics Ludwig Triest Online lectures
Marine Fisheries Ecology and Management Marc Kochzius Online lectures
Marine Food Web Ecology Marleen De Troch Online lectures
Marine Genomics Olivier De Clerck Online lectures
Aquatic Microbial Ecology Wim Vyverman Online lectures
Environmental Impact Assessment Steven Degraer Online lectures
Law of the Sea Andrew Serdy Online lectures
Paleoclimatology and Climate Change Marc De Batist Online lectures
Paleobiology of Micro-organisms Stephen Louwye Online lectures
Marine Biodiversity Marleen De Troch Online lectures
Estuarine and Coastal Systems Stijn Temmerman Online lectures
Aquatic Ecotoxicology Lieven Bervoets Online lectures
Global Change Physiology Gudrun De Boeck Online lectures
Ecosystem Based Adaptation to Global Change Patrick Meire Online lectures