Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Erasmus Mundus:The joint International Master in Rural Development (IMRD)

The joint International Master in Rural Development (IMRD), part of the European Erasmus Mundus program, offers the opportunity to study the European vision on rural development in its diversity of approaches and applications, on a scholarship provided by the European Union (as of 2010-2011 also for European students).

The objective is to train specialists in integrated rural development, focussed on socio-economic and institutional aspects, not only from the European Union but also from developed, developing and transition countries outside the European Union through a 2 year master program (120 ECTS) jointly organised by seven European leading institutes in agricultural economics and rural development.

The Master program is offered by Ghent University (Belgium), Agrocampus Ouest (France), Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany), the University of Cordoba (Spain), in collaboration with Wageningen University (The Netherlands), the Slovak University of Agriculture in Nitra (Slovakia) and the University of Pisa (Italy). As of 2010-2011 these will be joined by universities in China, Ecuador, India and South Africa.

The methodology consists of a combination of basic and specialised training in technical, economic and social sciences, a case study of one month, an individual master thesis and a high extent of student and scholar mobility.


The deadline for applying for Academic year 2011-2013 (IMRD Program 2011-2013) is December 31, 2010.

Admission Criteria

Are you likely to be admitted to IMRD? What are your chances? Test yourself! Click here

The International MSc in Rural Development offers admission to applicants who appear to have the highest potential for graduate study and who, with the benefit of a graduate education, are the most likely to contribute substantially to their academic or professional fields through teaching, research, or professional practice.

The minimum graduate admission requirements are:

1. Applicants must have a Bachelor's degree of minimum 3 years with good overall scores (at least a second class or equivalent, preferably higher) from a university or recognized equivalent. Candidates are expected to have basic science training (demonstrable in the transcripts) in the following fields: (1) mathematics and/or statistics, (2) agronomy and/or biology and/or environmental sciences and (3) social sciences and/or rural development. Candidates who cannot present a combined training of these fields will be evaluated on their aptitude, based on experience and knowledge of these fields, as demonstrated by CV or other evidence.
2. Sufficient language knowledge proven by language certificates. The applicant must be proficient in the language of the course or training programme, i.e. English. Command of the English language is a very important criterion for admission. With the exception of those who have a diploma (Secondary Education, Academic Bachelor Degree, Master Degree) issued by an institution officially recognized by the Flemish Government, applicants must be able to prove their proficiency in English. See the language section on the left.

Applicants generally have a Bachelor's degree or a recognized equivalent academic degree of minimum 3 years study in bioscience engineering or agricultural sciences (preferably agricultural economics), in combination with knowledge in environmental sciences, economics, sociology and rural development studies.

Admission decisions are based on a combination of factors, including academic degrees and records, the statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, test scores, language skills and relevant work experience, if any. We also consider the appropriateness of your goals to the IMRD programme. In addition, consideration may be given to how your background and life experience would contribute significantly to an educationally beneficial mix of students.

Application procedure

Are you likely to be admitted to IMRD? What are your chances? Test yourself! Click here


The first step of the application procedure is an on-line registration and application form. Register in the IMRD database, complete the application form and submit it to the central IMRD secretariat electronically. Make sure you fill in at least all the obligatory fields, add as much additional information as possible and load electronic copies of your documents.

The second step is a hard copy application file, composed of the printed application form and all requested documents (secondary school leaving certificate, higher education diploma(s), including all transcripts of records, language certificate(s), curriculum vita, passport pictures, copy of passport, recommendation letters) by regular or express mail to the IMRD secretariat before the deadline. Download the recommendation letter/reference letter here: Word document or PDF document.

Please consult the FAQ! for more detailed information on the application procedure

IMPORTANT NOTE: because of the high number of applications, the IMRD management board is obliged to only consider those applications that are complete and contain all documents, translated if necessary. If your file is not complete, you will not be requested to add documents, but your application will not be considered for selection for admission and/or scholarship.

Specific note for Chinese students

From the academic year 2007-2008 onwards all students from the P.R. China will have to obtain a certificate of academic screening issued by the Academic Evaluation Centre (APS) of the German Embassy in Beijing before being allowed to enrol at any higher education institution, language course or other preparatory course in Flanders. The APS certificate is also required for obtaining a student visa to Belgium. The APS certificate needs to be sent with the application in order for the application to be considered.

Students planning to study in Flanders are advised to contact the Academic Evaluation Centre in Beijing, info{at}aps.org.cn as soon as possible in order to make the necessary appointments and this before applying for a visa. The APS application form and more information can be found on www.aps.org.cn.

Every student accepted at UGent for next academic year will get the cost of their APS-screening reimbursed by the Ghent University-China Platform. For this, the student has to contact the China Platform after arrival at UGent to make an appointment.

Ghent University has a specific service for Chinese students, the China Platform. Click here for more information (also available in Chinese).



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