Master Thesis

General IMBRSea Thesis Information

Thesis work is an integral part of the IMBRSea Master programme and is credited for 30 ECTS. All students undertake their thesis work during the fourth semester, at one of the IMBRSea partners or members of the consortium. During their thesis work students will focus on a specific research topic for a given amount of time. Students work independently albeit under supervision of a thesis supervisor and promoter. Through the thesis work, students are able to apply the knowledge and techniques they gained during the courses in the three previous semesters. The final product is a written thesis report stating the main results of their research presented in a scientifically correct manner. Thesis students also present and discuss their results at the Annual Symposium.

Thesis selection

In the beginning of February of the first academic year students are provided with a thesis research catalogue which enables them to find a thesis research line that suits their interests. The thesis research lines will be made available on the Matix platform. Students can contact potential thesis supervisors and finalise a research topic from the catalogue.

Students can also submit their own thesis topic by using an electronic form available on their personal student page. Thesis project descriptions include a title, an abstract, a work plan, contact details of supervisor and promoter and an agreement of the promoter to welcome the student for the particular thesis subject.

During the Annual Symposium, thesis topics will be reviewed for approval by the IMBRSea board.


15th of May: submission of thesis topics hosted by institutes that are not a partner of the IMBRSea consortium yet.

15th of June: submission of thesis topics hosted by institutes that are already a partner of the IMBRSea consortium.

27th of June (Annual Symposium): submission of 1 slide introducing your thesis topic.

Thesis preparation

Students can start with the preparation of the thesis (literature review, introduction, sampling) during the semesters 2 and 3. However, this must not interfere with other courses in those semesters. The fourth semester (January to June) is fully available for the thesis work and submission, when these activities will be supervised by the thesis' promoter/supervisor. The students will be encouraged to organise their thesis work in a way that enables them to submit the thesis before the second year Symposium (June).

Thesis format

The thesis report must be written in English and should ideally have the format of a scientific publication. It should contain the following:

  • Executive Summary (max 400 words)
  • Abstract (max 200 words)
  • Introduction & Aims
  • Material and Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion
  • Acknowledgements
  • References

Thesis defence

At the end of June each year IMBRSea students present the results of their thesis work during the Annual Symposium. Students give an oral presentation followed by 10 minutes for question from members of the reading committee and the audience. If the thesis is not submitted during the first exam period of the second master year, the thesis can be submitted in August. However, students (and supervisors) will be strongly encouraged to finalise the thesis by June. Students who submit in August are still required to give an oral presentation on the current status of their thesis work at the Annual symposium.

Below you will find a link to the IMBRSea Thesis Guidelines

Frequently asked questions: 

At which University am I enrolled during thesis work?

During your thesis you are enrolled at Ghent University. Depending on where you studied during your third semester, you may also be enrolled at the third semester University. Thesis insurance is covered via your enrollment at Ghent University.

Is there an availability to focus on research methodologies like next generation sequencing and transcriptomics to study biology of infection?

In the first semester every student must take genomics as one of the courses from the Fundamental Modules. Depending on the track and University you take for the Thematic Module, you can also go deeper on this area. As an example, on the Management track you have a course called: "Molecular techniques applied to resource evaluation and management". 

Furthermore, there are many partners that works with genomics where you can study further the subject during your Professional Practice and Master Thesis.