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Master of Nuclear Engineering (Leuven et al)

KU Leuven
Program overview
1 year
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
Start dates
September 2022

September 2023

September 2024

About this program

Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including power production, waste management, nuclear fuel production, etc. The Belgian Nuclear Higher Education Network (BNEN) combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN.

What is the Advanced Master of Nuclear Engineering all about?

Nuclear technology plays a crucial role in a wide variety of contexts and sectors in Belgium, including:

  • power production
  • nuclear fuel production
  • radioelement production
  • engineering
  • accelerator design and fabrication
  • waste management
  • safety management
  • nuclear medicine
  • research

The Belgium Nuclear Higher Education Network (BNEN) combines the expertise in nuclear education and research of six major Belgian universities (KU Leuven, UGent, VUB, UCL, ULG and ULB) with the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre.

The Advanced Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering programme is an internationally oriented, interuniversity programme organised by BNEN in close collaboration with nuclear research centres and industry. The aim of the BNEN programme is to provide students with all the skills and scientific and technical background necessary to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in order to ensure the safe and economical operation of nuclear power plants, the regulation and control of nuclear installations or to design new nuclear systems.


The current programme can be divided into three core blocks:

  • Introductory courses allowing refreshing or first contact with the basic notions of nuclear physics, materials sciences and the principles of energy conversion through use of nuclear phenomena, supplemented by a core block of nuclear engineering.
  • A block of elective courses that allow students to deepen certain topics of their choice.
  • A Master’s thesis.

Thanks to the collaboration with SCK*CEN makes the actual use of facilities can be included in the curriculum, supporting the development of skills and competences in a research environment. All subjects are taught by academics appointed by the partner universities, whereas the exercises and laboratory sessions are supervised by the experts of SCK*CEN. The Master’s thesis offers an opportunity for internship in industry or in a research laboratory.

All teaching activities take place on the premises of SCK*CEN. Courses are organised in English and in a modular way; teaching in blocks of one to three weeks for each module allows optimal time management for students and lecturers, facilitates registration for individual modules, and allows easy exchange with international students.

One particular aspect of the BNEN degree is that it automatically leads to the recognition as Class I Expert by the Federal Agency of Nuclear Control. In order to receive this accreditation the programme must at least offer 24 credits in Nuclear Safety and 12 credits in Radioprotection.


A major strength of the BNEN programme, as to its sustainability, is that it allows providing high quality academic education by experts from (or appointed by) the main Belgian universities at low individual cost and thus very efficiently harmonised/rationalised. In addition, the participation of the nuclear research centre SCK*CEN in the consortium provides superb realistic experimental facilities in a difficult (radioactive) environment.

A further fundamental strength of the programme can be found in the fact that a well-balanced curriculum is offered where the contents and format have been discussed at length with representatives of the major nuclear companies that are the graduates’ first potential employers. There is a nearly complete overlap between objectives and realised competences in courses, electives, exercises and Master’s thesis. This can be ascribed to the following contributing factors:

  • There is a good balance between theory and practical skills. This is implemented through an appropriate diversity of didactic formats, including exercises and/or labs for nearly all courses.
  • There is appropriate care for multidisciplinary scientific competences and for transferable skills through the importance given to the Master’s thesis.
  • The education in programmes is backed by world-class research at the universities, the research center and the involvement of teachers working in international research institutes.
  • The involvement of several professors who have their principal employment in nuclear companies.
  • Both the professors and the young researchers are very active in the major international research programmes and associations related to applications of nuclear phenomena.

KU Leuven Online Open Day

We are organising an online open day on Wednesday 1 December 2021 to inform students about our English-language programmes. Discover Europe’s most innovative university and learn more about our international programmes, admissions, housing and much more. For more information, google “KU Leuven Online Open Day”.

Admission requirements

Please consult the programme website for recent information on admission requirements.

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Scholarships & funding

Please consult our website for recent information on available scholarships.


Please consult our website for recent information on tuition fees.

Career paths

Upon completion of the Advanced Master's programme in Nuclear Engineering, students will have acquired:

  • a thorough understanding of nuclear physical processes;
  • a comprehensive knowledge of the procedures and techniques necessary to control nuclear processes;
  • an in-depth knowledge of nuclear safety, reliability procedures and nuclear waste treatment;
  • the competence to design and maintain structures to control nuclear processes;
  • communicative skills in the field of nuclear technology and the capability to participate in research concerning the above mentioned topics.

Graduates possess the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out duties at a high level of responsibility in:

  • nuclear power plants
  • nuclear research reactors
  • nuclear regulatory organisations
  • nuclear engineering firms
  • nuclear fuel fabrication
  • nuclear waste treatment
  • radio-isotope production

In addition, the degree itself is an important part of the legal qualifications necessary to become a safety professional in a major nuclear installation.

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About this institute

KU Leuven. Inspiring the Outstanding

KU Leuven is Europe’s most innovative university. Located in Belgium, it is dedicated to research, education, and service to society. KU Leuven is a founding member of the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and has a strong European and...

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Why study at KU Leuven

A Highly Ranked University

According to international rankings, KU Leuven is among the best 100 universities in the world. Moreover, KU Leuven was ranked as most innovative university of Europe by Reuters four years in a row (2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019). All of KU Leuven’s disciplines proudly belong to the top 100 of their field. Scholars and researchers, teachers and visionaries, thinkers and makers all have their place in KU Leuven’s fertile intellectual habitat.

Most Innovative University in Europe

KU Leuven has been identified as Europe’s most innovative university for four years in a row by Reuters. By developing the most important drug against HIV, a new type of solar panel that converts oxygen into hydrogen and uncovering the secrets of Sagalassos, KU Leuven researchers have a profound impact on our everyday lives in nearly all fields of research. That innovative character is deeply embedded in the way we teach our students, by integrating relevant guest lectures, taking an Interdisciplinary approach and opening the most advanced research and education facilities.

A Comprehensive University

As a comprehensive university, KU Leuven offers a wide range of disciplines organized by 15 faculties. Each of these disciplines is ranked in the top 100 of its field according to the THE World University Rankings by subject. Half of the university’s faculties are even in the top 50 within their fields of study.

Contact info

KU Leuven

Oude Markt 13
3000 Leuven

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