The Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network (BNEN)

More than 30% of electricity in the EU and roughly 55% in Belgium is provided by nuclear power. On a small absolute but high relative scale, Belgium has developed almost every kind of nuclear activity on its territory: nuclear power plants, fuel production, medical radio-isotope production, nuclear engineering companies, accelerator design and fabrication, nuclear waste and dismantling management, nuclear safety management, nuclear medicine, research and higher education. In short, it’s the ideal place to study all facets of nuclear engineering.

"We prepare engineers to guarantee the safety of existing nuclear installations and to study innovative solutions for future nuclear systems.”

Part of the Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network

Six Belgian universities (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Université de Liège, Université Catholique de Louvain, KU Leuven, and Universiteit Gent) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) have joined forces in the Belgian Nuclear higher Education Network (BNEN) to create the Advanced Master in Nuclear Engineering, a 60 ECTS-programme. The primary objective is to educate young engineers in nuclear engineering, its applications and its safe use, and to develop and maintain high-level nuclear competences in Belgium and abroad. The BNEN offers a strong programme and fosters networking between academia, research centres, industry and other nuclear stakeholders. All teaching activities take place at SCK•CEN, ensuring training that’s compatible with the industry and well-grounded in the field.



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How does it work?

The programme consists of 60 ECTS and can be completed on a full-time (one-year) or part-time (two-years) basis. Courses are organised in a modular way with teaching blocks of one to three weeks for each module. This allows optimal time management for students and lecturers, facilitates registration for individual modules, and provides easy access for international students. The master thesis is an essential part of the programme. The chosen subject can be in a wide range of nuclear engineering related topics, that are directly linked to the of SCK•CEN’s R&D programme, research of the professors at the partner universities, or operational problems in industry.

Study credits

ECTS (European Credit Transfer System): 1 credit represents 25-30 hours of study activity

International programme

BNEN has served as a role model for the European Nuclear Education Network (ENEN Association). The association of roughly 70 members - universities, industry, regulators and research centres - aims to facilitate mobility in Europe for students in nuclear engineering. If you decide to take up at least 20 ECTS of courses in a foreign university, you receive an ENEN certificate, de-facto recognising the degree as an effective “European Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering”.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes describe the intended knowledge and understanding, skills and attitudes that you must master after completing your studies. Do you want to know more about the specific learning outcomes of this programme? Click here for more information.


A master degree opens doors in many different branches and sectors. You will be able to work in the private sector, (non-) governmental organisations, or continue your academic career as a PhD researcher. Not sure what your next step should be? The VUB helps you with your first steps on the job market.

Job opportunities

This programme aims to provide young engineers and scientists with the knowledge and skills needed to start a career in the nuclear industry. Italso prepares students for a career in government, regulatory or control organisms. The programme has been recognised by the Federal Agency of Nuclear Control (FANC) for recognition as Class I Expert (Class I facilities - nuclear reactors).


The VUB helps you to make your first step in the job market with workshops, networking events, job fairs, tips ‘n tricks for job interviews. All an ambitious student needs!

First step on the market


If you want to continue your academic career, you can apply for a PhD position at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. All you need is a promoter, research subject and sufficient funding. Are you up for this challenge?

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Admission criteria

This programme is open for students holding a five-year Master degree in Science of Engineering from a Belgian university.

Applications from candidates holding a different master degree from the Flemish or the French Community will be evaluated by the Teaching Committee based on the candidate’s academic background. Candidates holding a foreign higher education degree may be admitted after evaluation and approval by the Teaching Committee and with observance of the procedural rules of the respective partner universities.

Prospective students must prove sufficient knowledge of English as language of instruction by having successfully completed the TOEFL-test with a minimum of 550 points on the written test. The scoring scale will be based upon the sum of the four section scores (reading, listening, writing and speaking).

For more details on admission requirements

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Application deadline

Prospective students are advised to apply as soon as possible, even if they have not obtained their degree. The deadline for Belgian students to apply is 15 June 2021. International students must apply before 15 March 2021.Application deadlines are strict, as all candidates will be screened by the Belgian Federal Agency for Nuclear Control for clearance and access to SCK•CEN ’s nuclear infrastructure. Admission to the programme will depend on clearance and access being granted.

For more information about the application

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Tuition fees

All Flemish universities in Belgium are subsidised by the government, which results in relatively low tuition fees. The tuition fee for this master is 238.30 EUR per year, and 11.40 EUR per credit. In a general year of 60 ECTS, this amounts to a tuition fee of 922.30 EUR per year. A detailed overview of the tuition fees can be found here.