The Master’s degree programme in engineering and Applied Mathematics is by its very nature interdisciplinary because it consists of a wide range of major courses some of which are research-based (Cryptography and information security, biomedical engeering) and offered by other academic departments (financial mathematics); this naturally reinforces the interdisciplinary nature of the programme.
The programme aims to give students knowledge and skills in mathematical modelling that is used in all engineering disciplines as well as in other areas such as economics, environmental sciences or life sciences.
A final interdisciplinary aspect to the programme is the graduation project, which is frequently completed outside the department of mathematical engineering. The graduation project makes up half of the workload for the second year of the programme. It offers students the opportunity to work in-depth on a given subject and due to its size and context, introduces students to the engineering or research professions. This project may focus on a topic relating to an applied mathematics research cluster (or possibly in collaboration with an external industrial partner); or it may focus on subjects related to applied mathematics in other research clusters at the Louvain School of Engineering as well as the faculties of science, economics, management or actuarial sciences.
Diverse learning situations
The pedagogy used in the Master’s degree programme in engineering is similar to that in the Bachelor’s degree programme in engineering. Students are exposed to a variety of pedagogies: lectures, individual projects and small group work, exercise and problem-solving sessions, case studies, experimental laboratories, computer simulations, educational software, internships in industry or research, individual or group work, seminars given by external scientists.
These various learning situations develop students’ knowledge of their discipline in a way that is interdisciplinary and non-technical. They permit students to build their knowledge in an iterative and progressive manner all the while developing their independence, organisational and time management skills as well as their ability to communicate. Students have access to the newest information technology (materials, software, networks) during their studies.
For example, the Business Creation major has an interactive approach and promotes “problem-based learning”. Throughout the programme, students must work as part of multidisciplinary teams. The project has an interdisciplinary focus and groups of three students, ideally from different faculties, may collaborate on a business creation project.