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Master Program in Sustainable Ecosystem Management (SEM)


The Master of Sustainable Ecosystem Management (SEM) is created to address the urgent need for biodiversity conservation and management in Cambodia as well as in the whole Mekong River Basin facing rapid global environmental changes to ensure the sustainable development within the region. It brings together the social sciences, natural sciences and sophisticated modelling techniques to develop the decision support tools that could be used remotely, regionally or internationally by providing appropriate developing scenarios to stakeholders in response to future change.

SEM is developed under the support of European Project – Erasmus+ Program within the consortium of 4 European university partners: University of Toulouse (France), University of Girona (Spain), University of Ghent (Belgium) and University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria), and 4 South-East Asia university partners: University of Battambang (Cambodia), Royal University of Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Can Tho University (Vietnam) and An Giang University (Vietnam). The program has been divided into five parts for a total of 54 credits, which is required by the Cambodian Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Therefore, all students are required to complete minimum 42 credits of course work and 12 credits of research work to fulfill the requirements of the program.


Sustainable ecosystem management is the study of scientific solutions and societal interventions for an environmentally accountable society and the use of natural resources. Indeed, the two-year master program aims at building up the research capacity and skills by integrative approaches that can be applied to enhance the sustainability of ecosystem in the face of climate change, particularly alteration driven by anthropogenic activities (e.g. dams). Besides of academic background, the SEM is focused on the development of decision support systems that could be answered and mitigated the current impacts induced by human activities such as dam construction, deforestation and pollution. Therefore, the students will be trained with advanced statistical, analytical and problem solving skills to deal with the current trade-off for biodiversity conservation and socio-economic development in the region.

Learning outcomes

SEM educates the scientists of the future and the practical problem solvers in the context of global change. SEM curriculum emphasizes:

  • Scientific knowledge and concepts for sustainable development
  • Practical skills and leadership
  • Independent academic and research skills
  • Ability to convey the knowledge and research into decision support tools
  • Global perspective on ethics and sustainability facing rapid global environmental change
  • Publication in international peer reviewed journals

Prospectus careers

Graduates from the SEM program will become:

  • Ecosystem management specialist
  • Researcher, lecturer, trainers in academic or research institutions
  • National and International freelance consultant on biodiversity conservation and management
  • Policy maker and planner
  • PhD candidate in various fields of natural and social sciences
  • Entrepreneur in assessing ecological properties of the nature


The master course is a combination of course and research work for two-year program of study

Codes COURSES Credits Theoretical hours Practical hours
  A. Foundation Courses (3 subjects: 6 credits)  
SEM01 Community ecology and ecosystem dynamics 2 30
SEM02 Sustainable management of ecosystem services 2 30
SEM03 Field methods in ecology 2 30
  B. Core Courses (6 subjects: 18 credits)
SEM04 Conservation biology 3 30 15
SEM05 Climate change adaptation and mitigation 3 30 15
SEM06 Ecological status and reference condition 3 15 30
SEM07 Terrestrial and aquatic ecology 3 30 15
SEM08 GIS & Remote sensing 3 15 30
SEM09 Ecological economics 3
  C. Elective Courses (2 or 3 subjects: 6 credits)  
SEM10 Environmental law 3 30 15
SEM11 Perspective on sustainable development 2 30
SEM12 Environmental impact assessment (EIA) 3 30 15
SEM13 Sustainable hydropower 2 30
SEM14 Evaluation for sustainable development 2 30
SEM15 Leadership for sustainable development 2 30
SEM16 Seminars I & II 2
  D. Research Courses (5 subjects: 12 credits)  
SEM17 Basic statistics 2 30
SEM18 Research methodology 2 15 15
SEM19 Scientific writing and communication 2 15 15
SEM20 Decision support systems (DSS) 3 30 15
SEM21 Machine learning 3 30 15
  E. Thesis      
  Thesis writing 12
Total A + B + C + D+E 54    

Core Course for MS SEM

  • Sustainable Management for Ecosystem services
  • Perspective & evaluation on sustainable development
  • Community ecology
  • Ecological economy
  • Ecological status and reference condition
  • Machine learning
  • Decision support
  • GIS and remote sensing



All candidates who are currently holding the Bachelor of Sciences or equivalent degree in biology, mathematics, geography, agriculture, environmental economy, community development, or relevant bachelor programs.

Student selection

The selection of candidate is based on the background and academic achievement of candidate. Interested candidates are invited to send their CV (electronic version) to the scientific coordinators or submit their CV at the Post-Graduate School, University of Battambang. Screening and interviewing processes will be used to select definitively the candidates.

Tuition fee: 750 USD per year

Scholarship opportunity and research grant

Under the framework of Erasmus+ CONSEA project, M-SEM is connected to several Associate Partners in Cambodia, Thailand, China and France, such as:

  • Ubon Rachathani University (UBU)-Thailand
  • Maejo University (MJO)-Thailand
  • SouthWest University (SWU)-China
  • Institute of Hydrobiology (IHB-CAS)-China
  • Région Occitanie-France
  • Pearl River Fishery Research Institute (PRFRI)-China
  • Institut Français du Cambodge (IFC)-Cambodia
  • Institute of Hydroecology- China
  • Ministry of Water Resources and Chinese Academy of Sciences-China

Within this framework, students could have possibility to stay and conduct their internship in these associate partners through the support or scholarship of different funding agencies:

  • Thailand International Cooperation Agency (TICA)
  • Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC)
  • Chinese Academic of Sciences (CAS)
  • French Embassy in Cambodia
  • Région Occitanie, France
  • Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)

Besides, it will take advantages of all the opportunities from the existing programs and/or projects related to their field of study, such as:

  • Internship fellowships for students with UBB research grants
  • Internship fellowships of the Cambodian universities and government (e.g. MoE, TSA, CNMC)
  • Internship fellowships from other projects (e.g. NutriSEA, UNICAM, WAgN-Cambodia)
  • Internship fellowships from research and NGO institutions (WorldFish, CI, FFI, CBC, IFREDI, MRC)
  • Internship fellowships from existing on-going projects funded by JICA, World Bank and ADB


Institution: University of Battambang

Study regime: Part time (Weekend program)

Duration:  2 years (4 semesters)

Number of credits: 54 credits to be achieved

Language: Khmer and English

Important dates

  • Deadline of CV submission: 21st September 2018
  • Selection of candidates: 25th September 2018
  • Registration: 25th September to 15th October 2018
  • Semester start: 15th October 2018

Contact for further information

Scientific Coordinators


Post-Graduate School is at your disposal for any query or information.

Full Program (PDF): Master Program in Sustainable Ecosystem Management (SEM)

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