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Atmosphere, Climate and Ecosystems, Master's Programme

Master’s programme
2 years
120 credits (ECTS)
Study pace
Study form
Application open
Application code
Full education cost: 244 000 SEK
First payment: 61 000 SEK

No fees are charged for EU and EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students.

More information about tuition fees

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This education has a focus on sustainability. The teacher has created the course or program to fit into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced perspective on sustainability.


The master’s programme in Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems adds resources to the understanding of and solutions for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. It provides you with the opportunity to study the complex global system made up of the atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems, and the related global challenges. As a graduate of the programme, you will be prepared to enter society with broad knowledge in natural science and special competence in a specialized field of science, intermixed with global challenges.


The combination of atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems forms the basis of working with all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The University of Gothenburg was ranked number 6 in the world by Times Higher Education university impact ranking, with respect to relevance for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Our programme provides the chance for you to learn how human activities are linked to physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems and how the complexity of global sustainability challenges can be tackled. From the greenhouse effect and the interaction of climate change and ecosystems, to environmental impacts on human health and the deterioration of material including our cultural heritage, understanding the processes occurring in the atmosphere are crucial.

A broad selection of courses
You will have the opportunity to take both fundamental and applied courses in the fields of atmospheric, climatic, earth, and ecosystem sciences. The fundamental courses give you the tools needed to understand and analyse problems related to the interaction between atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems. The applied courses are directly related to important issues such as mitigation, international agreements, global change, and energy systems.

You can specialize according to your interests by choosing elective courses, such as:
•    Aerosols
•    Applied Climatology
•    Atmospheric Chemistry
•    Energy and Environment: Processes, Efficiency, and Impacts
•    Geographic Information System
•    Global Change Biology
•    International Environmental Agreements
•    Ocean and Atmosphere Circulations
•    Paleoclimatology
•    Remote Sensing

An opportunity to complete a year-long research project
A year-long research related thesis project, with the combination of atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems will set you apart in the future job market, both in research and environmental authorities. Our links to research-related companies ( and IVL for example) is beneficial to those pursuing work in the private sector. The majority of our students do an experimental thesis project, addressing a research question closely connected to a real research task of the group or principal investigator acting as supervisor. In most cases, students work as a member of the research groups.

Internship and exchange opportunities
You have the possibility to complete an internship within our collaboration network Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, whose task is to create and facilitate cooperation between Chalmers University of Technology, the University of Gothenburg, and authorities and companies in West Sweden, with an aim to generate and practically implement knowledge about sustainable development. Furthermore, you may choose to study abroad through our exchange agreements with universities in China, India, Jamaica, Kenya, Rwanda. We are also prepared to promote thesis projects related to our international students’ home universities where they completed a bachelor’s degree.

Programme structure and content

The first semester consists of two mandatory courses:
•    Global Change—Problem, Analysis, Measures
•    Climate Change in an Earth System Perspective

You then have the opportunity to choose elective courses, hosted by several of the science departments. You continue to choose electives during the second semester, along with the third mandatory course, Biogeochemistry.

The final year is dedicated to your master’s thesis project, which is highly research related and beneficial for deep understanding of the programme topic and can be advantageous for continued studies. Alternatively, you can complete a shorter master’s thesis and include one or two additional elective courses.

The programme is part of the Nordic Atmosphere - Biosphere Studies programme, with additional courses at other Nordic universities to choose from. 

Who should apply?

Climate and ecosystems are two of the Global Sustainability Goals, and atmosphere is a vital part of several others. Would you like to study their interactions and be better prepared to contribute to a sustainable future?

Would you like to better understand how air quality affects life quality and ecosystems globally, and discuss solutions?

If you want to learn how human activities are linked to physical and chemical properties of the atmosphere, climate, and ecosystems, and how the related problems can be mitigated, then apply to the master’s programme in Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems.

Prerequisites and selection


A Bachelor's degree in Science (environmental science - natural science, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics) of 180 credits at an accredited University including at least 90 credits in a major subject. These prerequisites can be waived if an applicant has verifiable equivalent knowledge/skills, for example for students with a Bachelor degree in geography - natural science. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.


Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 165 credits.

After graduation

Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Science in Atmosphere, Climate, and Ecosystems.

You will be prepared for research or tasks where solid knowledge in atmospheric, climate, and ecosystem science is of concern, such as environmental authorities, research institutes, universities, and start-ups. Typically, after passing this master’s programme, you could initiate an academic career with PhD studies, conduct research on industrial applications at institutes and companies, be an environmental consultant, or an environmental officer at the municipality, regional, or national level.

We maintain a link with many of our graduates, who take part in the alumni seminars arranged for the environmental science students.

Exchange opportunities

You can choose to study abroad through our exchange agreements with several prominent universities in Europe, but also in countries such as South Korea, China, India, Jamaica, Kenya and Rwanda.