Environmental science studies the threats to our common future on Earth, but also the opportunities human society has to tackle these challenges. As a student of the master’s programme in Environmental Science, you will gain in-depth knowledge and competence regarding all aspects of environmental problems (causes, emissions, impacts, and mitigation measures), and how those aspects interact. You will be prepared to work as an environmental expert, working towards a sustainable future.
Scientific environmental knowledge is the foundation of ecological, social, and economic sustainability and is at the core of today’s crucial issues of climate change, air and ocean pollution, biodiversity loss, and poverty reduction. Society is in critical need of environmental scientists that are well-founded in natural science, but at the same time have a good understanding of the societal context for working with environmental issues. It is the goal of our programme to provide both.
An interdisciplinary exploration of environmental issues
Environmental science is a young field dealing with the human impact on nature, cultural heritage, and human health. Our master’s programme in Environmental Science deals with environmental problems at different spatial (local to global) and temporal (the past, present, and future) scales and has the ambition to cross both academic and national boundaries. It is interdisciplinary, with a strong basis in natural sciences but with significant elements of technology and social sciences. Our strategy is to study environmental issues from three perspectives:
- Deepening the knowledge of the causes and nature of different types of anthropogenic impacts and environmental problems.
- Analysing environmental problems from many different perspectives, such as temporal trends, severity, geographical extent, and economic aspects.
- Studying many different types of mitigation possibilities, such as new technology solutions, design and implementation of international agreements, company strategies, and policy making.
Leading the way in sustainable development goals
The University of Gothenburg was ranked number 45 in the world by Times Higher Education university impact ranking in 2020, with respect to relevance for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The master’s programme in Environmental Science fosters this reputation by prioritizing links between our students and society. We hope this will inspire you to create cutting-edge thesis work and compete successfully in the future job market. Our relatively small classes with close teacher contact, a high degree of activity in courses—through exercises, group projects, presentations, and seminars—and the possibility for close contact with research groups during your thesis project, all prepare you to contribute to a sustainable future.
Create your own specialized profile
Our programme offers freedom to choose your own specialization, with only two semesters of mandatory courses (including the thesis project). Several departments at the Faculty of Science offer courses on different environmental aspects (see some examples below). You may also choose elective courses from other faculties, for example Environmental Economics and Adaptation to Global Environmental Change. Internship projects are integral parts of some courses, where you will have opportunities to work with companies and authorities. An additional opportunity is to take part in an international exchange for one semester. We have established links and exchange programmes with several prominent universities abroad.
Programme structure and content
The programme begins with two mandatory courses. Global Change—Problem, Analysis and Measures Resource Efficiency—Energy, Material Flows, and Ecosystem Services. You may then deepen your competence by choosing advanced elective courses, depending on your background, such as:
- Atmospheric Chemistry
- Energy and Environment
- Plant Ecophysiology in a Global Change Perspective
- Chemical Risk Assessment
You may also choose courses in applied environmental science:
- Environmental Management Systems
- Environmental Impact Assessment
- Environmental Economics
The programme ends with a mandatory course, Advanced Environmental Methodology, and your final thesis project, which may be done in close collaboration with a research group or linked to a governmental or private organization.
You may choose to take the Advanced Environmental Methodology course during the first year in order to spend a whole year on your thesis project or take part in an international exchange during the second year.