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Environmental Sciences

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.


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 coursesGlobal 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. 

Who should apply?

Are you passionate about environmental work with a societal impact based on sound scientific knowledge? Do you think it is important to have international contacts for this type of work? Would you enjoy studying in an academic culture with relatively small classes and many opportunities to interact with the teachers?

If you are interested in both the natural science and social science dimensions of environmental issues, then apply to the master’s programme in Environmental Science.

Prerequisites and selection


Bachelor of Science (environmental science - natural science, biology, chemistry, earth science, physics), or equivalent from a university including at least 15 credits in Environmental science - natural science. 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 Environmental Science.

Your career opportunities depend on the profile you built with your elective courses, but include a career as an environmental expert in both business and public sectors and further research. Our graduates report job titles such as environmental officer, environmental consultant, environmental manager, researcher, and doctoral student.

Our alumni survey of 2018, which included students from 2012–2017, found that 85% found it easy to find jobs; 95% report their education was relevant for their present work; and 100% are happy with their jobs. We encourage continued collaboration with our alumni through guest lectures and workshops, and we organize alumni seminars where current students can interact with alumni.


The teaching is mainly conducted at the house of Plant Biology and Environmental Science (Carl Skottsbergs gata 22B), but can also be conducted in other buildings, for example at the School of Business, Economics and Law (Vasagatan 1), the house of Earth Science (Guldhedsgatan 5A), the Chemistry house at Chalmers and at the Zoology house (Medicinaregatan 18 A) depending on choice of courses.

Exchange opportunities

You have good opportunities to participate in an international exchange during a term. We have established contacts and exchange programs with several prominent universities abroad.