Marine Science, 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


The master’s programme in Marine Science is interdisciplinary. The programme gives you broad knowledge of the ocean as a system, and develops your analytical abilities preparing you to help solve tomorrow’s problems in marine sciences.

Based on your previous studies, you can choose courses within physical oceanography, marine biology, marine chemistry, or marine geology.

The program equips you to work with sustainability, and global challenges caused by, for example, climate change and a growing population.


The oceans remain one of our few unknowns. Marine exploration continues at an unprecedented scale, as does the ever-increasing exploitation of the oceans. More than 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by oceans. The heat capacity of the oceans is several hundred times larger than the atmospheric, ocean primary production rivals the terrestrial, and 40% of the human population lives less than 50 kilometres from a coastline.

With the ocean such an integral part of human life and society, the demand for skilled marine scientists capable of addressing increasing complex problems is growing, with more diverse, challenging, and interesting opportunities compared to just ten years ago. You will gain broad insights to the ocean as a system and graduate armed with the analytical tools and skills necessary to take on complex projects for a wide variety of employers.

A comprehensive and interdisciplinary programme

The Department of Marine Sciences harbours all disciplines of marine research: physical oceanography, marine biology, marine chemistry, marine geology, and even conservation of marine heritage. Our approach to the ocean is system oriented and interdisciplinary. We base this approach on the notion that the ocean is different from terrestrial systems in many fundamental ways.

We have highly qualified lecturers in all core disciplines, positioning themselves and the department at the forefront internationally. The lecturers are well connected nationally as well as internationally, and it is not uncommon for students to pursue part of their education in another university or country.

Since we are a relatively young department, formed from several disciplines, the lecturers are also well connected with the other departments within the University, and there are several trans-institutional research projects underway.

Rich and dynamic field work

Problem-based field work is an integral part of our teaching, and the Gothenburg region offers proximity to a wide range of marine environments, with different fresh water inputs, tidal ranges, and various atmospheric, terrestrial, and human influences. You will perform your study tasks not only in the city of Gothenburg, but also at our research stations Kristineberg and Tjärnö and on board our research vessels.

You will have access to a fleet of autonomous vehicles such as gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, benthic landers, and sail buoys to explore the coastal waters of Gothenburg, which have higher diversity of marine species than anywhere else in Sweden.

In-depth project-based course

You will have one mandatory course: Marine Project—from idea to action. Through seminars, workshops, lectures, and group and stakeholder meetings, you will be trained to plan, execute, and disseminate a marine project, including the key processes of budget, sampling design, variables to be measured, and communication with stakeholders.

Programme structure and content

You will develop an individual study plan including courses in physical oceanography, marine biology, marine chemistry, or marine geology, depending on your background. See link below (and links therein) for information on suggested courses within the different fields.

Your final thesis project is carried out in cooperation with one or several marine researchers. You may conduct it over one–two semesters.

More information about programme structure and content

Who should apply?

Do you love the ocean? Do you want to contribute to a sustainable future by addressing complex global issues within our oceans?

If you have a background in marine science, oceanography, biology, chemistry, or earth sciences, and want to gain a more comprehensive skillset, then apply for the master’s programme in Marine Science.

Prerequisites and selection


A Bachelor's degree in one of the subjects; Marine Sciences, Biology, Chemistry, Oceanography or Earth Science at an accredited University, including at least 90 ECTS in the major subject, including a project work. 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 Marine Science.

Our graduates find employers within industry, consultancy, all levels of government, and academia.

Marine scientists are sought after to handle a wide range of tasks because of the integrated and systematic approach we apply when investigating the ocean. Marine scientists typically work with tasks related to fishery and maritime industry; energy and resources; environmental management and policy; and marine, coastal, and urban planning.

Since the ocean remains a field of continuous exploration, many tasks include an element of research.


Gothenburg is situated at the west coast of Sweden and is close to the open sea. The Gothenburg region offers proximity to a wide range of marine environments, with different fresh water inputs, tidal ranges, and various atmospheric, terrestrial, and human influences.

Our facilities include marine research stations, smaller and larger research vessels, and a fleet of autonomous vehicles such as gliders, autonomous underwater vehicles, benthic landers, and sail buoys.

We welcome researchers and students from all over the world. During your studies, you will therefore meet both national and international researchers and teachers.

Read more about our study facilities at the Botany Building, our marine research stations, and our new state-of-the-art research vessel Skagerak in the link below.

More information about facilities

Exchange opportunities

Exchange studies allow you to complete 1-2 semesters of your study programme at a foreign university without tuition fees at the host institution. Going on an exchange will not delay your expected graduation date.

More information about exchange opportunities


The Erasmus programme gives you, as a student at the University of Gothenburg, the opportunity to apply for a placement grant for a work placement in Europe (outside of Sweden).

More information about Internship