Sea and Society, Master's Programme
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.
Sea and Society is a transdisciplinary programme where students, teachers, researchers, and professionals from different disciplines come together to learn, exchange, and create new knowledge about the sustainable use of the sea and its resources.
During your studies, you will develop a broad skillset for a career in marine and maritime authorities, industry, environmental courts, and the marine sciences.
You will be prepared to respond to increasingly complex challenges arising from humans’ impact on the oceans.
Our ocean is under increasing pressure from unsustainable human activities; yet, we depend on it. From overfishing, to rapid coastal development, to increased pollution, marine resources are deteriorating at an increasing rate, resulting in conflicts and loss of biodiversity. To understand and manage this complexity, integrated knowledge from several disciplines is needed, including history, social sciences, economy, law, and natural sciences; thus, we developed a master’s programme called Sea and Society.
Building a strong transdisciplinary toolset
The University of Gothenburg is one of Sweden’s most complete environments for marine and maritime research and education with a unique breadth and transdisciplinary collaboration. We utilize this integrated knowledge to produce a new generation of professionals who understand the interactions between the marine ecosystem and socioeconomic systems.
You will develop tools to address complex challenges facing the marine environment and be prepared to go back to society and work towards sustainable development of humans’ use of the sea.
Graduates receive the degree Master of Science with a major in Sea and Society.
Broad training for a career in various fields
Coursework addresses the historical relationship between humans and the sea, sustainable use and spatial context of marine resources, and the governance and management of the marine environment. Lectures, seminars, group and individual projects, and written reports are complemented with opportunities to access our unique marine infrastructure. Some courses integrate field trips to Kristineberg Marine Research Station and Tjärnö Marine Laboratory. Additionally, you will attend seminars like the Sea and Society Talks and visits to authorities and intergovernmental organizations.
Leading the way in research-based sustainable action
The University hosts the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment and the Centre for Sea and Society – a collaborative environment where academia, actors from society and private sector meet, listen, share knowledge about the sea and society, and produce research results that can contribute to innovation and a sustainable blue growth. The Centre collaborates with Swedish marine environmental authorities to ensure current research results are applied in managing the sea. We welcome a diverse array of guest lecturers from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, County Administrative Boards, Environmental courts, the Gothenburg Region, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute, the Maritime Museum, and universities in Sweden, Norway, and Ireland.
Meet our students
During the programme, you have the opportunity to do an internship or participate in international research projects. Lukas did his internship at the Ministry of Environment; Eric participated in a project that develops a web tool for marine planning in the western Indian Ocean.
Programme structure and content
The first two semesters consist of four mandatory core transdisciplinary courses:
- The Sea and Society Relationship: Historical Perspectives, Present Status, and Future Challenges
- Blue Economy and Sustainable Use of Marine Resources
- European Marine Directives and Policies: An Interdisciplinary Perspective
- Seascape Governance in Times of Global Change
During the third semester, you can choose between an internship, exchange studies, or elective courses, provided you meet the requirements for each course. Here are some examples of electives:
- Environmental economics
- Conservation and the Genetics of Populations
- Marine Aquaculture
- Primary Producers of the Sea
- Marine Biodiversity
- Experimental Marine Ecology
- Physical Oceanography
- Remote Sensing
- Marine project - From idea to action
The fourth semester is dedicated to your master's thesis project.
Who should apply?
Are you interested in how human society is linked to the marine environment and ecosystem? Do you want to explore how commercial activities in the marine environment can be sustainably managed and governed?
Are you passionate about the ocean and concerned with how climate change and micro plastics influence our future? Do you want to be part of the solution?
If you want a toolset to address increasingly complex problems facing our marine environment and ecosystem and contribute to a sustainable development of humans’ use of the sea, then apply now.
Prerequisites and selection
A Bachelor's degree (180 credits) and English B/English 6 at upper secondary level or equivalent IELTS 6.5 where no section may be less than 5.5, or TOEFL 575 points, TWE 4.5 points.
The selection process is based on previous university studies as well as the applicant's motivation letter and CV. Your application should include a motivation letter and CV. No particular templates are available; standard praxis applies. Submit these documents in your application at UniversityAdmissions.se
Graduates of the programme receive the degree Master of Science with a major in Sea and Society.
You will be prepared for a career in fields where interdisciplinary work is needed, including national and international marine and maritime industries, authorities, and regulatory bodies, research institutes, universities, environmental courts, NGOs, and consultancy firms in shipping, fishery, aquaculture, coastal management, environmental management and policy, and marine and coastal planning.
In addition, you will have the necessary tools and knowledge to pursue an academic career with further doctoral studies. Some examples of fields of study are within interdisciplinary ocean science, environmental social science, and sustainability science.
Through the Sea and Society alumni network, current and past students can interact, create new contacts, share information, keep informed about job opportunities and upcoming relevant events including Sea and Society Day every autumn, and return as guest lecturers or workshop leaders.
What do our students work with after graduation?
Our students have careers in many different fields.
Click on the link below to read interviews with our former students and learn what they work with today:
The Gothenburg region offers proximity to a wide range of marine environments and our facilities include research stations and vessels.
Expand your perspectives even more by participating in exchange studies abroad or completing an internship or your master’s thesis project in collaboration with our partners in marine and maritime authorities, agencies, institutes, or industry. Studying in another academic environment or working in another country and context allows you to broaden your knowledge and understanding of other cultures and prepares you to think globally