Geology - Master Programme in Earth Science 2019/2020

Photo for Geology - Master Programme in Earth Science 2019/2020

Want to have an impact on the future of exploration and extraction of mineral resources and contribute to safe and sustainable location of building, tunnels or nuclear waste? Maybe you want to make your mark in informed natural hazard mitigation associated with volcanoes and landslides? Specialising in geology will enable you to find a balance between using and preserving Earth's resources and reducing the environmental impact for a healthy sustainable future.

Why this programme?

The specialisation in Geology, within the Master Programme in Earth Science, will enable you to explore from nanoscale to plate tectonic scale, active systems to the Archean and from formation to deformation, and find a balance between using and preserving Earth's resources and reducing the environmental impact for a healthy sustainable future.

This specialisation focuses on mineral and rock formation and deformation in a wide range of geological environments through courses on mineralogy and petrology, regional geology, ores and surficial deposits and tectonics. It prepares you for a research career or employment as a professional geologist.

There is significant emphasis on geochemistry and geochronology as tools to understand geological processes. Projects within the courses also provide experience with 3D modelling, analogue tectonic modelling, as well as geochemical, thermobarometric and thermodynamic modelling.

During the programme you can expect to:

  • learn diverse applications of minerals and tectonics
  • learn how to find a balance between using and preserving Earth's resources
  • learn 3D modelling and analogue tectonic modelling as well as geochemical, thermobarometric and thermodynamic modelling
The Department of Earth Sciences at Uppsala University is one of the most comprehensive academic departments of its kind in Europe. Research in Earth Science focuses on subjects that range from the Earth's core to the atmosphere, on scales from sub-microscopic minerals and fossils to the formation of mountains and oceans, and in time from the formation of the Earth to the processes currently reshaping the planet.

Student profile
You have a strong foundation in Earth Science and during your bachelor education you gained some experience doing field work as well as analysing your data in a laboratory. 

You can critically analyse and reflect on problems and are creative and innovative enough to come up with your own ideas. Therefore you expect to contribute as much to the educational experience of others as you expect to learn from their experience and knowledge.

A future PhD education is a possibility you might have thought about and would value an opportunity to get in closer contact with current research by working in a research group while doing your Master's studies. 

Related programmes
Sustainable Development

All specialisations of this programme


The first semester starts with a choice between the courses Dynamics of Earth Systems - Global Change and Applied Geoinformatics or Exploration and Environmental Geophysics. The course Dynamics of Earth Systems - Global Change provides a chance to explore the current research in Earth systems, interactions between Earth systems and how they change with time. The applied GIS course offers case studies relevant to the different areas within Earth Sciences.

These are followed by a course in presentation and publication that provides training and experience in presentation skills alongside analytical methods where you are provided with theoretical background in a wide range of geochemical methods and practical 'hands on' experience of raman spectroscopy and electron microprobe techniques.

A course in Mineralogy and Petrology focuses on minerals, their structures, chemistry, conditions of formation and occurrence as well as magmatic and metamorphic processes. The Regional Geology course presents and discusses the geological, geochronological and geochemical evidence for orogenic events in Scandinavia compared with on-going orogens in the Andes, New Zealand, and the Himalayas.

The field project in geology provides an opportunity to study the occurrence of rocks in their natural environment to develop a geological map. The course Ore and Surficial Deposits investigates the formation, composition and distribution of ore and quaternary deposits. The tectonics course considers the processes and features formed due to deformation generated by plate tectonics through geological time with examples of mountains and magma chambers.

Such courses provide valuable preparation for your research thesis as well as a career in industry or research.

Courses within the programme

See outline for courses within the specialisation.

Learning experience

The teachers in the Master Programme in Earth Science are experts in their respective fields, giving you up-to-date contact with front-line research in an open and creative educational atmosphere. The teaching consists of a balanced mix of theoretical and practical work providing experience in both research and industry oriented applications. Excursions, fieldwork and study visits are included in some courses.

Instruction in the Master's programme builds on your experience and knowledge from your previous education. You are expected to actively participate and contribute to the learning environment and take responsibility for your own and others learning. The teachers are responsible for creating opportunities for active learning at the individual and group level. Purposeful and respectful dialogue between teachers and students contributes to constant improvement and development of courses.

Examination generally includes written exams, complemented by seminar presentations/discussions, project work, laboratory work and field reports.


Our alumni work in a wide range of the industrial and research sectors. Employment opportunities are found as exploration or mine geologists, in the geotechnical industry, in geochemistry, in geothermal energy, and with natural hazards. The need for professional geologists has increased considerably during the last few years both on a local and global scale, due to the increasing demands for natural resources and infrastructure.

Our graduates work at, for example, Boliden, Coast Mountain Geological group Ltd, ÅF Infrastructure AB. Job titles include exploration geologists, geologist, engineering geologist.

The Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Geology, provides you with knowledge and skills for a career as a qualified professional in industry, the public sector and consultancy firms. You may also choose to pursue research by continuing with doctoral studies.

Career support
When you are about to finish your studies and want to start planning for your next step in life, you are welcome to UU Careers for support and guidance. You are also welcome to a variety of career activities and events all through your stay at Uppsala University. Of course, the services are free of charge. Learn more about UU career support.



120 credits

Autumn 2019 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2019-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1270 Application

Language of Instruction: English

Academic requirements
A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university.
Also required is:

  • 90 credits in earth science and 15 credits in chemistry; or
  • 90 credits in physics and 30 credits in earth science (geophysics); or
  • 90 credits in geology.
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency that corresponds to English studies at upper secondary (high school) level in Sweden ("English 6"). This can be done in a number of ways, including through an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS, or through previous upper secondary (high school) or university studies.
The minimum test scores are:
  • IELTS: an overall mark of 6.5 and no section below 5.5
  • TOEFL: Paper-based: Score of 4.5 (scale 1–6) in written test and a total score of 575. Internet-based: Score of 20 (scale 0–30) in written test and a total score of 90
  • Cambridge: CAE, CPE
More information about English language requirements

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • a total appraisal of quantity and quality of previous university studies; and
  • a statement of purpose (1 page).


If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.

Application Fee: SEK 900

Tuition fee, first semester: SEK 72500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290000