Master’s studies

Geology - Master Programme in Earth Science 2018/2019

Photo for Geology - Master Programme in Earth Science 2018/2019

Want to have an impact on the future of exploration and extraction of mineral resources? Contribute to safe and sustainable location of building, tunnels or nuclear waste? Or make your mark in informed natural hazard mitigation associated with volcanoes and landslides? The Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Geology, 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.

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.
Research activities in mineralogy, petrology and tectonics focus on: 1) The physical and chemical properties, age and conditions of formation for a wide range of natural and synthetic minerals and glass. 2) Processes of magma generation, evolution and storage and contribution of volcanic eruptions to natural hazards and climate. 3) Ore formation and hydrothermal processes. 4) Tectonothermal evolution of mountain belts and subduction. 4) Deformation at different scales and across different settings from slat diapirs, faults and thrusts and mountain belts to landslides and volcano-magmatic systems.
Applied research in earth science is directed towards questions of importance for our civilisation including mineral resources and recycling of waste dumps and tailings, geotechnical applications, geothermal energy and natural hazards associated with landslides and volcanoes and carbon dioxide sequestration, which are all fundamental in the perspectives of sustainable development and global economy.

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Geology, focuses on mineral and rock formation and deformation in a wide range of geological environments through courses focused on mineralogy and petrology, regional geology, ores and surficial deposits and tectonics, which reflect the main themes of the research programme. This specialisation is aimed at preparing 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. In addition projects within the courses provide experience with 3D modelling, analogue tectonic modelling, as well as geochemical, thermobarometric and thermodynamic modelling.
The courses in each specialisation prepare you for one or two degree projects, each corresponding to one semester or more (20 to 30 weeks).


The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Earth Science as the main field of study.

All specialisations of this programme


The first semester of the Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Geology, starts with a choice between 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 of 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 forces 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 outlines for courses within the specialisations:

European Palaeobiology Specialisation (Uppsala-Lille)
Physical geography
Sustainable and Innovative Natural Resource Management

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.


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.
Our alumni work in a wide range of the industrial and research sectors. Similarly with a MSc in Earth Science and specialisation in geology 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.



120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

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

Contact and further resources

Department of Earth Sciences

Geocentrum, Villav. 16 752 36 Uppsala

Villav. 16, 752 36 UPPSALA

Fax: 018-471 2592

For programme-specific information, please contact: Study Counsellor

Telephone: +46 18 471 25 07

Abigail Barker

Telephone: +46 18 471 25 52

For general information about Master's studies at Uppsala University, please send an email to: