Master’s studies

Hydrology/Hydrogeology - Master Programme in Earth Science 2018/2019

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Do you want to take part in the management of our water? Or study how to meet water-related disasters? Or perhaps get in-depth knowledge and understanding of how water flow at Earth surface of in the ground? Are you interested in water chemistry and its interplay with the environment? The Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Hydrology/Hydrogeology, combines studies in hydrological processes such as runoff, ground water formation and flow as well as how we use water resources and the human-water interactions.

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 in hydrology at the department is focusing on surface runoff, groundwater formation and flow of water in both the saturated and unsaturated ground. It is also oriented towards modelling of hydrological processes and use of these processes to improve our management of water resources both on local and global scale. The research includes also the influence of pollution, impact of climate and land use on the aquatic environment and biogeochemical processes. We also focus on natural disasters and how their effects can be managed.

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Earth Science, specialising in Hydrology/Hydrogeology, focuses on processes relating to water at or near the Earth’s surface and the water-human interaction. The programme combines advanced courses on fundamental hydrological processes, and the modelling of groundwater and surface water with hydrochemistry and field methods. It also gives a good knowledge in management of water resources in our society.

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 Hydrology/Hydrogeology, 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 courses in climate variations as well as statistical and data analysis.

The second semester starts with courses in hydrological processes and environmental assessment. The hydrological processes course focus different aspects of the hydrological cycle and how to describe qualitatively and quantitatively water flow and storage of water within the cycle. They are followed by course in ground and surface water modelling in parallel with a course in field techniques and methods.

The third semester of the specialisation starts with a set of three courses. One of the courses focus on distribution and treatment of drinking water. The second course investigates on the interplay between hydrological regimes and the society and our land use and how hydrological resources (dams and reservoirs) are used to meet society needs. The third course is a seminar course in current research topics within physical geography and hydrology. The semester ends with two parallel courses, where one course is investigating the physical and chemical properties of natural snow, ecology as well the energy balance and melt dynamics of snow covered landscape. The second course is studying the disaster cycle (mitigation, preparation, response and recovery) in relation to natural hazards.

The fourth and last semester of the specialisation is a degree project in the form of an independent project.

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 Hydrology/Hydrogeology, prepares you with skills and knowledge for a career a professional hydrologist, hydrogeologist within private or governmental organisations. The programme also provides good opportunities for a postgraduate education with subsequent research careers. Employment opportunities are found as a hydrologist/geohydrologist in environmental and natural resource management and in academia.



120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1272 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 mathematics; or
  • 90 credits in technology/engineering or physics and 30 credits in earth science or environmental science.
Language requirements
All applicants need to verify English language proficiency. This is normally attested by an internationally recognised test such as TOEFL or IELTS with the following minimum scores:
  • 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
Exemptions for students from certain countries.

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: