Master’s studies

Environmental Toxicology - Master Programme in Biology 2018/2019

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The Master Programme in Biology is a first-class programme that gives you the freedom to create your own profile. We offer a broad range of courses (both in class and individual) making it possible for you to improve your personal competitiveness. The required subject depth and complementary knowledge within your education opens up the job market for you. All teachers for the individual courses in the Master Programme in Biology are active scientists, ensuring that you will get an education that reaches to the absolute forefront of the respective field.

Why this programme?

The Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Environmental Toxicology, covers the entire chain of the impact of chemicals on nature, from biochemical processes in living cells, via physiological effects on cells, organs and individuals to consequences at population and ecosystem levels. The programme has substantial applied aspects within fields such as risk assessment, environmental impact descriptions and the testing of chemicals.

Are you interested in how chemicals may affect humans and wildlife and how chemical hazards and risks are identified? If so, this is the right specialisation for you. After your Master's studies you can either work as an environmental toxicologist in a company or in an authority at the governmental, county or municipal level. You may also continue with doctoral studies in toxicology or environmental toxicology.

For this specialisation we recommend that you start with a good knowledge of chemistry and animal physiology. 


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

All specialisations of this programme


The Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Environmental Toxicology, starts with the course Toxicology D, but students who already have a strong background in toxicology may instead choose Limnology D or Ecology D. With the aim to provide a deeper understanding of toxicological sciences, the course in toxicology will integrate theoretical knowledge with hands on experience of different toxicological methods and concepts. The course covers a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from effects on a cellular level, through specific organ toxicity to the subsequent application in risk assessment of chemicals.

The next course, Ecotoxicology, deals with chemicals in the environment – for example their origin, fate, distribution and effects. Within this course, short projects focusing on current ecotoxicological problems will give you an idea about the job assignments of professional ecotoxicologists, for example, environmental risk assessment.

During the first period of the spring term, Swedish students have the opportunity to take the course Miljö- och förvaltningsrätt för naturvetare, which is included in this specialisation because there is a need of this competence when working with risk assessment and management. Students who want a deeper molecular and/or physiological understanding and those aiming for PhD studies are advised to take a course within the areas molecular biology, neuroscience or immunology.

The final course of the second term, Toxicology and Risk Assessment, will increase your knowledge in toxicology and give practical experience in human health risk assessment. This kind of competence is requested if you plan to work in authorities or in the chemical/pharmaceutical industry.

During the second year, you can study one or two regular courses, or combine a research training course with a degree project of 30 or 45 credits. This allows you to prepare well for an academic career as well as a career outside academia.

Learning experience

Biology instruction at Uppsala University is done in close connection to current research. All lecturers and tutors in the Master Programme in Biology are also active researchers in the field.

The courses provide factual knowledge and practical training in the form of laboratory work and field trips, as well as the ability to solve problems, think analytically and work scientifically. Communication training is integrated in the courses of the programme.

The Master Programme in Biology has a strong international character, and all courses are held in English. The Master Programme in Biology is a full-time programme. The duration of the Master Programme in Biology is two years, commencing from 3 September 2018 until 7 June 2020.


The Master Programme in Biology, specialising in Environmental Toxicology, is an entry port for PhD training in Sweden as well as abroad. Your most important merit in that respect is your degree project. With a careful choice of the courses and topic for your degree project you will leave this specialisation with a solid theoretical knowledge regarding harmful substances inside and outside your body in cell as well as practical knowledge of the methods you need to study them.

As a student in this specialisation you will acquire knowledge and skills that are on-demand in today’s society. Most likely the need of environmental toxicologists in private companies and in public institutions will increase in the near future due to the new chemical legislation within EU (REACH). Already today you can find environmental toxicologists at public institutions (e.g. Medical Product Agency, National Food Administration, Swedish Chemicals Agency, Environmental Protection Agency) and private companies within the environmental protection sector (e.g. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, SWECO, Golder Associates).

As a biologist, you can also work as a teacher or science journalist.


You apply to all specialisations through except for the Erasmus Mundus Master Programme in Evolutionary Biology (MEME); for this specialisation you apply through

Environmental Toxicology

120 credits

Autumn 2018 - 100 % - Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application Deadline: 2018-01-15

Enrolment Code: UU-M1137 Application

Language of Instruction: English

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

  • 40 weeks of full-time studies (60 credits) in biology; and
  • 20 weeks of full-time studies (30 credits) in chemistry.
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

Biology Education Centre

EBC, Norbyv 14 / BMC, A8:1

Norbyv 14, 752 36 UPPSALA/Box 592, 751 24 UPPSALA

Fax: 018-471 4687 Fax: 018-471 4689


For programme-specific information, please contact: Brita Svensson

Telephone: +46 18 471 28 79

Questions concerning admission: Fredrik Sundström

Telephone: +46 18 471 48 35

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