Geology - Master's Programme in Earth Science

Academic year 2022/2023

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Do you 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? The Master's Programme in Earth Science, 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?

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's 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


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

All specialisations of this programme

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Read the interview
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Name: Renae Gupta
From: USA
Studying: Master's Programme in Earth Science - Geology

Why did you choose your programme?
- My professor from my Bachelor’s degree in NZ recommended Uppsala University, as top-level researchers are conducting various projects related to volcanology. After looking into the programme further, I also found a strong focus on enhancing a student’s ability to read, understand, and interpret modern scientific research and literature. The research at the University and the courses made me feel confident that completing this programme would prepare me to conduct my own research with confidence and ability.

What is it like to be an international student?
- Uppsala is an international hub and both professors and students come from all around the world. International students bond quickly over how unique and compelling the experience is. Everyone in Sweden speaks excellent English, so getting around the city is easy even when you first arrive. Uppsala University also offers free Swedish courses for students interested in learning and enhancing their experience here in Sweden.  

What is the best thing about studying at Uppsala University?
- The researchers at Uppsala University create an atmosphere where you feel comfortable expressing ideas and questions about content in classes and personal interests. Many of the courses are designed with seminars and presentations, which allows you to converse with lecturers and students on a peer to peer level and gain confidence in expressing your ideas. I have also found that a lot of the research at the University cooperates with other universities and organisations, meaning a degree here opens up work and study opportunities in Sweden and many other places around the world.

How did you experience your first few days in Sweden?
- I arrived in Sweden a few weeks before classes started so that I could travel around and get a feel for Sweden. Transportation was accessible - trains and busses connect many cities, allowing easy travel to Stockholm or some of the nature reserves dotted around. One week before classes start, an orientation week is hosted by the University and the student nations. There are endless activities and events to help students connect and have fun.

Describe what a normal day is like for you.
- I start my day by biking to Geocentrum, which takes just 15 minutes from my student accommodation. During the end of summer and fall, I walk to the botanical gardens from Geocentrum in just 5 minutes where many of us would get together and have lunch on the lawn or walk in the park. After classes, I take some time to do some exercise in one of the many nature areas around the city. There are plenty of gyms to choose from in the winter as well as ice skating and skiing. At weekends I usually get together with friends and enjoy a fika or have a cheap beer at one of the student nations.

What is your best experience so far?
- The best experience so far has been seeing the northern lights in winter. There is an app that alerts you when they might be visible. If you are lucky, you can go to Uppsala Castle, Gamla Uppsala, or just watch them outside your building. Having a completely international group of people bundled up, standing outside in the freezing cold at two in the morning surrounded by dancing northern lights, is a breath-taking experience. 

Spring 2022.

Register your interest


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's 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's 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. 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, etc.

Salary in Sweden can vary greatly depending on education level, work task, previous experience, location, sector, etc. According to one of the largest Swedish work union SACO's statistics (in Swedish), the average salary of geologists in Sweden in 2014 was about SEK 35 700 per month before tax. SACO's prediction for the coming three years (till 2023) shows that the labour market for newly graduated geologist in Sweden will remain in balance and will be in high demand for experienced geologists.

Career support
During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.


Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose (you can for example write about your Bachelor's thesis, relevant experience and motivation in the statement of purpose).


120 credits

Autumn 2022, 100%, Campus

Location: Uppsala

Application deadline: 17 January 2022

Application 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
Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at

Selection: Students are selected based on:

  • an overall appraisal of previous university studies,
  • relevance of the Bachelor's thesis,
  • relevant experience such as field work, internships, summer jobs, work experience, previous studies abroad, involvement in student union or academic societies, communication skills, and
  • a statement of purpose that clearly provides a motivation for the chosen programme and specialisation.


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 72,500

Tuition fee, total: SEK 290,000

Contact and further resources

Is this programme right for you?


For programme-specific information, please contact our Study Counsellor

+46 18 471 25 07

For admissions-related or general information, please contact our applicant support team:

Programme director Abigail Barker

+46 18 471 25 52

Department of Earth Sciences

Geocentrum, Villavägen 16 752 36 Uppsala

Villavägen 16, 752 36 UPPSALA

Last modified: 2022-05-13