Master's Programme in Earth Science – Geology

120 credits

Do you want to impact the future of exploration and extraction of mineral resources? Want to contribute to safe and sustainable locations of buildings, 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 sustainable future.

Autumn 2023 Autumn 2023, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

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 fieldwork 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.


The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Earth Science as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

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 on 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 ongoing 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 the programme outline for courses within the programme.

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 the 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 the 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 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, and ÅF Infrastructure AB. Job titles include exploration geologists, geologists, engineering geologists, etc.

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.