Master’s programme in Physical Geography & Ecosystems Science
Bachelor s degree representing 180 ECTS in scientific or technical subjects. When a student is accepted into the programme s/he is guaranteed a place on all courses on condition that s/he fulfils the particular entry requirements for each course.
The programme leads to several different professional roles. These could be work with climate and water issues, nature conservation planning in a local authority, foreign aid work, EU related issues, handling of data and development of analytical methods.
During the programme a range of courses is offered and as a student you will be are able to choose from many specialisations as subject for your master thesis in the following subjects:
- Global environments and global cycling
- Climatology and climate change
- Ecosystems analysis
- Methods of environmental analysis
- GIS with a specialisation in environmental issues
- Remote sensing with a specialisation in environmental issues
A MSc from our department requires 45 credits from our courses plus the master degree project, which means 45 credits elective courses and exchange possibilities.
Study plan, year 1
Starting with the autumn semester:
Greenhouse gases and biogeochemical cycles
In this course you will gain theoretical and practical knowledge in ecosystem analysis with a special focus on the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and greenhouse gases. You will also learn about feedback mechanisms that affect cycles and what they mean for climate and climate change. During the course, a trip is made to northern Sweden with field exercises in the area around Abisko, which is a subarctic environment.
Climate change and its impact on the environment
You will learn to study the causal relationships that can explain climate variations and changes. You will use models and modeled scenarios to study global and regional climate change and possible effects on, for example, hydrology, water resources, ecosystems and ecosystem processes, biodiversity, biogeography, wind energy and storm damage.
Ecosystem modeling (alternative 1, spring term period 1)
Simulation models are important tools in the environmental sector to produce a basis for environmental policy decisions and planning. In research contexts, modeling is used to describe complex systems. and to increase understanding of different ecosystems. This course addresses some of the different models used in ecosystem and environmental sectors, industries and research disciplines.
Spatial Analysis 7.5 credits and Geographic Databases 7.5 credits (alternative 2, spring term period 1)
In the course Spatial Analysis, you will gain knowledge about correlations between geographical data, regression methods, geostatistics, the scale problems in spatial analysis and geographical data, and basic structure of geographical decision support systems. The course Geographic databases contains theoretical and practical concepts in geographical databases, including design, implementation and application aspects. Note that the two courses require that you already have 30 credits of GIS.
Satellite remote sensing
In this course, you will gain knowledge in digital satellite-based remote sensing for studies of the earth's environment and the human impact on it. You will also learn data processing and image processing methods and thematic map production. The course gives you an overview of important application areas, such as climate, forestry, urban applications and water management and how to use satellite data.
Study plan, year 2
Starting with the autumn semster:
Biosphere-atmosphere interactions (alternative 1)
The course is about the processes that control the state and flow of mass and energy in the system of soil-vegetation-atmosphere. The emphasis is on energy exchange and the water cycle. As a student on the course, you get an overall picture of the system and the interaction between the various physical and biological processes. You will also learn different measurement techniques. The course gives you a good foundation for work that relates to the long-term use and utilization of our land-based ecosystems.
Geographic information systems, basic course (alternative 2)
You learn cartography, geographic information in digital formats, basic analysis of geographic data, present information in digital maps and more. GIS is a very useful tool in nature conservation, urban planning, analysis and other areas, and is therefore a sought-after knowledge of many employers.
Global ecosystem dynamics
The course is about ecosystem processes in natural, production-oriented and urban ecosystems. You study how ecosystem processes are affected by direct and indirect climate effects, as well as by different actors and their need for ecosystem services. The course has an interdisciplinary perspective to illuminate the interaction between local, regional and global drivers and changes.
Degree project master (30 credits)
The degree project is your independent work, where you immerse yourself in a topic that interests you. You have a supervisor and can, for example, do your degree project in one of the research projects that our talented researchers at the department work with. You can also choose to do your degree project in collaboration with companies, other universities or organizations. You make the layout and subject delimitation in consultation with your supervisor.