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Soils of the world and sustainable water and soil management

Soil and water management in agro-eco systems are fundamental for sustainability and climate smart production. Both soil and water resources are often under threat of being over used and/or misused, undermining both local and global food security. Managing soils and water for sustainability is complex and requires expertise in different fields depending on for example climatic conditions, landscape features and land use management in the past. This course provides an international perspective on soil and water conditions in different agro ecosystems around the world. It will provide insights into soil morphology, soil formation and the most important properties of soils and how these affect land use. The course also includes exercises in soil classification according to the “World Reference Base for Soil Resources” and fieldwork/excursions. Further, it provides understanding on physical and agro-hydrological processes affected by various soil and water management, such as soil erosion and conservation, irrigation and drainage including water productivity assessment. Tools for assessing issues around soil and water management and how to develop solutions to address these, will be introduced and tested for tropical / sub-tropical agroecosystems to improve the understanding and potential for climate smart and sustainable development.

Additional course evaluations for MV0215

Academic year 2020/2021

Soils of the world and sustainable water and soil management (MV0215-10269) 2020-08-31 - 2020-11-01

Academic year 2019/2020

Soils of the world and sustainable water and soil management (MV0215-10206) 2019-09-02 - 2019-10-31

Academic year 2018/2019

Soils of the world and sustainable water and soil management (MV0215-10120) 2018-09-03 - 2018-11-05

MV0215 Soils of the world and sustainable water and soil management, 15.0 Credits

Världens jordmåner och hållbar vatten- och markanvändning

Syllabus approved



Soil science Technology

Education cycle

Second cycle


Title Credits Code
Soils of the world  5.00 1002
Water and soil management  4.00 1003
Project and exercises  6.00 1004

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to:
• 150 ECTS first-cycle courses, including
• 60 ECTS in a scientific subject such as Biology, Agricultural Science, Soil Science, Earth Sciences, Environmental Science or Technology,
• 10 ECTS Chemistry,
• 10 ECTS Biology,
• 20 ECTS Soil Science or Earth Sciences
• a level of English equivalent to upper-seconday-school English (Engelska 6).


The objective is to provide the student with knowledge of the global soil resources and of methods to address soil degradation and agricultural production through soil and water management strategies. Further the course will provide deeper expertise on approaches and aids that are used for characterisation of soils, and to suggest appropriate soil and water use in the agro-ecological landscapes in national and international contexts.

On completion of the course students will be able to:
• describe the variation of soil properties in the world and how different processes, environmental conditions and human activities influence these properties,
• describe soils in the field, classify them and evaluate their properties,
• understand principal processes of soil and water degradation, and how soil and water management technologies contribute to soil health (in different agro-ecological landscapes),
• propose measures that build soil health through soil and water management practices in selected problem situations,
• critically evaluate feasibility of proposed solutions around soil and water management for sustainable land use in selected problem situations.


The course is based on a combination of lectures, exercises and field excursions. Skills will be further developed through project work around selected problem situations.

The course covers the following topics:
• how natural and anthropogenic factors and processes alter soils,,
• soil formation processes, properties and use of soils in different climatic and other site conditions,
• classification of soils, including soil profile description,
• land evaluation according to international reference systems and interpretation of soil and land evaluation maps,
• water and soil management technologies and sustainable land management that can build soil health and promote agricultural production: basic principles, methods and design on drainage and diversion solutions (such as ditches and pipes), soil erosion control, water harvesting and storage, irrigation technologies, water use efficiency, methods to avoid salinization,
• project on water management and soil conservation in case study areas.

Formats and requirements for examination

The following is required for a pass mark on the course:
• passed written or oral examination,
• approved reporting of exercises and assignments including project work,
• active participation in compulsory components; the latter comprise field excursions, selected exercises and group project activities.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Responsible department

Department of Soil and Environment

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom naturresurser och jordbruk (PN - NJ)
Replaces: MV0197, MV0206
There are no Grading criteria posted for this course

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Agriculture Programme - Soil/Plant EnvEuro - European Master in Environmental Science Soil, Water and Environment – Master´s Programme Agriculture Programme - Soil/Plant (270hec) Soil and Water Management - Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Soil science Technology
Course code: MV0215 Application code: SLU-10192 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Soil and Environment Pace: 100%