Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet

Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management

Forests worldwide are under increasing pressure to provide multiple products, ecosystem services, and to play a key role for bio-based economy.
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SLU is currently ranked as number one in forestry science. Here you can learn about history, ecology, and management of the world’s largest forest biome, which provide essential raw materials and services worldwide.

Forests serve as a home for a great diversity of organisms and cultural heritage and play vital roles in global water, carbon, and nutrient cycles. At the same time they are increasingly impacted by intensification of land use and interacting global changes such as climate change, atmospheric deposition, invasive species, and natural disturbance like wildfires.

The resulting changes in the ecosystem properties may in turn feedback to global climate, and impact upon the provision of forest products and services. Maintaining functioning forests, and the ecosystem services that they provide, will require new management strategies and the ability to deal with conflicting interests.

UN's sustainable development goals in the education

SLU's educations creates knowledge which contributes to the goals for sustainable development, both in Sweden and internationally. 

Program code: SM007
Name: Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management
Next start: autumn semester 2020
Study location: Umeå
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Level: Grundnivå
Pace of study: Helfart
Teaching form: Campus
Language: Engelska
Number of admission places: 30
Application deadline: 1/15/2020
Application code: 81068
Admission to the master´s programme Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management,

• general entry requirements: a Bachelor´s degree (equivalent to a Swedish kandidatexamen) from an internationally recognised university.
• specific entry requirements: specialisation on 60 credits in one of the following subjects/disciplinary domains:

- Forest science
- Forest management
- Biology
- Natural resource management
- Environmental science
- Soil science
- Physical geography

Furthermore is required knowledge equivalent to upper-secondary school´s course English 6.

This Master’s program targets Swedish and international students who aim for a professional or academic career in applied forest ecology, silviculture, or forest resource management. It is tailored to deepen students’ knowledge of forest ecosystems and their responses to management activities and global change factors; and ultimately to develop strategies to attain sustainable forest management.

During the program, students will gain a comprehensive skill set of ecology and management and develop into broadly competent professionals and researchers who

  • have a deep and comprehensive understanding of forest ecosystem properties and processes and how management activities affect the provision of forest products and ecosystem services and
  • have a vast set of practical and professional skills needed to make evidence-based forest management decisions to achieve multiple forest-use objectives.

Students will practice specific skills and tools frequently used in forest-related research and industries, such as data analysis, modelling, problem identification and solving, decision making, communication, and writing. The programme also emphasizes interactions between students, academic researchers, and professionals within the Swedish forestry and land-management sectors and government.

The backbone of the program consists of four courses in forest history, forest ecosystem ecology, silviculture and sustainable management of boreal forests. These courses are recommended to complete the program and can also be taken independently by students not registered in the full Master’s program.

During the two year program, students are also able to select from a wide range of elective courses and interact with leading researchers at the Forest Faculty, our sister university Umeå University, and the prestigious Umeå Plant Science Center (UPSC).

With the electives, students can broaden their knowledge of forest ecology and management into soil science, hydrology, experimental plant biology, conservation biology, and tropical forest management and/or deepen their skills in specific tools and applications like GIS, remote sensing, statistical modelling, field methods or mapping.


Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management graduates are highly competitive in the job market and qualified to continue studying in a doctoral programme. During the two years of the programme, students will learn advanced topics in forest ecology and sustainable management for multiple objectives, practical skills, and professional development. Students will interact with academics, private industries, and public agencies through lectures, field excursions, symposia, and workshops. As international programme, we will create an active social network across the world.


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