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Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management MSc with a major in Forestry Science or Biology

Do you want to study Forest Ecology at the university ranked as number one in forestry science? Then look no further - this is the Master’s programme for you.
Apply now


Forests worldwide play a key role in the bio-based economy; and this pressure to provide multiple products and services is putting forests under increasing pressure. Forests must also be maintained and developed, which requires knowledge of conservation ecology and sustainable forest management. The courses in this Master’s programme cover precisely these subjects, making this the ideal degree if you’re aiming for a career in applied forest ecology, silviculture and/or forest management.   

As a student you will attend lectures carried out in close cooperation with research in ecology and forest management. The courses focus on the northern coniferous forest and you will learn about forest ecology and management of this ecosystem, as well as understand the complexity of issues such as global change and the many diverse roles of the forest.  

After graduation, your specialist knowledge will make you an attractive employee in the job market, qualified to work as a specialist or advisor at a governmental authority, municipality or forestry company. Furthermore, you will be well prepared to continue your studies in a PhD programme.


Name: Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management (MSc)
Level: Master
Language: English
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Next start: Autumn semester 2024

Tuition Fees: Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland are required to pay application and tuition fees.

First semester: SEK 76000
Total: SEK 304000

Application deadline for international students: 2024-01-15
Application deadline for Swedish students: 2024-04-15

Study location: Umeå
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: On-campus
Application code for Swedish students: 81069
Application code for international students: 81068

Selection: Högskolepoäng


To be admitted to the Master’s programme Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management, the following criteria must be met:
General entry requirements: first-cycle qualification comprising at least 180 credits or a corresponding qualification from abroad
Specific entry requirements: specialisation comprising at least 60 credits in one of the following subjects/disciplinary domains:
- Forestry Science
- Forest Management 
- Forest Science
- Biology
- Soil Science
- Environmental Science
- Natural Resource Governance
- Physical Geography
and 15 credits in ecology.
In addition, knowledge equivalent of English 6 is required. SLU regulations state that applicants may meet this requirement if they were awarded a first-cycle degree from a Swedish university, or have completed 120 credits at SLU. For applicants from some English speaking countries certain rules may apply.
The specific entry requirements can also be met by someone who has acquired the equivalent knowledge through a corresponding qualification from abroad or in some other way.
For admission to the courses included in the programme, there are specific entry requirements for each course; these are described in the course syllabus.


Degree awarded upon completion of the programme

The Master’s programme Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management aims at a Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Biology or, alternatively, Forestry Science as the main field of study, a general qualification.

Students who fulfill the qualification requirements for the Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) will be provided with a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Biology (masterexamen med huvudområdet biologi) or, alternatively, Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Forestry Science (masterexamen med huvudområdet skogsbruksvetenskap).

Other qualifications may be awarded if the necessary requirements are fulfilled. See the SLU System of Qualifications.

The programme contains courses that, depending on courses taken and combination with previous studies within certain bachelor programmes at SLU, may provide the necessary requirements of 300 credits in total for the professional degree Jägmästarexamen (Master of Science in Forestry). See the SLU System of Qualifications.

Degree requirements

A Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Forestry Science is awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits, of which at least 90 credits are from second-cycle courses, from the required courses as follows:

  • a minimum of 30 credits from courses with specialised study in forestry science (A1N, A1F)
  • a minimum of 30 credits from a degree project in forestry science (A2E).

A Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Biology is awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits, of which at least 90 credits are from second-cycle courses, from the required courses as follows:

  • a minimum of 30 credits from courses with specialised study in biology (A1N, A1F)
  • a minimum of 30 credits from a degree project in biology (A2E).

There is additional requirement of a completed Degree of Bachelor, professional degree comprising a minimum of 180 credits, or a corresponding qualification from abroad.

A maximum of 30 credits from first-cycle courses may be included, provided these credits were not included in a qualifying Degree of Bachelor, or equivalent. All courses included in a degree must be at university level, have been successfully completed and may not overlap/have similar content.


Admission: There are two admission rounds for this Master's programme. The first admission round is open to all international applicants at www.universityadmissions.se. The last date to apply is 15 January 2024. SLU strongly encourage all international students to apply in this first admission round.


This Master’s programme is aimed at Swedish and international students looking to have 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.

The programme equips students with a comprehensive skills set in ecology and management. Students will develop a deep and comprehensive understanding of forest ecosystem properties and processes. They will learn how management activities affect the provision of forest products and ecosystem services and acquire a vast set of practical and professional skills needed for evidence-based forest management decisions for achieving multiple forest-use objectives.

Students will practise specific skills and work with 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 emphasises interactions between students, academic researchers, and professionals within the Swedish forestry and land-management sectors and government.

The backbone of the programme consists of four courses in forest history, forest ecosystem ecology, silviculture and sustainable management of boreal forests. These are recommended programme courses and can also be taken as freestanding courses by students not registered on the Master’s programme.

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

The electives are a way for students to broaden their knowledge of forest ecology and management in soil science, hydrology, experimental plant biology, conservation biology, and tropical forest management. They can also develop their skills in using tools and applications such as GIS, remote sensing, statistical modelling, field methods or mapping.

Visit the student pages to find out more.


Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management graduates are highly competitive in the job market and will have the necessary qualifications for pursuing doctoral studies.

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, symposiums, and workshops. As an international programme, we will create an active social network around the world.

Degree awarded

Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a Major in Forest Science, or with a Major in Biology.


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