Important areas of future work include the incorporation of the EU water and soil directives in land use planning processes to minimise contamination of surface and ground water and the development of strategies for reducing losses of nitrogen and phosphorus to near coastal zones. Other areas of high relevance are e.g. soil conservation strategies and assessment of soil carbon pools in the perspective of climate change.
Soil/water experts are needed within public authorities from local to national levels as well as within research. Those seeking an international career may join development agencies, research institutes, non-governmental organisations, consultancy firms, governmental or international authorities.
SLU's educations creates knowledge which contributes to the goals for sustainable development, both in Sweden and internationally.
This programme prepare you for the challenge of developing land and water management while minimising negative impacts on the environment and health. The programme focuses on natural sciences, although you will be trained to work in an interdisciplinary environment.
The use and quality of soil and water resources are intimately linked and must be understood together. The programme provides a comprehensive view of the way soil and water processes interact in a landscape perspective. We explore important pathways for water, nutrients and other elements through soil and plants to the atmosphere or through soil to ground and surface water. The content of the programme is based on contemporary basic and applied research. You will be trained to evaluate the impacts of agriculture, forestry and urbanisation on soil and water quality and to design and apply proper management methods to achieve important environmental objectives. Case studies from Sweden, other European countries and subtropical/tropical countries are used as teaching tools.
The first semester focuses on improving your understanding of the processes governing fluxes of water and matter in the landscape (soil physics, soil chemistry and soil biology). The second semester focuses on land use impacts on water quality, including eutrophication and environmental monitoring and assessments (primarily from a Scandinavian and European perspective). In addition you may choose e.g. a 5 credit course in “Biogeochemistry – element cycles and Climate change” and courses in GIS or systems analysis. The third semester include courses in soil classification, land evaluation, soil and water conservation, safe nutrient cycling and risk assessment of pollutants from a wider international perspective. Optionally you may choose 15 credits within other disciplines (e.g. economy, environmental communication, natural resource management). Finally, during the fourth semester you will complete your master thesis (30 credits).
The programme provides a suitable background to continue research education towards a PhD-degree within e.g. Soil Sciences or Environmental Assessment at SLU or within similar areas at another university. SLU is hosting several Research Schools e.g. Focus on Soils and Water.
Uppsala is Sweden’s fourth largest city, and the hub of SLU’s educational activities. Located just outside of the city centre, SLU’s Uppsala campus is spacious, leafy and picturesque. It is a fitting setting for Sweden’s only agricultural university, and possibly the most research-intensive of all universities. With two universities located in Uppsala, students can enjoy a lively, dynamic and stimulating atmosphere.
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