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Soil, Water and Environment MSc in Soil Science or Environmental Science

Soil, water and the environment are of major concern at all levels of society. This unique Master’s programme prepares you for a future career as a soil and water expert.


Land and water use have been important and fundamental factors for the survival of humans for thousands of years. Nowadays, because of climate and demographic trends, they are more important than ever – both locally and globally. This Master’s degree programme will prepare you for the challenge of developing land and water management while minimising negative impacts on the environment and health. 

The programme has a natural science orientation and gives you the opportunity to gain a broad understanding of the sustainable use of land and water resources and how they are linked. During the 2-year programme you will also learn about  efficient use of natural resources and nutrients, as well as environmental assessment as a way to understand and mitigate human-induced effects in our environment. 

SLU is the only university in Sweden that offers a degree in soil science and your studies will lead to a Master’s degree in either environmental science or soil science. After graduation, you will be able to work with soil and water issues as an expert, analyst or advisor in different organisations such as consultancy companies, or governmental authorities. You will also be able to continue your studies towards a PhD.


Name: Soil, Water and Environment - Master's Programme
Level: Master
Language: English
Programme scope: 2 year, 120 credits
Next start: Autumn semester 2022

Study location: Uppsala
Pace of study: Full-time
Teaching form: Normal teaching

Application deadline for international students: 2022/01/17
Application deadline for Swedish students: 2022/04/19

Application code for international students: 81025
Application code for Swedish students: 81052

Degree: Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in soil science or environmental science.

Requirements: first-cycle qualification comprising 180 credits and including specialised studies comprising 90 credits within one of the following subjects/disciplinary domains:
- biology
- agricultural sciences
- soil sciences, geo sciences
- environmental sciences
- forestry
- technology

In addition, knowledge corresponding to
- at least 15 credits within chemistry
- at least 15 credits within biology and/or soil or earth sciences.

Applicants with the equivalent qualifications obtained by means of a degree from another country, or with the equivalent knowledge obtained in some other way, may also be regarded as fulfilling the specific entry requirements.

This programme is taught in English. The applicant must further have a level of English equivalent to upper secondary school English, called English 6. An applicant with a first-cycle qualification from SLU comprising 180 credits automatically fulfils this requirement. Special rules apply for applicants with qualifications from one of the Nordic countries and some English-speaking countries.

Specific requirements apply for admission to the individual courses included in the programme.


Tuition fees: Citizens of countries outside the EU/EEA and Switzerland are required to pay application and tuition fees.
First semester: SEK 72 500 
Total: SEK 290 000


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 17 January 2022. SLU strongly encourage all international students to apply in this first admission round.


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).


With global change, population growth and more intensive land-use the need for expert knowledge on how to minimize negative impacts on soil and water resources is of key-importance for our survival. This is why the demand for advanced soil/water experts is increasing at different levels within society.

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.

Central Uppsala in summer

Campus Uppsala

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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