Study with us

The geological sciences teach us how the planet earth is built, how it functions, and how it has evolved from ancient times until today. For example, knowledge on geology and geological processes is crucial for sustainable development and utilization of natural resources on land and in the ocean, the construction of infrastructure such as roads, installations at sea, tunnels and bridges, understanding natural hazards such as volcanoes and earthquakes and in research on the Earth's climate history and the development of the oceans. At the Department of Geological Sciences, you will learn about all of these areas and much more if you enroll in our programs and courses on campus or by distance.

The geological sciences are based on physical observations and therefore combine theoretical studies with practical elements such as laboratory work, field studies and excursions in Sweden and abroad.

As a student at our department you will meet qualified teachers and researchers who are outstanding in their fields. We welcome you to our department to study with us!

Our courses and programmes

Visit your course page for more detailed information about your course.

List of all IGV courses


Meet our students

We bring together students from three main areas. It provides a stimulating and pleasant environment with the common interest in how the Earth works and what, for example, can be done to understand today's climate issue.

To first read about landforms and processes during lectures and then get to see it in reality is something very special.

Mikaela Lindström is a bachelor student i earth sciences.

Mikaela sitting on a rock on a mountain somewhere i Cyprus witha glacier in the background
Austria. Photo: Jonatan Cairenius

– I chose the bachelor's program in earth sciences because I have always been fascinated by nature. I wanted to learn about the climate, the landscape and all the processes that affect the planet earth and that is exactly what you study in earth sciences. My interest in the environment has always been big and I wanted to read something where you learn to understand nature, and then how humans affect it.

– The very best thing about the education is the mix between theory and practice! The courses are very varied with lectures, exercises, laboratory work and excursions. To first read about landforms and processes during lectures and then get to see it in reality is something very special.

– I plan to apply for the master's program in geological sciences at Stockholm University next year. Then I can immerse myself more in geology, which is the branch of geoscience I like the most. My dream is to get a doctorate and eventually be able to do research in geology.

Luckily it was possible to combine some courses from both Masters programs to create my own wide specialization.

Photo: Karianne Danneberg
Photo: Karianne Danneberg

Bella Dillan is a master's student in earth sciences.

– I have always been fascinated and curious about the Earth’s history and all the processes that operate in and on its surface. When watching documentaries about our planet as a child I always dreamt of studying and working within Earth science. And not the least, to explore all those geological wonders around the world. So, when I discovered this program in upper secondary school the choice was easy. During my bachelor's project in marine geology, where I used geochemical analysis, I figured out that I wanted to learn more about marine geology and geochemistry. Luckily it was possible to combine some courses from both Masters programs to create my own wide specialization.

– The best thing about my program is that it has a wide range of topics allowing me to deepen my knowledge of the Earth and understand its complexity. We learn things such as how our planet was formed, why our landscapes look like they do, our planet's resources, climate change patterns in the past which can help us predict and understand future climate change and so much more! Our program also combines theory and practice where we can observe the things we have learned in a lab or out in the field. Further, this education allows us to study and work in different parts of the world. I was fortunate enough to study arctic geology in Svalbard for a semester as an exchange student where I also met a lot of new friends.

– In the future I hope to gain more work experience abroad. I believe that working in different countries will give me a lot of perspective and new ways of thinking which I find very giving. Otherwise, I am excited to continue within academia and eventually do research to keep learning and also to contribute.

Stockholm University was a logical choice in my eyes, as a lot of expertise and opportunities are available here, helping me to become the best-possible researcher I can be.

Photo: Private

Sophie ten Hietbrink is a PhD student in Geochemistry.

– Already since my teenage years I have been captivated by the processes that mold our planet's environment and shape the climate. Hence, I dived into the fields of earth sciences and climate physics during my studies. Personally, I find it incredibly exciting to help push the boundaries of what we know and at the same time have the opportunity to continue to learn and grow. Pursuing a PhD was therefore a no-brainer for me. Moreover, conducting research allows me to contribute to our understanding of how and why the climate and environment changes, which is crucial to build a more sustainable world and safeguard our natural environment. Stockholm University was a logical choice in my eyes, as a lot of expertise and opportunities are available here, helping me to become the best-possible researcher I can be. And as cherry on top, I get to go on fieldwork expeditions to the Arctic!

– As a PhD student you meet many inspiring scientists along the way, all with their own area of expertise. These encounters are not only limited to your specific field of research. For example, I followed courses about ‘Gender and Science’ and ‘Visualize your Science’ which really broadened my perspectives on inclusivity and science communication. Furthermore, what I really appreciate about geosciences is that we study natural processes that can be observed in nature, making your research less abstract. This also entails that you might get to go out in the field to collect your own samples. I have been fortunate enough to visit Svalbard, an archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, three times already. The sheer magnificence of these natural environments will never wear off.

– Since my PhD research investigates processes that are a result of ice sheets that existed in the past, I would love to test my hypotheses by studying an environment that is impacted by modern ice sheets. Therefore, I would like to find a research position which enables me to conduct research in Antarctica or Greenland. Alternatively, Svalbard is also a very exciting location with plenty of geoscientific enigmas awaiting to be unraveled.

More about Sophie's research


Meet our teachers

If you choose to study at the Department of Geological Sciences, you will get some of Sweden's most prominent researchers in their fields as teachers.

I ended up specializing in marine geology once I discovered that the deep sea contains the best and most continuous records (mud layers) for unravelling climate change patterns in the past, and even how organisms evolve or go extinct to in response to climate and ocean change.

Helen Coxall is professor of marine micropaleontology. Helen teaches two courses at the undergraduate level: Critical Steps in the Evolution of Earth and life and Paleoceanography and marine geology.

Hellen takes a selfi on a private boat, Stockholm
Photo: Private

– I loved science at school but I did not know what area to focus on at university level. Medicine? Biochemistry? Environmental Science? Chemistry?
Geological sciences, broadly, is the perfect blend of biology, chemistry, physics and environmental science that helps us address and explain everything natural that we see around us, why mountains, oceans and forests are where they are, why some countries are rich in mineral wealth and have good farmland, while others don’t, how the different countries came to have the characteristic flora and fauna that we are familiar with. It gives a long-term history of these things, how they have and can change and therefore allows us to predict what will happen in the future. I ended up specializing in marine geology once I discovered that the deep sea contains the best and most continuous records (mud layers) for unravelling climate change patterns in the past, and even how organisms evolve or go extinct to in response to climate and ocean change. Most people don’t know that the hidden mud layers at the bottom of the sea hold all these secrets.

– Earth is our home. There is no second planet we can escape to if life on Earth becomes too difficult. Earth may seem vast and robust but what you learn from studying it’s geological history is that its various ocean, ice, climate and biological systems, upon which we depend for food, jobs and safe stable places to live, is fragile. From the geological record (rocks, sediments and fossils) we can see that these systems have all changed radically in the past and they will change again as humans continue to disturb them. We need to know what the most vulnerable systems are for the climate and environment and what human activities cause the most damage. Politicians need to listen to this. Also from a very practical point of view we also need to know about the physical properties of the rock and sediment beneath our feet because humans use this for extracting raw materials (metal ores, sand, gravel, rock for building, chemicals for industry and food, etc.), to build on, dig into to burry our waste, and fix engineered structures into (e.g. roads, power generating infrastructure).

What can students work with when they have completed their education?

Environmental consultant for surveying rock and subsurface samples for the construction industry, mineral extraction industry/mining; offshore-sediment surveying industry; museum collections; advisory role to the climate/environmental sector.

It is this synthesis of mathematics, chemistry, and physics within the realm of geology that truly fascinates me.

WeiLi Hong is assistant professor of Geochemistry. He applys numerical models to quantitatively describe the geochemical observations in pore fluids, sediments and authigenic minerals. He teaches one course at the undergraduate level and one at the master level.

Photo: Private
Photo: Private

– As a researcher in the field of geology, my journey is fueled by an insatiable curiosity about the dynamic processes that have shaped our planet throughout its history. From the grand geological events of the past to the subtle yet profound changes occurring in the present, I am captivated by the intricate dance of forces that mold the Earth's landscapes.

What draws me most to this field is the elegant interplay between various scientific disciplines. Mathematics provides the language to quantify and model complex geological phenomena, revealing patterns and relationships that would otherwise remain hidden. Chemistry unveils the molecular interactions driving geological processes, from the weathering of rocks to the formation of minerals. Physics elucidates the fundamental forces at play, whether it's the tectonic movements shaping continents or the behavior of fluids within the Earth's interior.

It is this synthesis of mathematics, chemistry, and physics within the realm of geology that truly fascinates me. Through their synergy, we gain profound insights into the Earth system, unlocking a deeper understanding of our planet's past, present, and future. As a researcher, I am committed to unraveling the mysteries of the Earth, driven by a passion for discovery and a desire to contribute to the collective knowledge of humanity.

Why is it important to educate about the Earth?

– Understanding the interconnectedness of the Earth's systems is paramount in today's world. Every component, from the atmosphere to the lithosphere, plays a crucial role in shaping our planet's delicate balance. Educating about the Earth is not just about acquiring knowledge; it's about gaining awareness of the intricate web of relationships that sustain life.

By comprehending how the different parts of the Earth connect to each other, we become acutely aware of the consequences of even the slightest perturbation. Whether it's human activity altering the climate, deforestation impacting biodiversity, or pollution contaminating waterways, every action sends ripples through the Earth system. Without a deep understanding of these connections, we risk unintentionally disrupting the delicate equilibrium upon which all life depends.

Education about the Earth empowers individuals to make informed decisions and take meaningful action towards sustainability and conservation. It fosters a sense of responsibility towards our planet and inspires stewardship for future generations. By promoting awareness of the Earth's interconnectedness, we pave the way for a more harmonious coexistence with nature, ensuring the preservation of our precious home for generations to come.

What can students work with when they have completed their education?

– Upon completing their earth science education with a solid foundation in geochemistry, students open the door to a wide array of exciting career opportunities. Armed with the fundamentals of geochemistry, they are well-equipped to embark on diverse paths in both academia and industry.
Many graduates find rewarding careers in consultant companies, where their expertise in geochemistry is invaluable for analyzing environmental data, assessing geological risks, and developing sustainable solutions for various industries. Whether it's conducting soil and water quality assessments, evaluating the impact of mining activities, or advising on environmental remediation projects, their knowledge of geochemical principles is indispensable.
For those with a passion for research and a thirst for knowledge, pursuing higher education offers endless possibilities. Graduate studies in geochemistry delve deeper into specialized areas such as aqueous geochemistry, isotope geochemistry, or environmental geochemistry, paving the way for groundbreaking research and innovation in academia, government agencies, and research institutions worldwide.

Furthermore, graduates with a strong background in geochemistry are highly sought after by companies specializing in analytical instruments. From designing and manufacturing cutting-edge instruments for geochemical analysis to providing technical support and training for clients, opportunities abound for skilled professionals to contribute to the advancement of analytical techniques and technologies.

Beyond these traditional career paths, the interdisciplinary nature of geochemistry opens doors to a myriad of industries and sectors. Whether it's exploring opportunities in energy exploration, natural resource management, environmental consulting, or even science communication and policy advocacy, the versatility of a background in geochemistry enables students to make meaningful contributions to society while pursuing fulfilling careers aligned with their interests and aspirations.

We are part of the 'Earth system' and it is our responsibility to interact with it in a friendly and balanced way.

Paola Manzotti is assistant professor in Tectonics, metamorphic petrology and geochronology. Paola teaches Mineralogy and Petrology, and Petrogenesis at the undergraduate level.

Paola with mountains Monviso in the background
The famous Monviso mountains in the background. Photo: Francesco Nosenzo

– I have been always fascinated by nature since I was a child. I had lovely memories of collecting fossils, rocks and shells during the holidays with my parents, doing orienteering at school (the first time that I had something to do with a map!) and seeing my garden bloom again in spring. Even now I cannot resist the stunning landscapes you see on reaching the top of a mountain or in front of the vastness and the mystery of an ocean. I liked nature, but I have followed humanities at the high school (Latin, Greek, philosophy and Literature). These subjects opened my mind and strengthened my communication skills. The choice of Geology at the university level reflects for sure my curiosity and love for nature, but stems also from meeting a talented professor in Earth Sciences the last year of the high school. Her lectures were so fascinating that I was passing my afternoon studying Earth Sciences instead of Latin and philosophy!

Why I choose Geology?

Studying geology develops a broad and deep knowledge of the Earth. Geology provides a comprehensive framework essential to understand the Planet where we live. It is an exciting journey through minerals, rocks and their interaction with fluids with the aim of understanding how our Planet formed. You may be able to answer questions like how do mountain belts grow? Through which processes do continental and oceanic crust form? How rocks transform and deform when they are buried at great depth? Which mechanisms are able to exhume these rocks? Where and why we find precious ore deposits? These are just a few fascinating discoveries that are waiting you…

A good knowledge of the “Earth system” is a fundamental step towards global sustainability, hazard mitigation and the building of an eco-friendly environment. This will include understanding (i) the availability of natural resources (mineral, water, energy…) and how we have used or abused of them in the past or (ii) the causes and consequences of geological processes (floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions…). We are part of the “Earth system” and it is our responsibility to interact with it in a friendly and balanced way.

What can you work with when you have completed the education?

– Education in geology is a combination of field and theoretical studies and gives the possibility to acquire analytical skills that may be useful for future jobs. There are several career opportunities in this field.

  • Applied Geologist – working on infrastructure (railways, dams, tunnels) and monitoring geological risks (landslides, floods, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis)
  • Environmental Scientist – working on for example treating contamination problems of lakes and rivers
  • Geologist working on renewable and not renewable energies (geothermal energy, oil and petroleum, ore deposits)
  • Academic research – with the possibility to do a PhD and to discover and investigate poorly understood events and processes in Earth history
  • Finally, yet importantly, teaching in high school to educate the new generations about the Earth.

What do the studies lead to?

Studies in geological sciences can lead to a variety of professions, from teaching and research to work in infrastructure projects as a consultant and project manager, in the mining industry with exploration or fororganizations or public legal bodies, such as county administrations.

Or you could become a researcher and pursue a career in science! The Department of Geological Sciences has three research education programmes: Geochemistry, Geology and Marine Geology.

Become a researcher

Former students/alumni talk about their current professions, their education and how their studies have affected their professional lives.



Alumni are former students of a university or college.

Join Stockholm University alumni network, where you will find a special alumni group for former Geological Sciences students
Read what former students thought about their programmes at Stockholm University

Alumni Mentorship Programme



Geological sciences and research

Geological Science constitutes a major academic discipline. It provides crucial information to society about mineral resources and energy, ground-water availability, the evolution of the climate and about other natural hazards including tsunamis, landslides, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.

Stockholm is a leading center of geochemical, geophysical and geological research in Sweden. Our research and teaching bring classical geology together with geochemistry and marine geology/geophysics. Research at the Department of Geological Sciences is strongly integrated with the interests of the Bolin Centre for Climate Research and the Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre.

Research in the department is conducted within three programs: Geochemistry, Geology and Marine geology.


External Collaborations

External collaborations have a long tradition at the Department of Geological Sciences. We thrive to make knowledge and research available to partners outside of academia.

Our researchers are actively engaged in transfer of knowledge to the general public to increase geological knowledge within society. We conduct joint research projects with several different stakeholders, have continuous dialogues with politicians and participate in large, international projects of societal relevance. We are proud of our alumni, who interact with our students and facilitate connections to a working life outside of academia.

See exemples of external collaborations at the Department of Geological Sciences



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